Musgrave, Team Mopar Phoenix race report

AVONDALE, AZ (October 26, 2001) - Ted Musgrave overcame an ill-handling Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram and a late race mechanical scare to finish sixth in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Silverado 150 at Phoenix International Raceway. ...

AVONDALE, AZ (October 26, 2001) - Ted Musgrave overcame an ill-handling Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram and a late race mechanical scare to finish sixth in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Silverado 150 at Phoenix International Raceway. "The Mopar Dodge was really loose to start off the race," commented Musgrave. "We fell back to eighth or ninth before we made our initial adjustment and settled down to where we wanted to be and run for awhile. Sometimes we were able to run fairly close to what the leaders were running, but when the tires wore out a little bit we would be three or four tenths off. It was our plan to run this truck and to wind up sixth after everything today wasn't to bad." Musgrave started the 150-lap event from the sixth position, but the loose condition forced the Franklin, WI driver to pit road early following a Lap-15 caution. There, he took on fresh right-side tires, a full load of fuel and a right-front spring rubber. The stop relegated Musgrave back to 20th, but the Winston Cup veteran rallied and sliced his way into 11th by the time the yellow waved again on Lap 58. Musgrave again headed for the pits, this time for left-side tires and an air pressure adjustment. Team Mopar picked up three positions for Musgrave in the pits sending the Ultra Motorsports pilot back to the action in the eighth position . From there on out, Musgrave never dropped out of the Top-10 until a Lap 111 pit stop, again for left side tires and a full load of fuel. "The racetrack changed a bunch between Happy Hour yesterday and the race today," said Musgrave. "It was hotter today then it had been all week, so we really lost a lot of grip. We've had a lot of racetracks where the track kind of came to us, but this time we were chasing it. This was kind of close to what Nazareth was. We needed more downforce, but that's the way it goes sometimes." Back under green, Musgrave restarted 11th, but quickly worked his way back into the Top-10 and by Lap 130, Musgrave was seventh. That's where he stayed until grabbing one more spot after the final caution of the afternoon. "We made the decision early last week to run this truck and save our best Mopar Dodge for the last race of the season next week in California," explained Musgrave. "We struggled a little bit here at Phoenix. I thought we had a Top-5 truck, maybe a third or fourth, but we wound up sixth. It was one of those days. It could have been worse. The guys got me in and out of the pits pretty good. We made some adjustments and picked up some positions. All in all it wasn't too bad." The sixth-place finish earned Musgrave $8,725 and gained him one position in the chase for the NCTS championship. "We're taking our best truck to Fontana next week," said Musgrave. "We're fourth in the points and we have a really good shot at working our way into third if we have a good run next week. We're going to need all we can get, but I really enjoy racing at Fontana. It's big, wide and fast, so we'll be in good shape." The Auto Club 200 at California Speedway will take the green flag Saturday, November 3 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The 24th and final race of the 2001 NCTS tour will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast on MRN Radio worldwide.

-Mopar Racing-

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Series NASCAR-TRUCK