DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - With less than one lap remaining in yesterday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Race at Daytona International Speedway, Terry Cook knew his goose was cooked.
He was running second to Rick Crawford when he made a move to pass Crawford on the outside. There was, however, other movement to the outside of Cook. He got caught in the middle with no drafting help and suddenly he was ninth when the checkered flag came out.
“We put a lot of effort into this and we came here to win, not run second,” said the Northview graduate who now lives in Indianapolis. “If I didn't take a run at Rick we would have fell in line and would have probably finished second.”
A caution flag came out with fewer than two laps remaining in the race following the seventh crash of the day.
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races can't finish under yellow, which would have assured Cook of second-place.
The last lap was a green-white-checkered flag sprint. It turned into a wild finish with Crawford dropping back to third and then making a marvelous move to the inside to edge Travis Kvapil by .027, the sixth-closest finish in NASCAR Craftsman truck history.
In the four NASCAR truck races here, Cook is the only driver to take the checkered flag in the top-10 each time. His best finish here is fourth, but this was his best opportunity for victory.
“I was carrying a ton of momentum on the restart,” Cook said. “I saw an opening behind me and the 59 [third-place finisher Robert Pressley] was beside me. I almost had Crawford cleared all by myself but if I would have come down it could have been a big wreck.
“The 59 wanted to win, too, and he went around the top of us with some drafting help from behind.
“I thought it was a gutsy move to try to get around Crawford. It's very disappointing but if I had it to do all over again I would do the same thing.”
- DAVE WOOLFORD