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RACINGONE.COM: Terry cooks up a victory

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foxsports admin

 
   
 

MADISON, Ill.

With points leader Robert Pressley having transmission problems and having to pull into the garage on the first lap - and two other drivers in the Top 10 in points (Rick Crawford and Travis Kvapil) having engine problems in the first 10 laps - the door was left wide open for someone to step through and win Sunday¿s Craftsman Truck Series race at Gateway International Raceway. Terry Cook ¿ who hadn¿t won a truck series race since 1998 (87 races ago) - did exactly that. Cook became the fourth different winner in four truck series races this season, as he beat Jason Leffler to the line by about five seconds on Sunday. Mike Bliss brought his truck home third, followed by Rick Crawford, David Starr, Dennis Setzer, Jon Wood, Brian Rose, Lance Norick and Matt Crafton. ¿I¿ve been sick for the past few days, but our Ford was just awesome today,¿ Cook said. ¿We were set up for the long runs, and we had those today.¿ The problems for Pressley ¿ who returned to the race 18 laps down and ended up finishing 31st ¿ pushed him back to fifth in points. The new points leader is Starr, who is the only driver to finish in the Top 10 in all four truck races this season. ¿The team did an awesome job today,¿ said Starr, who is now followed in the points standings by Ted Musgrave (who finished 12th), Crawford, Bliss and Pressley. ¿It¿s a solid Top 5 today and we¿ll win one of these things soon.¿ After qualifying second, Setzer took the early lead in the 160-lap event ¿ with Musgrave, pole winner Bliss and Cook close behind. Musgrave, the former Winston Cup star who won the pole and truck race last year at Gateway, took the lead from Setzer for the first time on Lap 36. After the early engine problems forcing a couple of yellows, the drivers kept it clean until Lap 42, when Michigan native Stan Boyd spun after contact with Larry Gunselman to bring out the third caution. During the caution, Musgrave pitted with the rest of the field and had a problem with a lugnut on the left-front tire. He exited the pits in fifth, behind Wood, Setzer, Bliss, Leffler and Cook. On Lap 61, the Dodge teammates of Leffler and Musgrave worked together against Wood and Bliss, and took over the top-two spots. At the race¿s halfway point, Cook began to show his strength by passing Wood, Bliss and then Musgrave to move into the second spot. On Lap 90, he passed Leffler¿s Dodge for the lead. Cook had lengthened his lead to more than three seconds when the leaders made green-flag stops with around 55 laps remaining. Setzer, Musgrave and Bliss all had problems with their stops, making their runs for the win far more challenging. In fact, when Musgrave returned to the track, he realized he¿d lost a cylinder. After a clean stop, Cook pulled away from second-place Leffler by more than 12 seconds with fewer than 50 laps remaining, and he went on to win by more than eight seconds.

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