Cook snaps skid, wins truck race
Madison, Ill. Terry Cook broke an 88-race NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory drought Sunday, winning the Dodge Ram Tough 200 at Gateway International Raceway.
Cook, who went to the emergency room with flu symptoms on May 1, recovered sufficiently to bring his Ford F-150 from the eighth starting position to the lead by the 91st of 160 laps.
The Ohio native gave up the advantage on the 106th lap in making his final of two pit stops. Cook took over for good when leader Jason Leffler pitted his Dodge 11 laps later.
Cook held a 7.5-second lead over Leffler after the pit stop cycle, a margin that grew to 8.564 seconds at the checkered flag.
"With 50 laps to go, I was saying to myself, 'This race needs to be over soon,"' Cook said. "It's fortunate it was a late start and I could lie in bed and fill up on water and Gatorade."
The winner averaged 109.323 mph for 200 miles and earned $52,160 for his first victory since 1998.
Pole-winner Mike Bliss finished third in a Chevrolet. Rick Crawford took fourth place despite an early stop to fix a broken oil line that dropped his Ford to 32nd in the 36-truck field. David Starr finished fifth in another Chevy to take over the series points lead, 10 ahead of Ted Musgrave.
Dennis Setzer, Jon Wood, Brian Rose, Lance Norick and Matt Crafton completed the top 10, eight of whom completed all 160 laps.
Just three caution flags flew to consume 14 laps, with the last ending at lap 48.
Six competitors swapped the lead eight times with Cook leading twice for 59 laps. Bliss, Setzer, Wood, Leffler and Musgrave also paced the event.
Clanton sets ASA mark
Pensacoloa, Fla. Joey Clanton set an American Speed Association record Sunday with his fourth victory in four races this season, winning the ASARacing.com 300 at Five Flags Speedway.
Clanton, who has eight victories in 44 career starts, broke the record of three straight victories at the beginning of a season set by Mike Eddy in 1995.
"It's incredible to break a Mike Eddy record," Clanton said. "To think it hasn't been done in 35 years means a lot to me."
Clanton, from Stockbridge, Ga., edged David Stremme of South Bend, Ind., by 1.001 seconds in steamy conditions in the 300-lap race on the half-mile oval.
Dixon races to fifth Top Fuel victory of year
Commerce, Ga. Larry Dixon raced to his fifth Top Fuel victory of the season Sunday, beating Doug Herbert in the final of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals.
Dixon, who has advanced to the final round in all but one race this season, had a quarter-mile run of 4.637 seconds at 318.09 mph. Herbert finished in 5.039 at 231.87.
"You dream about a season like this," Dixon said. "But you never imagine it really happening. The most wins I've ever had in a season was six last year, and we have five with 16 events left on the schedule. ... We've never had a package of races this good."
Whit Bazemore, Allen Johnson and Angelle Savoie also won their divisions in the $1.8 million competition at Atlanta Dragway.
Bazemore raced to his second consecutive Funny Car victory, beating points leader John Force with a run of 4.963 at 310.41. Force finished in 5.559 at 195.51.
Johnson edged Greg Anderson in Pro Stock. Johnson made a 6.907 pass at 200.92, while Anderson finished in 7.676 at 138.41.
Savoie earned her first victory of the season and 23rd of her career, beating Matt Hines in the Pro Stock Motorcycle final. Savoie finished in 7.162 at 187.91.