Homestead Florida Dodge Dealers 400 race report

HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Ted Musgrave squeezed the last few ounces of fuel out of his race- dominating Mopar Performance Dodge truck to capture Sunday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Florida Dodge Dealers race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. ...

HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Ted Musgrave squeezed the last few ounces of fuel out of his race- dominating Mopar Performance Dodge truck to capture Sunday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Florida Dodge Dealers race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Musgrave, who became the event's fifth, first-time series winner, led a race high 86 laps including the final 15 circuits of the 1.5-mile track south of Miami. He took over for good when Jack Sprague, his NetZero Chevrolet low on gas, pitted from the lead on lap 153. The Wisconsin native, making just his fifth start on the series after stepping down from the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, averaged 118.176 mph for the 250.5-mile distance. Musgrave won $46,635. He beat Raybestos Rookie driver Travis Kvapil's CAT Rental Store Chevrolet - by 10.588 seconds about a third of a lap - in the second widest victory - margin in 148 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events. Sprague, who led 53 laps, finished third. Pole starter Scott Riggs, the winner's Dodge teammate, took fourth-place in the Team ASE Racing entry that finished second a year ago and won the 1999 edition of the race . Raybestos Rookie Ricky Hendrick ran fifth in his GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet, just ahead of the Team Rensi Motorsports Chevy of Randy Tolsma. The first six finishers were the only drivers to complete all 167 laps. Carlos Contreras, Rick Crawford, Daytona winner Joe Ruttman and Terry Cook completed the top 10. Six drivers traded the lead 14 times, paced by Musgrave who headed the pack on six occasions. The race's outcome turned on afternoon's fifth and sixth caution periods which came over a 15- lap span beginning with a Turn 3 accident involving Ricky Sanders and Ronnie Hornaday on lap 92. Virtually the entire field pitted for gas and tires but 10 leaders - including Sprague and Hendrick - chose to remain on the track when Rob Morgan's Turn 2 spin brought out the final yellow flag on lap 107. Musgrave came out of the pits 11th but quickly moved through the field, reaching second-place on lap 126. Knowing that Sprague would have to pit again, Musgrave went into a fuel conservation mode and rode about a second off the leader's rear bumper. He slowed just enough to make it to the checkered flag. "We had enough fuel to get into victory lane and that's all that counted," said Musgrave. "I got worried about the fuel mileage and (crew chief) Fred (Wanke) said to save as much fuel as you can. So I started backing up on the entrance (to the turns) and not getting in the gas as hard." Sprague, meanwhile, hoped for a caution that never came. "If they made this race 145 laps shorter I won have won about three of them - or maybe 50 laps longer," said Sprague, who finished among the top five at Miami-Homestead Speedway for the fifth time in six events. Riggs, who led three times for 12 laps, took over the series point lead by five points over Hendrick. Musgrave, who came into the year's second race ranked 14th, moved to seventh.

-nascar.com-

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Ted Musgrave , Ricky Hendrick , Jack Sprague , Carlos Contreras , Terry Cook , Rick Crawford , Scott Riggs , Joe Ruttman , Randy Tolsma , Travis Kvapil , Ricky Sanders