Portland; bad luck plagues Terry Cook

PORTLAND, OR (April 22, 2000) - Terry Cook has never believed in bad luck, but you might not blame him for buying into the notion after a weekend full of turmoil at the Line-X 225 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Portland...

PORTLAND, OR (April 22, 2000) - Terry Cook has never believed in bad luck, but you might not blame him for buying into the notion after a weekend full of turmoil at the Line-X 225 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Portland International Raceway. "What a tough, tough weekend," said Cook after he soldiered his #88 PickupTruck.com Chevrolet to a 22nd-place finish in the first NCTS road course event of the season. "We had a skip in the motor in Happy Hour last night and we thought we'd just broken an outer valve spring. When we got here this morning we discovered it was more serious, so we had to do an engine change before the race. Three laps into the race, the motor started skipping on the straightaways. Somehow we must have ended up with a piece of trash in the fuel line that ended up in the carburetor. I could play with it and it would run half or three-quarter throttle - then ease down some more and it would run about 85 to 90 percent. If I just mashed the gas, it would sputter and stumble." Cook started the event on the 1.967-mile PIR course from the eighth position and despite the problem, managed to stay in the Top-10 for the first half of the race. Cook then saw his problems go from bad to worse with an off-track excursion that ended with his bright orange PickupTruck.com mount mired in a gravel safety trap. "The time I spun into the gravel pit was my fault," Cook stated. "I was trying to compensate for the motor skip on the straightaways by charging the corners to gain some time. I just got down in there too hot, got the wheels to hopping and looped it off the track." Now a lap down to the leaders, Cook and his SealMaster Racing Team had one more challenge to overcome. "I guess we were running the engine so lean we must have done something to the mufflers we have to run here and we had one blow out on us," said Cook. "That made us too loud on the decibel meter. NASCAR made us come in and fix it and we were just riding around after that." Cook, who finished fourth at Portland a year ago, earned $8,820 for the effort. "I guess when it's not your day, it's just not your day," said the Sylvania, OH driver. "This makes two races in a row where we've had problems that weren't really anything we could have controlled. It's hurt and we've dropped two spots in the points back to 10th. Maybe we've got our bad luck out of the way and we'll get back to running like we started the season." Cook, who opened the 2000 NCTS campaign with three Top-10 efforts in the first four races, will next steer the PickupTruck.com Chevy at Gateway International Speedway on Sunday, May 7. The Ram Tough 200 on the 1.25-mile St. Louis area oval will be televised by ESPN at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time. "We're going to some of my favorite tracks over the next few weeks, tracks where we've had some really good runs," said Cook, who qualified fourth and finished 15th at Gateway a year ago. "I'm still high on our chances to climb back into the thick of the points battle and even for our chances to post a win in the near future. St Louis would be just the place to do it."

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Terry Cook