FORT WORTH, TX (June 8, 2001) - Terry Cook's chance for his second career win was foiled when he ran out of fuel with six laps to go in the O'Reilly 400 at Texas Motor Speedway. The mishap relegated the Cook and his K-Automotive team to a ...
FORT WORTH, TX (June 8, 2001) - Terry Cook's chance for his second career win was foiled when he ran out of fuel with six laps to go in the O'Reilly 400 at Texas Motor Speedway. The mishap relegated the Cook and his K-Automotive team to a 13th-place finish in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race.
"We knew we would be marginal at the end," said Cook now fifth in the NCTS standings. "It was a call that we made. We decided that if the race would go under caution for just two or three more laps and we would be comfortable. But, it went back to green too quick and we ended up not having enough fuel. That's tough to take because we have had a couple of rough races here in a row. I thought we had third-place locked up and we were running down second, but it just wasn't mean to be.
Cook started fourth in the 36-truck field that was set by points after rain drenched qualifying Thursday. Cook stayed with the leaders throughout the early going before a caution flag on Lap 31 saw all the top drivers with the exception of the No. 29 Ford pilot headed for pit road.
Now at the front of the pack, Cook paced the action for the next 30 laps fending off a host of challengers. Unfortunately, the gas bug that would bite Cook later in the race hit on Lap 64 as he ran out of gas on the back stretch. Cook managed to coast around the 1.5-mile Texas track to pit road and the awaiting fuel cans, but the stop put him well back in the field with just over 100 laps left in the contest.
Crew Chief Bob Keselowski and Cook threw the dice again and decided to stay out while the leaders pitted under green for second round pit stops. Now back on the lead lap, Cook methodically worked his way into the Top-5 at Lap-99.
"We had third place locked up and we had second place in our gun sights," said the 33-year old Sylvania driver. "We had a great truck all night and the longer we ran the better we got. We needed that thing to stay green for a while and it did and we led a bunch of laps. In the ensuing caution after that we were only able to take on two tires, just rights and it wasn't as good when we took on four under green. We drove back up to the front and if we had it all over to do again, we would have done the same thing."
Over the final 60 circuits, Cook put himself in a position for a solid finish battling Ted Musgrave for the fourth spot with just a few circuits remaining. That's when the fuel gauge again read "E" as Cook again coasted to pit road, out of gas with just two laps remaining.
"Fuel mileage cost us here tonight," said Cook. "We were going after the win, but we came up two laps short. You have to hand it to the K-Automotive Ford, we struggle all weekend, we struggled through practice, and we struggled through qualifying. It was a blessing for us that we went off of the points standings for qualifying. We never gave up and we knew that we had a great race truck all day and it is unfortunate that we were not able to get the Top-5 finish that we basically had sewn up."
Cook earned $11,815 for his efforts and led his third race in nine NCTS outings this season. Despite the problems, Cook is still a solid fifth in the season standings heading into the next race at Memphis (TN) Motorsports Park, Saturday, June 23. The event will be telecast live by ESPN and broadcast on MRN radio at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.