Born: June 20, 1943
Home: Rome, NY
NASCAR Hall of Fame 2016 Inductee
Jerry Cook (born June 20, 1943 in Lockport, New York) is a NASCAR modified championship race car driver. He began racing at the age of 13 and won the track championship at Utica-Rome Speedway in 1969.
He eventually went to become a six-time champion in the NASCAR Modified series (1971–72, 1974–77). His rivalry with fellow Rome, New York driver Richie Evans is legendary. He retired after the 1982 season with 342 wins. He stayed with the sport, and helped shape the series.
Cook served as the Whelen Modified Series' director when it began in 1985, and was NASCAR's Competition Administrator, as well as being instrumental in setting up the NASCAR Truck Series.
Jerry Cook takes modified route to NASCAR Hall of Fame
January 12, 2016 AutoweekCook to be enshrined with NASCAR Hall Class of 2016 on Jan. 22
Jerry Cook never intended to support his family driving a modified stock car. It kind of snuck up on the young resident of Rome, New York.Cook, who built his first modified at the age of 13, took the wheel by happenstance, when his hired driver wrecked two of the race cars he owned. That was in 1963, well before Cook won his first of six NASCAR modified championships.But Cook soon discovered he had a knack for winning races -- and finishing well enough to cash a decent check when he didn’t.
“Every time I reached into my pocket, it had money in it,” Cook would say later. “So I kept racing.”And indeed Cook did -- all the way into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, into which he’ll be inducted Jan. 22 as part of the Class of 2016 that also includes Bobby Isaac, Terry Labonte, O. Bruton Smith and Curtis Turner. Induction ceremonies will be live on NBCSN, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio beginning at 8 p.m. ET.Cook won modified championships in 1971 and 1972 and from 1974 through 1977. Before retiring at the conclusion of the 1982 season, Cook also posted six championship points finishes of second and two of third. He won 342 NASCAR modified races in 1,474 career starts -- and countless other non-sanctioned events. Cook finished among the top 10 an amazing 85 percent of the time.Cook joins fellow Roman and career-long modified racing rival Richie Evans in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The late Evans, a nine-time NASCAR modified champion, was inducted in 2012 as the first Hall member whose career wasn’t connected to NASCAR’s premier series. Cook is the second.“We’ve now finished off the battle of Rome,” said Cook. “For me and
Richie to both be in the NASCAR Hall of Fame, it kind of tops it off.”
- - Inducted in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2009
- - In 1989, he was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame
- - Inducted into the New York State Stock Car Association Hall of Fame in 1993
- - As part of NASCAR's 50th Anniversary celebration in 1998, he was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers.
- - NASCAR named him #3 on its NASCAR Modified All-Time Top 10 list.
- - He will be Inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2016
NASCAR Cup Statistics
Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn RAF Miles LLF DNQ 1973 30 0 of 28 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ? 0 0.0 0 1 1 year 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ? ? 0 0.0 0 1
DNQ data may be incomplete or missing for some seasons.
Daytona 500 Qualifying race results
Race Cars St Fin # Sponsor / Owner Car Laps Money Status Led 1973 Qualifying Race #2 39 25 07 Miller High Life (Gil Cramer) Chevrolet 43/50 0 engine
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