SPARTA, KY (July 14, 2002) - Terry Cook piloted his No. 29 Power Stroke Diesel Ford to a solid sixth-place finish in the Kroger 225 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race under the lights Saturday at Kentucky Speedway. "We had a Top-5 truck all race...
SPARTA, KY (July 14, 2002) - Terry Cook piloted his No. 29 Power Stroke Diesel Ford to a solid sixth-place finish in the Kroger 225 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race under the lights Saturday at Kentucky Speedway.
"We had a Top-5 truck all race long," said Cook. "We were trying to get through the pack and we had cycled through on the final pit stop. We got pinned on the outside of the No. 20 (Coy Gibbs) truck waiting for the tires to come in and the No. 14 (Rick Crawford) truck got in the back of us in the middle of Turns 1 and 2. I'm sure he didn't mean to. It was just a racing deal. That slid us up the track and we almost had a big wreck. Fortunately, we gathered it back up to come home and finish sixth."
Cook started fourth in the 36-truck field and ran in the Top-3 for the first third of the 150-lap race on the 1.5-mile Kentucky oval. A round of pit stops kept Cook in striking distance of the leaders and the Power Stroke Diesel driver climbed to the top of the leaderboard on Lap 110 before heading to his pit for service one lap later.
There, crew chief Bob Keselowski elected to take just two right-side tires instead of all four in an effort to maintain track position over the final 39 circuits.
The strategy worked to perfection as Cook returned to action well ahead of several of his competitors. Unfortunately, the contact with Crawford slowed Cook's momentum allowing a number of trucks by. Undaunted, Cook righted his Power Stroke Diesel mount with a solid save and raced back to the front finally taking the checkered flag in the sixth position.
"We thought our pit strategy would pay off for us," said Cook. "We got out of the pits ahead of several trucks. The tires were just starting to come in and I then I don't know what happened. When Crawford got into the back of us, I thought we were going to have a wreck. We were able to hang onto it and ended up getting a Top-10 finish out of it. It was still a solid day for the Power Stroke Diesel Ford."
Cook earned $19,300 in prize money for the effort and maintained sixth position in the 2002 NCTS point standings, just 122 markers out of first.
Cook's focus now turns to New Hampshire, where he earned a sixth-place finish in the New England 200 NCTS event a year ago.
"We're excited to get back to New Hampshire because it's a track that reminds me of Milwaukee," said Cook, who dominated and won the NCTS clash at Milwaukee three weeks ago. "We were able to gain some points on the on leader this weekend. If we keep plugging along and stay consistent we will be there in the end."
The New England 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway will take the green flag Saturday, July 20, at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The event will be telecast by ESPN and broadcast live on MRN Radio.