The "Tarheel Tiger," Ray Cook kicked off his 2014 race schedule in winning style as he flat-out dominated the Crate Late Model portion of ‘Ice Bowl XXIII’ at the Talladega Short Track in Eastaboga, Alabama. Cook, a multi-time Super Late Model winner in the celebrated event, posted the fastest lap of the 60-plus Crate competitors during the qualifying session, and then went on to ink the win in his heat race. After starting the 40-lap main from the outside of the front row, Cook grabbed the lead at the drop of the green flag and never looked back en route to the $3,000 payday.
As a result of his persistent racing Ray Cook now finds himself 6th overall in the LOLMDS standings.
Next up on his calendar was Winchester Speedway in Winchester, Tennessee, for the annual running of Winterfest. Up for grabs for the Super Late Models was another top prize of $3,000. For this event Cook agreed to pilot driver Charlie Parker’s No. 27 MasterSbilt Gen-X car. Cook started off his day by running off the third fastest lap in his group during time trials, before going on to take the win in his consolation race.
For the unsanctioned one-day showdown, highlighted by a 40-lap feature event, the Brasstown, North Carolina, race started on the inside of the sixth row. After running strong early in the race, Cook pulled into the pit area when a power steering hose came off. Fortunately, crew members were able to make quick repairs and Cook rejoined the field, at the tail, for the restart. The K&N sponsored driver then rallied back through the pack to salvage an eighth place performance.
Next, the tenacious driver rode his hard earned momentum to the 17th Annual Bama Bash contested at the East Alabama Motor Speedway in Phenix City, Alabama. There Cook earned another solid 6th place. From there Cook and the MasterSbilt House Car team went on to Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, Tennessee, as the National Dirt Racing League (NDRL) presided over the inaugural running of the Tennessee Tipoff Classic. After running in second place for much of the 40-lap main event, Cook held on to finish third.
The Cook crew invaded the legendary Brownstown Speedway in Brownstown, Indiana, for the 50-lap Indiana Icebreaker. Cook battled inside of the top ten throughout the caution-free event and eventually brought his K&N supported No.53 MasterSbilt machine home in the ninth position.
Lastly, at his latest race to date, at Ark-La-Tex Speedway in Vivian, Louisiana, the consistent Cook once more finished in the top-ten with another 9th place finish in the 50-lapper. Cook currently sits in 6th place overall in the latest Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series point standings.