Musgrave, No. 9 Team ASE Toyota Finish 2ndth at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Musgrave Takes Second Place in Las Vegas; Regains 4th in Championship Standings
Las Vegas, Nevada (September 24, 2006) Ted Musgrave drove the No. 9 Team ASE Toyota to a second place finish in the Smith's Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race Saturday night at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The defending series champion matched his season-best finish and led for the first time since May at Mansfield before settling for second behind race winner Mike Skinner. "It was great to get up and lead some laps again," Musgrave said. "I think we showed them that we aren't going to give up on this point battle without a fight. I have never finished out of the top three in points since coming to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2001, and I don't want end that streak this year."
Musgrave's strong run comes a week after a disappointing finish at New Hampshire. While frustration set in last week, Musgrave's solid finish at Las Vegas gives the team added momentum on the stretch run. "That definitely took some wind out of our sails last week," Musgrave said. "Had that not happened, we'd be a whole lot closer in the point race. But this is the time of year that I traditionally get going. I have always been a good closer and been able to make up some ground in the points late and that's what we are going to try to do this year."
On a night when race winner Skinner led 114 of the 146 laps, Musgrave was satisfied to come home just 0.309 seconds off the winner's pace. "I had a good run on Mike (Skinner) and was able to get around him on that restart," Musgrave said. "But I think we were the second place truck tonight and saying that against a guy like Mike and the way that truck was, well there is nothing wrong with that at all. He was by far the strongest truck out there tonight but we were close. I can't tell you how good it is to be working with a guy like Rick Gay. We speak the same language and it has really clicked well. I can't wait to get these next races under our belt because I know we're going to have something for them down the stretch."
Musgrave now sits fourth in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship standings. His Germain Racing teammate Todd Bodine continues to lead, now by 91 points over Johnny Benson. Fellow Toyota driver David Reutimann sits third.
Next up for Musgrave and the No. 9 Team ASE Toyota is the Talladega 250, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series' inaugural event at the Talladega Superspeedway. Practice kicks off on Thursday October 5th, while the 36-truck starting field will be set on Friday October 6th at 12:15 pm Eastern. The 94-lap/250-mile race is scheduled for 3:15 pm Eastern and will be televised live on SPEED Channel. Motor Racing Network will carry the live radio call on select affiliates nationwide, while TruckSeries.com will have complete event coverage online at www.truckseries.com.