Musgrave takes third victory; Dodge Rams finish 1-2-3 at California Speedway. TED MUSGRAVE (No. 1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram) - First NOTE: Musgrave's victory was his third of the year, and second consecutive at California Speedway. He...
Musgrave takes third victory; Dodge Rams finish 1-2-3 at California Speedway.
TED MUSGRAVE (No. 1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram) - First
NOTE: Musgrave's victory was his third of the year, and second consecutive at California Speedway. He maintains third place in the standings and is now 107 points behind Mike Bliss in the points standings. The win is Jim Smith's third win at the track, and it is the first 1-2 finish for Ultra Motorsports teammates. Musgrave was forced to start in the rear of the track after switching motors in his No. 1 Mopar Dodge prior to the race.
"That was pretty cool. I didn't actually see what was happening behind me, I just concentrated on my line and what I was doing on the last part of the race. They said that Rick Crawford was really fast at the end, just before that caution. I knew Coy Gibbs had a good motor and a good truck, so when they dropped the green I thought to myself that the best thing I can do is just get away and break that draft. If they stayed real close behind me then they could suck along. The big key was when they dropped the green, those first five laps were really critical to pull away. As I looked in the mirror I couldn't see what was going on back there, but I know it was a pretty good race, and when they run side-by-side they slow down a little bit. I was just saying, 'You guys just keep doing that. I'm running away now.' But in the end it was like three laps to go, and we had the No. 2 truck in second. So I said, 'Good. Okay, it's a teammate, and I can ease up a bit out there.' It was a great day for Ultra Motorsports and Ultra Wheels to come out here and run 1-2 in this event. It was an awesome day for us in the points too."
"We had a pretty good truck when we unloaded. What we did was we more or less worked on a race setup the last couple days while everyone else was working on qualifying. That's why we didn't qualify very well. But we knew right away when happy hour started, you could see we were right at the top of the board, and we stayed there. The goal was to win the race. Winning the pole is fine and dandy, but winning the race give you the most points and it's the most prestigious. So, that's what we worked for right there."
"Compared to last year, the difference was that we had to start in the back this time. I think we qualified like 11th or 12th - the same as last year. But this time we had to change the motor and start in the rear. At a big racetrack like Fontana here in California, it's a beautiful racetrack for starting in the back and making passes on the high-side, low-side, where ever. Drafting comes into effect here, horsepower comes into effect, strategy on fuel mileage comes into effect here. The guys in the shop and here in the pits, they figured out how to give me a good truck with good fuel mileage. They also did the right call by coming into the pits and coming out where we did on the green flag with a real fast pit stop that gave me a lot of track position. It's a team deal. It's not just the driver that wins these races, it's all of those guys back there working on this thing."
"The only thing I was worried about, starting in the back, was that something would happen by a couple of trucks getting together and maybe collecting mine in a wreck. But then again, this speedway is so wide that it gives you a lot of escape routes. You just had to take your time. The only other thing was worried about was that you maybe couldn't get out in the front and lead a lot of laps, which gives you those bonus points. That was one of our goals, to lead the most laps and win the race. That's five extra points, to lead the most laps. So, starting in the back was a little bit of a concern. I thought maybe somebody else might be able to get those five points from me."
"I was passing high and low. But the Mopar Dodge worked best on the bottom of the track. When Robert Pressley and I were racing each other for quite awhile out there, I lost grip on the tires. Sometimes I ran on the high-side, and sometime I ran on the low-side. I was just trying to figure out which was the best way for my truck and which was the worst way for his truck. When you do that on an opponent, you more or less take his line away or see where he's good and make it work the opposite way on him. That's why I think there was a lot of lead swapping out there between Robert and I. We're pretty cagey veterans, and we think we know what to do to hold the next guy back. But then again it was a good show for the fans, going back and forth like that. I know I was pretty pumped up about it."
"In our first stop we took four tires and fuel. On the first stop there's no sense in gambling right there. You have nothing to really gain by putting on two tires, because at the end of the race you'd have to put on four if you had to put on two. So, that early in the race you definitely go with four tires and fuel. You can check your tire wear and check the temperature of the tires to see how it's handling right away with all four tires. It gives you a very good indication right of the bat, what's going to happen for the rest of the race."