Cook, Power StrokeÂ® Diesel Ford F-150 Aiming For Victory Lane At Kentucky SPARTA, KY (July 7, 2001) - Armed with the best team of his career and solid support from a new sponsor, Terry Cook will be shooting for the stars under the lights in the...
Cook, Power Stroke® Diesel Ford F-150 Aiming For Victory Lane At Kentucky
SPARTA, KY (July 7, 2001) - Armed with the best team of his career and solid support from a new sponsor, Terry Cook will be shooting for the stars under the lights in the Kroger 225 at Kentucky Speedway July 14.
"I can't wait to get to Kentucky Speedway with the K-Automotive team and our new sponsor, Power Stroke® Diesel Engines," said Cook. "I love racing under the lights. It reminds me of back when I first started racing and we were 'Saturday Night Warriors.' It was always fun racing at night back then and I'm sure it will be even more fun doing that at a state of the art speedway like the one at Kentucky." While Cook is geared up to compete under the stars, he's also stoked to compete in front of the more than 60,000 fans that will pack the place.
"Kentucky's a special track to everyone in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series because our inaugural race last year was sold out to capacity," Cook stated. "Whenever you can put 60,000 or more people in the grandstands at a Craftsman Truck race, it's huge for the drivers and the teams. A turnout like that helps pump up the drivers. The fans are why we are able to do this every week."
While last year's big Kentucky Speedway crowd had Cook pumped up, his luck was totally flat as a Lap 1 crash ended his hopes of a top finish.
"We didn't go far in the race last year because we had an early altercation," said Cook, who started 10th and was officially credited with 35th in the 36-truck starting field. "To say I was disappointed is an understatement. We had a ton of family and friends from the Ohio and Indiana area at the race and to only make one lap was a huge letdown for everyone. Hopefully, things this year will be a lot different."
To notch a good finish in this year's Kroger 225, Cook will have to navigate the deceiving 1.5-mile Kentucky oval. An initial glance would indicate the track is symmetrical, but according to Cook, the two ends of the raceway are anything but the same.
"If you sit in the grandstands. Turns 1 and 2 look like Turns 3 and 4, but they are far from it when you are out on the race track," said Cook. "I don't want to call it a tricky track because it's fairly easy to drive, but the appearance can be deceiving at times. You carry a lot more speed than most people think into Turn 1. You accelerate pretty hard off of Turn 2 and you've got it to the mat all the way down the backstretch. You have to get into Turn 3 gently because it doesn't carry a lot of banking into the corner. When you get to Turn 4, it's like a mound of asphalt jumps out at you. It's banked pretty heavy. It's almost like you drive up a hill in the middle of Turns 3 and 4. You drive up the hill and get a run off of Turn 4 to the tri-oval. It's a unique track because you can really charge it. At the same time you have to respect it."
Respect is something Cook has earned plenty of this season. Cook opened the 2001 NCTS season with six-straight Top-10 finishes and is currently seventh in the division's championship chase. The 33-year-old Indianapolis, IN resident is coming off a 20th-place finish in the most recent event, the O'Reilly 250 at Kansas Speedway. A solid run at Kentucky will not only give Cook a leg up in the points chase, but will also go a long way in making an impression on the Power Stroke Diesel contingent.
"We've got six races to impress the Power Stroke Diesel people," said Cook. "They have committed to us for that many races and we want to make sure that if they decide to continue this program, they want to do it with us. After the kind of race we had at Kentucky last year, we have nowhere to go but up. Even though we were 35th last year, there's no reason to think we can't win this year. That's what we're shooting for."
Cook and his No 29 Power Stroke® Diesel Ford will take the green flag in the Kroger 225 at Kentucky 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time Saturday July 14. The 13th of 24 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events this season will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast by MRN Radio.