RICHMOND, VA (August 30, 2001) - Ted Musgrave, driver of the No. 1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram, will complete the NASCAR Winston Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series trifecta when he takes the green flag in the Kroger 200 at Richmond ...
RICHMOND, VA (August 30, 2001) - Ted Musgrave, driver of the No. 1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram, will complete the NASCAR Winston Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series trifecta when he takes the green flag in the Kroger 200 at Richmond International Raceway.
"I've run a bunch of Winston Cup races there and I raced a Busch Series car there once, but never a truck so this will be a new experience for me," explained Musgrave. "Richmond hasn't really changed. There shouldn't be anything that will take us by surprise. I think we'll be in good shape right off the bat."
Musgrave shouldn't have any trouble negotiating the .75-mile Richmond oval. A veteran of 19 career Winston Cup starts, Musgrave collected both 1994 Winston Cup poles and $423,915 in earnings at the Virginia oval. The only difference this time will be Musgrave will be in a truck.
"There are also two grooves at Richmond and that makes for some great racing," said Musgrave. "It's not a one-groove track like we've seen the last couple of weeks. Richmond always produces side-by-side racing which is good for the fans and the competitors. That way when a truck is faster the driver won't get held up by slower traffic, he'll be able to keep moving on."
So far this season, Musgrave and crew chief Fred Wanke have proven to be one of the most potent combinations in the Truck Series garage. In 18 races, Musgrave and Wanke have racked up four wins, two poles, 10 Top-5s and 13 Top-10 finishes. While Musgrave's last win came at The Milwaukee Mile, eight races ago, the Franklin, WI driver feels Richmond is the perfect track to get the Mopar Dodge back in Victory Lane.
"I always have a lot of fun when we go to Richmond," said Musgrave. "It's just a great place to race. The track is fast, wide and it seems like the perfect venue for this type of racing. I don't think you'll see anyone just check out and walk away from the rest of the field like we saw Nazareth. From what I understand, there will be several Winston Cup guys that plan on running the truck race, so all the Truck Series regulars are going to have to step it up a notch so we can beat those guys."
The race for the 2001 NCTS championship continues to heat up with Musgrave solidly in sixth position, just 152 markers behind leader Joe Ruttman. Although the 2001 Truck Series title is Musgrave's ultimate goal, he knows with six races remaining the only way to the top will be to win more races.
"Like the old cliche goes - if you go out and try to win races, the points will come to you," stated Musgrave. "The points race isn't really in our program right now. We don't have to protect points, we just have to go out there and try to win races. It's going to take a lot. In the Truck Series the guys that are running at the top of the points, when they have a bad day, they end up finishing eighth or 10th. It's tougher to gain points here because the guys you're trying to gain on aren't finishing 34th or 36th, so you can't really gain 50 or 60 points at a time. We are going to Richmond to try and win the pole and the race. I'm not going to worry about the points or what's going on in my mirror."
The Kroger 200 at Richmond International Raceway will take the green flag Thursday, September 6 at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The 19th race of the 2001 NCTS tour will be telecast live on ESPN2 and broadcast on MRN Radio worldwide.