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Fayetteville Motor Speedway

Cook leads 50 laps for victory at Fayetteville

June 21, 2009, 3:41 am
From series and correspondent reports
Ray Cook talks about his $10,000 victory. (butlerracingphotos.com)
Ray Cook talks about his $10,000 victory. (butlerracingphotos.com)

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (June 20) — Leading all 50 laps, Ray Cook of Brasstown, N.C., won at Fayetteville Motor Speedway for his second career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory and first since 2006.

Yellow flags were the only thing that could slow Cook's progress as he outran Ricky Weeks of Rutherfordton, N.C., on the final night of the Summer Sizzler Tour portion of the Lucas Oil Series schedule, which closed with its sixth winner in six races at six tracks in the South. | Postrace notebook | Slideshow

On a night with passing at a premium on the half-mile Fayetteville oval, Cook knew that winning a heat and earning the pole position for the main event was key.

"I knew it was going to be a big factor," said Cook, who earned $10,000. "That was the place to be in the heat and then the inside was the place to be in the feature, so it was just one of that nights when the Lord blessed us and everything lined up right."

Cook just concentrated on keeping Weeks behind him throughout a race slowed by nine cautions.

"If you come around and catch the lapped cars too quick, then you can't pass them and the second-place man can make a move on you," Cook said. "I could get away from (Weeks) and my crew man (Danny Dishman) would tell me and I'd slow back down. I tried to run a good lap and then a pace lap. I was just trying to be there at the end. The car felt good the whole time, but I didn't know what (the tires) looked like — had probably another 15 laps in it."

In just his second career start on the series, Weeks posted a second-place finish.

"There early I showed him my front end and he went to protecting it. I guess the best car won. I had a good run, though, I ain't complaining. We needed the boost and the money," said Weeks, a five-time Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series champion. I think we were actually better than he was on entry, but I'd have to slow down so much on him to get in, and then he'd take off. I'd be sliding when he'd be getting back in his gas."

Fast qualifier Chris Ferguson of Mount Holly, N.C., got third while four-time series champion Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., was fourth. Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., overtook Dale McDowell of Rossville, Ga., on the last lap to get the fifth spot.

Series points leader Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., was running eighth until a flat tire on the last lap dropped him to 11th.

Notes: Cook's D&R Racing team fields a MasterSbilt Race Car with a Race Engine Design powerplant and sponsorship from Hicks and Ingle Company General Contracting, A+ Moving and Storage Company, Performance Rod and Custom and VP Racing Fuels. ... Cook's previous Lucas Oil series victory came April 8, 2006, at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Ga. ... Most of the nine cautions were for minor incidents: Timmy Blackwell (lap 7); G.R. Smith (lap 15); Steve Casebolt (flat tire on lap 26); David Taylor (lap 32 flat); a series of flats between laps 36-40 for Shawn Beasley, John Blankenship, Dan Schlieper and Brad Neat. The final yellow came on lap 48 for fourth-running Jonathan Davenport's flat tire. ... Taylor was the PBM-Erson Cams Hard Charger with his 25th-to-13th run. ... The series takes a break before three $10,000-to-win events over the Fourth of July weekend starting July 3 at Muskingum County Speedway in Zanesville, Ohio, on July 4 at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tenn., and on July 5 at Tazewell (Tenn.) Speedway.

Lucas Oil @ Fayetteville: (1) Ray Cook, (2) Ricky Weeks, (3) Chris Ferguson, (4) Earl Pearson Jr., (5) Chris Madden, (6) Dale McDowell, (7) Jeff Smith, (8) Jimmy Owens, (9) Don O'Neal, (10) Steve Casebolt, (11) Scott Bloomquist, (12) Shawn Beasley, (13) David Taylor, (14) Dan Schlieper, (15) Jonathan Davenport, (16) Brad Neat, (17) Craig Shuffield, (18) Scott Autry, (19) John Blankenship, (20) Josh McGuire, (21) Travis Hair, (22) G.R. Smith, (23) David Breazeale, (24) Ed Basey, (25) Timmy Blackwell. Fast qualifier (among 32 cars): Ferguson, 18.327 seconds. Heat race winners: Cook, Weeks, Ferguson, McDowell. Consolation winners: O'Neal, Schlieper. Provisional starters: McGuire, Breazeale.

Lucas Oil points

(Through June 20)

1. Scott Bloomquist - 3,350
2. Dale McDowell - 3,015
3. Jimmy Owens - 2,985
4. Earl Pearson Jr. - 2,965
5. Ray Cook - 2,940
6. Don O'Neal - 2,830
7. Steve Casebolt - 2,790
8. Brad Neat - 2,700
9. Josh McGuire - 2,555
10. John Blankenship - 2,395
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