Terry Cook Pikes Peak Preview

FOUNTAIN, CO (May 12, 2000) - A year ago, Terry Cook was in position to score a Top-10 finish at Pikes Peak International Raceway when he encountered a little trouble that he'd just as soon avoid when he and his fellow NASCAR Craftsman...

FOUNTAIN, CO (May 12, 2000) - A year ago, Terry Cook was in position to score a Top-10 finish at Pikes Peak International Raceway when he encountered a little trouble that he'd just as soon avoid when he and his fellow NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competitors return to the track Sunday, May 21. "We ran just outside the Top-10 for most of the day and then we got together with Jack Sprague about three quarters of the way through the race," said Cook, driver of the #88 PickupTruck.com Chevrolet. "I wound up spinning and just touching the wall. I didn't have much damage, just the left front fender pushed down on the tire a bit. While I was trying to make it back to the pits for repairs, the tire blew and it knocked off the fender, the front of the hood, the crush panels, you name it. It did a lot of damage. "When that happens, it gets pretty hairy inside the truck," Cook continued. "In that case, the damage was to the left front tire and when it blew, it took out the crush panel right in front of me. All this rubber and debris came flying right up into my face. Once that happens, you try to slow up as quick as you can without having another problem because all this stuff is hitting you in the face. It wasn't any fun to say the least." Cook wound up losing a couple laps in the pits while his SealMaster Racing team made the appropriate repairs to get him back on the track. "The guys did a great job, but we were down a couple of laps and we were pretty wounded," said the Sylvania, OH driver. "We just soldiered around and got the best finish we could at that point. To finish 17th with a truck as torn up as ours was is a real testament to my crew." This year, Cook returns as one of the favorites to win at PPIR based on an early season string of top finishes. Cook, who qualified third for the 1998 Craftsman Truck Series event at Pikes Peak, is quick to point out just how fast the Colorado one-mile oval is. "Pikes Peak surprises me how fast it is every year we go there," said Cook. "It is a very, very fast track. In addition to the speed, the big thing I notice there is the groove moves up the racetrack as the race goes on. The track tends to get loose throughout the day, so you wind up entering the corners a little bit higher as the race goes on. There's not only a second groove, but a third groove right up against the wall." As far as strategy goes, Cook states an easy trigger finger, or in this case, a sensitive right foot, has a lot to do with finishing well at Pikes Peak. "Pikes Peak is the kind of track that favors a lot of long, green-flag runs," said Cook. "The race there usually comes down to tire and fuel management. The track has a lot of grip in it, so the tires have a tendency to fall away after 20-to-30 laps. Because you have a lot of 60-lap green flag runs at Pikes Peak, you really have to take care of tires and concentrate on getting great fuel mileage. If you can do that, you can usually have a good finish and a shot at winning." Cook, who last won at Flemington, NJ in 1998, would like nothing better than to drive his PickupTruck.com Chevy through the Victory Lane gates at PPIR this time around. "Our expectation is to finish in the Top-10 every week," said Cook. "We know there are certain tracks we can do that at and some that we have to work a little harder at to accomplish out goal. Pikes Peak is the kind of place that we have high expectations at, a place where we think we should finish in the Top-5. A win there isn't out of the question for us at all." The NAPA 300K at PPIR will take the green flag Sunday, May 21, at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. The event will be telecast live on ESPN and will be broadcast worldwide on MRN radio.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Jack Sprague , Terry Cook