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Musgrave, Team Mopar win at California. FONTANA, CA (November 2, 2002) - Ted Musgrave drove his No. 1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram to a dominating come-from-behind win grabbing the American Racing Wheels 200 at California Speedway ...

Musgrave, Team Mopar win at California.

FONTANA, CA (November 2, 2002) - Ted Musgrave drove his No. 1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram to a dominating come-from-behind win grabbing the American Racing Wheels 200 at California Speedway Saturday.

"What a great win for Mopar and Ultra Motorsports," said Musgrave of his third NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory of the 2002 season. "This was my second-straight win here at California Speedway and my team owner Jim Smith's third win here. The Mopar Dodge was absolutely on a rail. We had to start in the rear of the field and to be able to come from behind the way we did is an awesome way to win. Jim's company - Ultra Wheels - is about 45 minutes from the racetrack, so there were all kinds of people here to support us and cheer us on. California is almost like our home away from home, so to be able to win here is huge."

Musgrave toured the two-mile suburban Los Angeles oval in 41.503 seconds (173.481 miles per hour) to post the 11th-fastest time in qualifying. A pre-qualifying engine change, however, forced the Franklin, WI driver to drop to the rear of the 36-truck field in accordance with NASCAR rules prior to the green flag.

"This is a beautiful racetrack to start in the back and make some passes - on the high side, low side, wherever," said Musgrave. "Drafting plays a big role here, so do horsepower and pit strategy. The guys here at the track and everyone back in the shop did a fantastic job. They gave me a good truck and we had great fuel mileage. We had really fast pit stops so that gave me great track position."

At the drop of the green flag, Musgrave made several daring moves from the back of the 36-truck starting grid working his way to the ninth position when the caution flag flew for debris on Lap 19. The veteran Franklin, WI driver picked up two more spots on pit road as his Ultra Motorsports crew performed a flawless pit stop.

"It's not always the driver that wins the race," said Musgrave. "More often then not, it's the guys who work on these things. They are just as responsible for winning as I am."

Now seventh in the running order, Musgrave carefully threaded his way through the lead pack snagging the lead on Lap 26. Musgrave then held the top spot for the next 21 circuits before heading down pit road under green flag conditions on Lap 64.

Another solid stop, this one under green flag conditions, cycled Musgrave back to the seventh position. His sights firmly set on the front, Musgrave wasted little time working his way back to the point by Lap 71. From there, Musgrave cruised to his 10th-career NCTS triumph holding off Leffler, his Ultra Motorsports teammate, by 1.603 seconds at the checkered flag.

"That was pretty cool," said Musgrave. "Not only was I able to win, my teammate finished second. That's the first time we've been able to pull off a 1-2 finish for Ultra Motorsports this year. We go to Phoenix next week and both Jason and I love that track. Hopefully we can make it two in a row for Ultra Motorsports."

Musgrave earned $51,835 for the victory and moved to within 107 points of division leader Mike Bliss in the 2002 NCTS championship chase with two events remaining.

The Chevrolet Silverado 150 at Phoenix International Raceway will take the green flag Friday, November 8 at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The 21st race of the 2002 NCTS tour will be telecast live on espn2 and broadcast live on MRN Radio nationwide.

-um/mopar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Ted Musgrave , Mike Bliss , Jim Smith