Ford Racing Completes Two-Day Truck Test
Team Ford Racing NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers Terry Cook and Carl Edwards completed a two-day test at Kentucky Speedway in preparation for the track's July 12 "Built Ford Tough 225, presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" race.
"The main focus of the test is to prepare a good race truck to come back to Kentucky for the race," said Cook, who enters this week seventh in the series points standings in the No. 29 Power Stroke Diesel Ford.
"When Ford sponsors a race and we are a Ford factory program, that's the races we want to win. This is a very nice track and the drivers get excited when we race for a large purse," Cook continued. "This track traditionally has the second or third largest purse on our schedule, and the fact that the race is sponsored by Ford this year, only makes it that much sweeter. It's one title we are definitely gunning for."
Edwards used the test to gain valuable seat time in his No. 99 Roush Racing Ford on Kentucky Speedway's 1.5-mile tri-oval. The 23-year-old is in his first full season on the circuit and enters the week 12th in series points standings and the frontrunner in the chase for Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year honors.
"For us, this is a very valuable test," Edwards said. "We are trying to figure out how to go fast around Kentucky. I am excited about 'The Built Ford Tough 225' and I think a Ford can win the race.
"Robert Brooks (Ford Racing NCTS Program Manager) puts this thing together and Terry Cook and I share notes. The whole Ford camp in the truck series works together very well, so this type of day is very helpful to us."
The track has produced three memorable series events since opening in 2000, but the veteran Cook believes the fourth could produce the series' best show because of the way the racing surface has matured.
"This is not like any of the mile-and-a-half tracks we go to. From what I've seen early in this test, they have created track conditions that promote good side-by-side racing," Cook said. "They have slowed the bottom of the corner down, so, from what I've seen, the second groove is actually smoother and might be faster. But, the shortest way around is always the faster way around. When you drive the bottom groove on a track with a fast second groove it promotes good side-by- side racing."
If history is any indication, Cook and Edwards should fare well in Kentucky's 225-mile affair as Fords own one-third of the series victories at Kentucky. Greg Biffle won with Ford in 2000. Mike Bliss won last year's event for Chevrolet and Scott Riggs collected the 2001 Kentucky title for Dodge.
Kentucky Speedway's race season continues June 13-14 with the NASCAR Busch Series "Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" and "The Lexington Herald-Leader Pole Night."
~ Kentucky Speedway ~