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Getting to know Jeff Cook, jackman for the No. 24 Chevrolet

 

CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 21, 2009)—It was 10 years ago when someone stuck a jack in Jeff Cook’s hand and gave him a basic rundown of how to lift a car during a pit stop. He learned as he went, and today, Jeff is the jackman for Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 team, which is ranked third in the championship standings. Recently we caught up with Jeff:

Full name:  Jeff Cook

Nickname: Cookie
Birthdate: Nov. 24, 1976

Hometown:  Charlotte, N.C.

Team/job duties: Mechanic in the Nos. 24/48 shop – I handle the suspension for the No. 48. At the track, I’m the jackman for the No. 24.

Time at current job:  Nine years. I started at Hendrick in 2001. I mostly worked on the No. 24 team that year, but I also helped with Jimmie Johnson’s first three or four races.

On what Johnson was like his first year: I remember he was really nervous. We would have team meetings, and he’d be scared to death. Now look at him. He has a lot more confidence.

Years in racing: 13 years.

First racing job: I started as a parts runner with American Equipment Racing in 1998. 

First job overall: I helped my dad with his body shop, Cook’s Body Shop in Charlotte.

If I wasn’t in racing I would be: I have no idea.

Best racing memory:  My first win, which happened in Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in 2002. It was my first win, and it was the night race at Bristol.

Favorite track: Bristol Motor Speedway.
Hobbies outside of racing:  Riding motorcycles; playing videogames.
Favorite sport other than racing: Football – college or pro.

When I’m not at the track you can find me: At home.

On an off weekend you can find me: At home.
Pet:  A Labrador mix named Dakota.
Favorite movie: “Friday.”

Favorite music:  Country.

My current car is: Cadillac Escalade.

Dream car: Corvette.

What you’ll find on my iPOD: Everything from country to rap.

If I could meet anyone, I’d meet: My grandpa.

Favorite food: Steak.
 
Before the race, I always: Stretch on my own so I can get focused.

On becoming a pit crew member: Someone put a jack in my hand one day and said this is how you do it. I was working for American Equipment Racing at the time, and I didn’t really train for it. I had to teach myself.

During a pit stop, I’m thinking: Nothing. You really don’t have time to think.

I knew I wanted a job in NASCAR when: I first walked through the garage. I remember being in awe.

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