Ray Cook after his second win in as six days, and his first
ever at Bulls Gap, Tennessee's tough to tame Volunteer Speedway. (Thomas
Cook's Shock n' Awe is Now "Bash"
and "Thaw" After Second Win in As Many
By James Essex
BULLS GAP, Tenn. (March 6) — Ray Cook
started fifth and overtook race-long leader Chris Madden of
on lap 36, then and led the rest of the "Spring Thaw
60" at Volunteer Speedway. The Brasstown, N.C. driver and car owners Danny Dishman and Ronald Ivey took $10,000 for his first Lucas Oil Late Model
Ray Cook sneaks under Steve
Casebolt before reeling in Chris Madden and his first career win at Volunteer
Speedway. (Thomas Hendrickson)
DirtSeries victory of the season, and the seventh of his career
with the tour.
Madden, of Gray Court, S.C.
started outside the front row and finished second, followed by
polesitter Skip Arp of Georgetown, Tenn., Dan Schlieper of
Sullivan, Wis., and Steve Casebolt of Richmond, Ind.
Cook's victory in the first Lucas Oil event since Florida
Speedweeks moves him into a tie for the points lead with reigning
series champion Scott Bloomquist of
Tim Rivers (46) gets into a
spinning Dennis Erb during preliminary action for the annual "Spring Thaw" at Volunteer
Mooresburg, Tenn., who finished sixth.
"As far as the points are concerned, we are taking them week to
week," Cook said. "You never know what could happen tomorrow. You might
fall out of a race and drop back in points
"We've got an awesome race team, car, engine, tires, shocks, I mean
the whole thing is just clicking right now. I'm just real fortunate just
to be able to
Skip Arp and #44 Chris Madden bring the Spring Thaw field up to
speed at Volunteer Speedway before finishing second and third at the finish of the annual
drive the car. It's fun when you are running this well, you just have
to enjoy it while youcan, cause it could change the next race."
The 38-year-old Cook's victory gives him his second straight
checkered flag followed last Sunday's Southern Regional Racing
Series-sanctioned "Bama Bash" victory at Green Valley Speedway in Glencoe, Ala.
Arp and Madden started on the front row before
Madden sprinted to an early lead early with Arp and Casebolt giving chase until they reeled in the leader
in lap 11 traffic. Six laps later Cook took the third spot from Casebolt
and began challenging Arptil taking second just before a
slowing Mike Marlar brought out a lap-20 caution. Two laps later
the second and final caution appeared for John Blankenship.
Madden stayed in command at the halfway point and after catching
Madden in the lap 30 traffic, Cook began peeking under Madden. Cook
made the pass stick on lap 36 and worked traffic that kept both Cook and Madden on their
toes. Cook fought goff Madden's
challenges the final 10 laps for the victory, his first-ever at
43 race teams entered this year's event.
WHile trying to find a way underneath #1 Will Vaught at Bulls Gap,
Michael Moats instead found the rear of Michael Walker's #64 car. (Michael