Terry Cook Bakersfield Post Race Report

BAKERSFIELD, CA. (March 27) - Terry Cook knew Sunday's Dodge California 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event would probably turn out to be a war on the tight, half-mile Mesa Marin Raceway oval. After finishing a solid seventh in the rock...

BAKERSFIELD, CA. (March 27) - Terry Cook knew Sunday's Dodge California 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event would probably turn out to be a war on the tight, half-mile Mesa Marin Raceway oval. After finishing a solid seventh in the rock 'em, sock 'em event, Cook surveyed his battered but not beaten #88 PickupTrucks.com Chevrolet. "We came out of the race a Top-10 finisher with all four fenders still on the truck," said Cook. "They've got a little damage on them and they may not all be in exactly the right place, but heck, that's short track racing in the Craftsman Truck Series." Cook started the 250-lap test from the 15th position after turning a lap of 19.360-seconds (92.975 miles per hour) on the famed Bakersfield track. Content to try to stay out of the carnage throughout the early and middle stages of the race, Cook made his move in the late going opting to stay out on the track when the leaders pitted for fresh tires. "Our crew chief, Jerry Cook, actually made the call that put us in the Top-10," said Cook. "We basically struggled all day, just couldn't get the right handle on the chassis and there was no way we were going to finish in the Top-10 if we came in with the other guys and took on tires. Jerry made the call to stay out on the worn tires to gain the track position and it worked like a charm and gave me my first ever Top-10 finish here at Mesa Marin It's also the third Top-10 this season in four races." Cook's good fortune earned him $9,581 on the day. More importantly, it kept the Sylvania, OH driver in the thick of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season points race. Cook, who finished 15th in the final championship standings a year ago, is off to his best start ever sitting seventh overall with 574 markers, just 99 points behind Sunday's Bakersfield race winner Mike Wallace. "We start going off the points standings for the 2000 season at the next race and to be in the Top-10 in points is a big deal for our team," said Cook. "We've completed every lap so far this season and that says a lot for how our team has come together this year. We've still got some things we want to improve on, and we'll take the week we've got off before heading to Martinsville and work on them. "This PickupTruck.com team is better than it's ever been and I believe as the year goes on we're going to get even better, Cook continued. "If we do, there's no reason why we can't be in the Top-10 all year, win a race or two, and who knows, if we get a break or two, I think we've got the ability to be in the Top-5 at the end of the year." Cook will get his next shot to move up in the standings when he and the rest of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers head for Martinsville, VA and the NAPA 250. The Saturday, April 8 event will get underway at 1 p.m. and will be telecast live on ESPN.

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Mike Wallace , Terry Cook