BUSCH: Nashville II: Chris Cook preview

* Veteran racer Chris Cook will be behind the wheel of the ...

* Veteran racer Chris Cook will be behind the wheel of the #43 Rio Grand/Shift Into Gear Dodge of the Curb Agajanian Performance Group when it comes to the Nashville Superspeedway 1.33-mile concrete tri-oval for Saturday night's NASCAR Busch Series Federated Auto Parts 300. It will be the fifth NBS start for the 34-year-old Cook, who owns the Shift Into Gear driving school and over the years has tutored numerous NASCAR and other series regulars including Tony Stewart. His previous four NBS starts, and his lone Nextel Cup Series start in 2005, have all come on road courses.

* Last March, Cook drove the #56 l'Alsace a Paris Dodge, which was a collaborative effort between Mac Hill Motorsports, the Curb Agajanian Performance Group and Christine Marie Motorsports, to a top-20 finish at Mexico City. His Nextel Cup start came at Infineon Raceway in the #87 Joe Nemechek-owned car. He finished 28th.

* While this is Cook's first effort at Nashville Superspeedway, he is certainly no stranger to the area. He was the 1992 NASCAR Late Model Rookie of the Year at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, and lived in the area from 1992-97.

* Last weekend at Dover, Kertus Davis stepped in to drive the #43 CAPG entry, qualifying 37th and finishing 27th. Aaron Fike drove the #43 at this seasons' opening 12 events with a best qualifying effort of second at Daytona, and a best finish of 15th here at Nashville. Fike recently left to join the #33 Kevin Harvick-owned team.

* Former NASCAR Busch North Series driver and crew chief Mark Durgin has taken over the #43 CAPG effort in the garage with the departure of Joe Shear, Jr., to Michael Waltrip's Nextel Cup team. Shear will continue to serve as technical consultant to the #43 team.

* On board with the #43 CAPG Dodge team this weekend is Nashville-based Curb Records artists Rio Grand. The band will be part of the CAPG team's VIP contingent here at the track this weekend. Also on board the black #43 racing machine is Cook's Phoenix-based driving school, Shift Into Gear (www.shiftintogear.com).

CHRIS COOK QUOTES ON NASHVILLE -- "I'm really thankful for this opportunity these next two weekends. There is a lot of talent and a lot of heart within the Curb-Agajanian organization. On top of that, they build great race cars, and we should have a good one here at Nashville this weekend. Our work will be cut out for us, there's no getting around that. We have a new crew chief who's been successful in other divisions and is a real talent. So we'll have to show up ready to go with our I's dotted and our T's crossed. I've tested with the team in the past, and I raced a car they built for me at Mexico City this year, so I'm very familiar with what's in store this weekend. I like pressure, so we'll have plenty of it this weekend. I'm looking forward to it."

CARY AGAJANIAN QUOTES ON #43 CAPG TEAM -- "We are heading in a new, exciting direction as we come to Nashville this weekend with driver Chris Cook and crew chief Mark Durgin. While we certainly wish Aaron Fike and Joe Shear well in their new endeavors, we, too, feel we are once again equipped to achieve the ambitious racing goals we have set for ourselves. Chris might be one of the best-kept secrets in the driver's seat, and we hope to expose that to the NASCAR world in the coming weeks. So, too, is Mark as a successful driver and crew chief from the Busch North Series. Our goals are ambitious in what continues to be the incredibly competitive Busch series, and we continue to work toward attracting the sponsorship and financial backing it takes to finish on top week in and week out. This is another exciting time for the Curb Agajanian Performance Group."


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Drivers Tony Stewart , Michael Waltrip , Kevin Harvick , Aaron Fike , Kertus Davis , Chris Cook