Musgrave, Team Mopar Set For Windy City Success CICERO, IL (August 12, 2001) - Not very often does a driver with as much experience as Ted Musgrave come to a racetrack without having ever logged a single lap. As the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series...
Musgrave, Team Mopar Set For Windy City Success
CICERO, IL (August 12, 2001) - Not very often does a driver with as much experience as Ted Musgrave come to a racetrack without having ever logged a single lap. As the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series heads to the Chicago Motor Speedway for the second running of the Sears Craftsman 175, Musgrave, driver of the No. 1 Mopar Performance Dodge Ram, will be a rookie on the flat, one-mile Windy City oval.
"The biggest thing I know about the Chicago Motor Speedway is what I've seen on TV," said Musgrave. "I've never been there, although I'm going to go there on Thursday for a Craftsman get together day and that will give me a chance to walk the racetrack and get a view of it before we actually get on the track for competition."
So far this season, Musgrave and Team Mopar continue to prove to be one of the stellar packages in the NCTS garage. In 16 races Musgrave has only finished outside the Top-10 on five occasions. Flanked by a solid 6.3 qualifying average Musgrave and crew chief Fred Wanke continue to set the bar high for their NCTS counterparts. Although Musgrave has no experience at Chicago, Wanke won last year's inaugural Chicago race with driver Joe Ruttman from the pole position.
"Fred won from the pole with Ruttman last year, so I know we should have a good set-up going in," said Musgrave. "I'm sure the set-up Fred ran with Joe will be in the truck when we leave the shop, so I'm pretty confident we'll be in good shape. From what I know the racetrack is flat and wide so there will be some shifting and a lot of braking going on. As far as I know there's really no tricky spots, so I think it's going to be a pretty good racetrack for myself."
Last week at the brand-new Nashville Superspeedway, Musgrave rolled of 3rd in the 31-truck field and brought home another solid runner-up finish, the former Illinois resident's 10th Top-5 of the season. Although Musgrave is six in Craftsman Truck Series points with eight races to go, only 160 markers separate him from point leader Joe Ruttman.
"I don't see the fight for the Truck Series title being anywhere near decided," said Musgrave. "We had a fantastic run last week at Nashville. The Mopar Dodge was pretty loose at the beginning of the race, but Fred and the boys worked real hard in the pits and the truck kept getting better and better. At the end of the race we were coming on strong, but a couple of lap trucks slowed me down and I never had a good shot at Scott (Riggs). Last week was exactly the type of run we needed to be in position to make this points chase interesting. The Top-6 trucks are all 160 points within the leader, so the last eight races of the season are going to be a lot of fun."
"I'm really excited to go and race in Chicago," continued Musgrave. "Basically I grew up about 40 minutes north of the city and my mom still lives in northern Illinois. I think a lot of my family and friends will come out for the race, so it would really be nice to get another win in front of everybody and all the people from Sears and Craftsman. Not only will this race be sort of a homecoming for me, but it's also a homecoming for the Craftsman Truck Series. This is their hometown so I'm going to do my best to put on a good show for everyone in the grandstands and try and pick up another win for Mopar and our supporters at Craftsman."
The Sears Craftsman 175 at Chicago Motor Speedway will take the green flag Saturday, August 18 at 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The 17th race of the 2001 NCTS tour will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast on MRN Radio worldwide.
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