TED MUSGRAVE (No. 1 Mopar Performance Dodge Ram) NOTE: Musgrave led the way for Dodge in 2001 with seven wins and two poles, giving him a runner-up finish in the point standings. The Franklin, Wis. native sat on the pole in the 2002 ...
TED MUSGRAVE (No. 1 Mopar Performance Dodge Ram)
NOTE: Musgrave led the way for Dodge in 2001 with seven wins and two poles, giving him a runner-up finish in the point standings. The Franklin, Wis. native sat on the pole in the 2002 season-opener at Daytona and finished second.
"It's Darlington man. This one is for my dad. He was riding with me today. I've got an awesome team, and the owner of the Mopar Dodge (Jim Smith) is awesome, too. We had the momentum going into Daytona, but we missed it a little bit. Here, I just drove as hard as I could. We tore the left front fender off in lapped traffic leading the race. I had a very bad aero push behind Robert Pressley. I knew my truck wasn't as good as his, so we just made three-wide bumps. I didn't care if I had to jump over people. I was going to get to the front. If you're going to follow, you're never going to win. You've got to make things happen. A lot of great race car drivers make things happen. I had the opportunity. It was a heck of a day today. I owe it all to the people standing behind me. The last pit stop we tried to fix the fender, and I came out behind Robert. That was a bad deal because when I got behind him I lost all my front air. I knew I was a sitting duck. I had to get the lead somehow. I held 'em up trying to work on the body there, trying to make it better."
JIM SMITH (Car owner Ultra Motorsports Dodge Rams)
"That was the greatest pass I've ever seen. They were three abreast and this poor old truck had the front end torn up. The only way he was going to win was to get out front. He knew once he got out front the push would go away. He got out of the pits late because we wanted to try to fix the front end, but it wasn't fixable, but that was the greatest pass I've ever seen. I knew if the opportunity was right, Ted's desire is bigger than anything. He had the truck to beat all day.
"Jason Leffler had a good run going. I don't know if a tire cut down or he just got loose. His day will come. Just like I told Scott Riggs a year ago. I told him he was going to win races. You can take that to the bank."
BRIAN ROSE (No. 4 Sunclear Energy Team Dodge Ram)
"We came in there right at the end with about 30 laps to go and took on our last set of stickers. We hadn't had a set of stickers in awhile. We burned off a lot of gas on the long run, and I was tight. The key to getting around this place is accelerating through the turn. I came in and got some good stickers and started my march toward the front. I had to battle with Jon Wood and Coy Gibbs. I made a move to the inside coming off two and picked up eighth spot. I battled Travis (Kvapil) for seventh, but he was just too strong. I didn't get him. We had some help getting in and out of the pits. I believe every time we came in we picked up two or three spots. I had some help from the Cup side getting us in and out. I guess they were cranking them out in about 15 of 16 seconds.
"It was really me getting used to the track, it being my first time here at Darlington. It was also the stickers. I hadn't had a set of stickers since lap 35 or something. I ran right at 80 laps on one set. We burned those up pretty bad. We made an adjustment and I came on strong those last 15 laps.
"Bobby Hamilton worked with me a lot this week. I can't say enough about Bobby and Ted Musgrave and Robert Pressley. They all helped me, but Bobby was probably the most beneficial factor to me. Bobby ran a lap on stickers, and I ran a lap right behind him. I tried to match him. This was the same truck Bobby won in here last year, so we knew it was a good piece.
"I seem to run better in a competitive scenario. When I'm out there and don't have a rabbit or don't have my rhythm, putting me in a competitive mode always makes me raise my game. I started off 18th and saw the way people were working in front of me. I tried to duplicate it, and I was lucky enough to two-step with the lady in black. At first I had to get my rhythm with the other trucks, and then it was a rhythm against the track.
ROBERT PRESSLEY (No. 18 Bobby Hamilton Racing Dodge Ram)
NOTE: Pressley finished second at Darlington and first at Daytona, while Ted Musgrave won at Darlington and finished second at Daytona. Consequently, they're tied for the lead in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Standings.
"Looking at the big picture, I started to take the low line. If he misses a corner he could have got into us and knocked us out. Ted did what he needed to do, and he went to the outside. He went the opposite way that I did and knew the worst he was going to be was second. It was just the wrong move on the wrong lap for me. We had more tires than we needed today. We could have got by with one less set. If for some reason, somebody would have held on to an extra set and we had an extra caution at the end, it could have bit us. I saw the wreck happening going down the back straightaway. I started seeing the smoke. I knew I wanted to go to the outside. At the last minute the spotter said jump low, so I had to stop the truck. By the time I got it in third gear and went across the mark, there was nothing I could do. The sun played a big part. If I had just been able to see a little bit more in the middle of the corner, I probably would have gone back up to the top of the race track. I'm pretty happy with this second place.
"I drove the Cup cars, trucks and Busch cars here. By far, the truck drive real good on this race track. You can go in turn one and never let off all the way and flat foot it all in three and just roll out of it a little bit. The flat sides we've got, you can get right against the wall and really get off the corners. They're a lot more fun to drive here than anything else I've ever driven.
"I thought that maybe with his fender tore off, I would have a shot, but every time we got a little bit of draft on him, he'd hit every one of those (lapped) trucks perfect. I was having to let off in turn two or entering one. When you do that, you just kill your whole lap.
"I saw where I was beating him at, and I knew if I could get him in one and two, come off the corner just right and get a run off there, that I could go into turn three with him. He had the best truck today. He knocked the fender off, and that equaled up the competition. Whenever the best man wins every week, you've got to feel good about it. We're tied for the points, and the Dodges are looking good. All we want to do it keep Team Mopar up there."