Musgrave, Team Mopar Gear Up For New Hampshire LOUDON, NH (July 14, 2001) - When you have four wins and two poles in just 13 races, you have to like the odds of having additional success. When your most recent win came at a flat one-mile ...
Musgrave, Team Mopar Gear Up For New Hampshire
LOUDON, NH (July 14, 2001) - When you have four wins and two poles in just 13 races, you have to like the odds of having additional success. When your most recent win came at a flat one-mile oval, similar to the one your next race is on, the odds seem even better.
That's what Ted Musgrave and his No.1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge will be facing when the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rolls into New Hampshire International Speedway for New England 200 this weekend.
"I've had some good finishes at Loudon in the past," said Musgrave, who won at The Milwaukee (WI) Mile June 30, a track very similar to the NHIS layout. "Of course, I've never been to New Hampshire in a truck, but it's a flat one-mile racetrack and it resembles Milwaukee in a lot of ways. You carry so much speed on the long straightaways, you really need to slow it down good to make it through the corner. From an aerial view the corners look the same, but you have to drive them a lot differently."
At Milwaukee, Musgrave ran in the Top-3 all day and came away with the win. Because Milwaukee is close to the configuration of NHIS, Musgrave will rely on just about the same set-up in his effort to head for Victory Lane at Loudon.
"I'll probably start somewhere close to what we ran at Milwaukee," explained Musgrave. "I believe we'll try our Milwaukee set-up right off the bat and go from there. Now that I've driven a truck at Milwaukee, I'll be able to relate that back to New Hampshire and I think that will be a good place to start."
As in any race, track position will be critical, but on Loudon's one groove "Magic Mile" a good starting spot will be key. For Musgrave, keeping his Mopar Dodge at or near the front of the field will be the deciding factor in his quest for another NCTS win.
"Qualifying is usually a pretty good thrill," said Musgrave. "In practice you can be the fastest guy on the board and all of a sudden you qualify 14th. We'll have to see if we can dodge that bullet. Track position is going to be very crucial, especially toward the end of the race. You need to be up near the front. New Hampshire is the type of track where if you like it and get a good set-up, it's there for the taking. On the other hand, it's easy miss it and if you miss it, you're going to have a long day."
Last week at Kentucky Speedway Musgrave started fourth in the 36-truck field and a victory seemed certain for the Winston Cup veteran. Unfortunately, Musgrave was caught up in a late race wreck, foiling has chances for his fifth win of the season. Extensive damage brought Musgrave's night to an end 34 laps from the finish, dropping the Franklin, WI native to sixth in the NCTS championship chase, 176 markers out of the top spot.
"That was a shame," explained Musgrave. "We had the dominant truck all night, but we got caught up in a mess with a lap truck and destroyed my favorite Mopar Dodge. That was the same truck we won with at Milwaukee and I knew it would have been real good at New Hampshire. We've got another good truck back at the shop so we'll have to take that one up to Loudon and shoot for our fifth win there."
The New England 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway will take the green flag Saturday, July 21 at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The 14th race of the 24-event NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast by MRN Radio worldwide.
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