Cook Bags West Virginia Loot at Beckley
Defending World of Outlaws Late Model Series champion Josh Richards started from the pole with Cook alongside. Cook grabbed the early lead over Richards, Scott Bloomquist and Owens at the start of the 50-lap feature.
Cook narrowly avoided disaster on lap 13 when the lapped cars of Tim Isenberg and John Blankenship got hooked together in turn two. Cook was able to maneuver to the inside of the track and narrowly avoid becoming part of the crash.
After the restart Cook pulled away as Richards battled Owens for second behind him. Lapped traffic allowed Richards and Owens to close on the leader, but a caution flag on lap 38 slowed the field and allowed new second-place man Owens a shot at the leader.
The field returned to green flag racing for four laps before Earl Pearson, Jr. had issues in turn one with eight laps left. Cook held off Owens for five more laps before the final caution flag of the night waved on lap 47 for Tim Dohm.
The three-lap dash to the checkers saw Owens try repeatedly to get around Cook. Owens was able to get alongside Cook on the final lap, but it was Cook who inched ahead at the finish to bag the ninth series victory of his career.
“I was glad for a few of those cautions there that cleared out lapped traffic,” said Cook. “Our car could handle real well where we were running and I saw no reason to change my line. When Jimmy got up there I knew if I kept my line it was going to be tough to beat him, but what a race. I hoped the fans enjoyed that.”
Richards finished behind Cook and Owens in third. Bloomquist and Michael McDowell filled the top five.