Musgrave, No. 9 Team ASE Toyota Finish 12th at Kansas Speedway Kansas City, KS (April 30, 2007) Ted Musgrave started strong but was forced to make a late race rally to finish Saturday's O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race...
Musgrave, No. 9 Team ASE Toyota Finish 12th at Kansas Speedway
Kansas City, KS (April 30, 2007) Ted Musgrave started strong but was forced to make a late race rally to finish Saturday's O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race in the 12th position.
Musgrave's Germain Racing No. 9 Team ASE Toyota took the green flag ninth, but quickly knifed his way towards the top five. Musgrave continued to have one of the strongest trucks on the track throughout the event, but an ill-timed caution flag during a round of green flag stops put the 2005 series champion a lap behind. Musgrave's truck was one of the strongest of the day on the short runs, and at the drop of the green to start the race he quickly moved towards the front.
However, the farther the field ran under green flag conditions left Musgrave fighting the handle on his Toyota Tundra. He brought the truck down pit road to crew chief Rick Gay and the Team ASE crew during green flag conditions on lap 60. However, a bobble on pit road proved costly to Musgrave; those troubles were magnified when a caution came out on lap 73.
An ill-timed crash on the backstretch involving Johnny Benson and Kelly Sutton before the rest of the field cycled through their stops left Musgrave and his No. 9 Team ASE crew trapped one lap down. "We were a little tight in the beginning, but we knew we could fix it," Musgrave said. "But we had some problems on the pit stop. The caution coming out a couple laps later was really a double whammy there. But once we got the truck adjusted to where we wanted it, we were almost a half a second faster than almost everyone out there except for (race winner Erik) Darnell. Track positions got us. We kept waiting for a caution and it never came. We should have called Tony Stewart to see if he could find us a debris caution!"
Fighting track position wasn't the only challenge of the day for Musgrave. With the 5 pm local start time, the setting sun was an issue when the drivers made their way through turns three and four, and it got worse the later in the day the race ran. That problem was also magnified by trouble on the track. "I can't see anyway, so it didn't bother me a bit," Musgrave joked.
"I actually asked the guys on one of the stops to get me some tape for my visor to act like a visor in a street car. I thought it was an ace in the whole to help us see a little better than the competition out there. But once the 21 truck had engine problems there and laid down all that fluid, it really made the glare problems even worse."
Musgrave sits sixth in the current NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship standings after five of 25 races, seven points behind Jack Sprague for fifth position and 178 points behind leader Mike Skinner.
Next up for Musgrave and the Germain Racing No. 9 Team ASE Toyota is the Quaker Steak and Lube 200 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.