TED MUSGRAVE (No. 1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram) "Well we took a full tank of fuel in our truck in that last pit stop and tried to move out and get going. I would've needed some more laps to catch (race winner Ron Hornaday). This Mopar...
TED MUSGRAVE (No. 1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram)
"Well we took a full tank of fuel in our truck in that last pit stop and tried to move out and get going. I would've needed some more laps to catch (race winner Ron Hornaday). This Mopar Dodge was really good today, but the championship wasn't there for us. We just had too much bad luck. But each and every week we were running right up near the front. That just shows all of the dedication that these guys gave back home."
"Actually, it was a pretty good day for us. We started out on the front row and got to the lead right off the bat and led the most laps. The Mopar Dodge did good all day long. We were in good shape. The caution at the end kind of mixed things up where (Ron Hornaday) got out front and got some clean air. I had to hang out and follow the No. 2 and No. 14 that were side-by-side. They were battling, and I had to wait for that kind of battle to shake out before we could get to him. By that time, though, he was quite a ways gone. In the championship battle we did everything we could do, and Mike Bliss just did everything that he was supposed to do. I don't know exactly where he finished, but he was right where he needed to be. My hat goes off to him and his crew. They did a really good job all year long. They hung in there and had hardly any DNF's. The big thing was that he finished a lot of laps in the series and got that team a lot of points.
"I can't say enough about my team either though. Each time we run, we run good, we run in front and we have a chance to win. Today Ron just took one away from me, but that's the way it goes. That was a good job by his guys.
"There's a lot of things that we could've changed this year, but on some days things were simply out of our hands. With four laps to go, leading the race at Las Vegas we got a flat tire and it forced us to lose it. At Texas Motor Speedway while we were leading the race a caution came out for oil on turns one and two. We actually spun around in the oil and they put us in the back of the pack, so we lost that one. Consistency is a big thing that wins races, just as it wins points races. This year we put our heads down and did everything we could, and we just came up short with a couple of things that happened to us that were out of our control. You'll have those years. I've seen it in every aspect of motorsports. One year you're a champion, and the next year you're fighting to stay in the top-20 of the points standings. This year we've had really good luck, but we've had a couple of things that have come up that may have taken the championship out of our hands. But that's racing. That's what happens. You've just got to put your head down, keep going as hard as you can.
"Hopefully, next year NASCAR will let us qualify by age and let the oldest guy take the pole. Next year we really, really, really need to go to the wind tunnel. The top three trucks in points this year include a Dodge, Ford and Chevrolet. We should take them to a wind tunnel, blow on them rather than rolling them on a racetrack and get your numbers that way. We need to even them up where they're a little bit closer so the competition is a little bit better. I think that's the biggest thing right now. As long as it's close, you can put the rest in the hands of the teams.
I think we've done a pretty good job on things, but it needs to be a little bit closer. We've had lot, and I do mean a lot, taken away from the Dodges last year. That was really, really uncalled for. But we've just got to play by their rules. They've got a really good team in the Chevy camp, a really good team in the Dodge camp, and a good team in the Ford camp right now. Those are top-three teams in the points standings, and if any one of them would've faltered then each one of the manufacturers would've have really been suffering. I think what they need to do is go back and be sure that everything is really, really close so that everybody has a chance, not just those top-three teams."