Musgrave, Team Mopar Gassed About Return To Texas FT WORTH, TX (September 10, 2001) - When the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series made its first stop of the season at the Texas Motor Speedway in June, Ted Musgrave wound up out of gas and out of ...
Musgrave, Team Mopar Gassed About Return To Texas
FT WORTH, TX (September 10, 2001) - When the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series made its first stop of the season at the Texas Motor Speedway in June, Ted Musgrave wound up out of gas and out of luck.
When the series makes its second stop of the year at the newly resurfaced 1.5-mile Ft. Worth oval, Musgrave and his No. 1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram team are gassed about their return to the track that kept them guessing in the spring.
"Gas mileage played a huge role at Texas," said Musgrave. "We had a good truck back in June. The Mopar Dodge ran somewhere in the Top-5 for most of the night, but we made some adjustments and the truck ended up getting worse. I don't think we would have won. We should have finished about sixth and we ran out of gas with about 12 laps to go and ended up 14th. I think we got the fuel issue handled. We worked on some gear ratios and we're going back with a different type of carburetor so we should be in good shape."
Along with his experience in the spring race, Musgrave and Team Mopar participated in a Goodyear tire test two weeks ago, allowing the Franklin, WI driver a few extra laps around the newly repaved surface.
"We're going back to a new racetrack," Musgrave said. "The racing surface is really fast and really smooth. It's going to take a little bit of a different driving style and a little different spring and shock package. Myself along with Rick Crawford and Jack Sprague tested for Goodyear and we all assessed that it's going to be a very fast race. There's not a new lane or a different way to get around. We will still utilize the same groove. It's not higher or lower or something like that. Now you're just flat-footed all the way around and never lift. In the spring you could have the throttle glued to the floorboard for three to five laps, but them you'd have to back off. Unless something changes between when we tested and when we race, we'll be wide open the whole time. It's definitely going to be exciting. The fans are going to see an interesting race, that's for sure. I'm looking forward to going back there because we need to redeem ourselves from that bad finish we had back in June."
At the series' last stop, the Kroger 200 at Richmond International Raceway, Musgrave qualified seventh made his way into the Top-5, briefly swiping the lead from Jack Sprague with three laps to go eventually finishing fourth. Currently fifth in the 2001 championship chase, 152 points behind leader Sprague, Musgrave feels Team Mopar is headed in the right direction - toward Victory Lane.
"What I liked about Richmond is the way the team worked together, commented Musgrave. "We struggled with a loose truck for most of the night. We made some chassis adjustments that weren't to my liking on the first round of stops, so the next time we came in to the pits we changed to Mopar Dodge back to where we started. It took awhile, but the truck came in at the end and we were able to challenge for the win. Another truck got into the side of me and I got washed out of the groove, so I couldn't hang on for the win. To come back and fight for the win after we had struggled the way we did was really important for this team's confidence. We had a bad couple of weeks prior to Richmond. We are going back to Texas feeling pretty darn good."
The Silverado 350 at Texas Motor Speedway will take the green flag Saturday, September 15 at 4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The 20th race of the 2001 NCTS tour will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast on MRN Radio worldwide.
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