Ray Cook

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 Hendrickson)

Cook's Shock n' Awe is Now "Bash" and "Thaw" After Second Win in As Many Weekends

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

Cook - Casebolt

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

Rivers - Erb

Tim Rivers (46) gets into a spinning Dennis Erb during preliminary action for the annual "Spring Thaw" at Volunteer Speedway.

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 - Chris Madden

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 classic.  (Thomas Hendrickson)

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 Volunteer Speedway.

43 race teams entered this year's event.

Marlar - Walker

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 Moats)

Spring Thaw Finish

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