MIAMI (March 4, 2001) -- Ted Musgrave and the Mopar Performance Dodge had enough fuel to win Sunday's Florida Dodge Dealers 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway for his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. After battling Jack Sprague and Joe ...
MIAMI (March 4, 2001) -- Ted Musgrave and the Mopar Performance Dodge had enough fuel to win Sunday's Florida Dodge Dealers 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway for his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race.
After battling Jack Sprague and Joe Ruttman for the lead throughout the event, Musgrave gambled on fuel down the stretch, while Sprague pitted for gas and Ruttman's tank ran dry with one lap remaining.
Musgrave became the first Dodge driver to win at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and the sixth different winner of the Florida Dodge Dealers 400. He also became the fifth first-time NASCAR Craftsman Series winner in the event's six-year history.
"That was kind of a chess game there for a while," a veteran of 298 NASCAR Winston Cup races who scored his first NASCAR victory. "Fuel mileage played in a role at the end. Jack (Sprague) was the only one that could run with me. We had enough fuel to get into victory lane, and that's all that counted. Musgrave averaged 118.162 mph, winning by 10.588 seconds over series rookie Travis Kvapil. Sprague finished third, followed by pole winner Scott Riggs and Ricky Hendrick. Rounding out the top 10 were Randy Tolsma, Carlos Contreras, Rick Crawford, Ruttman and Terry Cook. It was the fifth top-five finish in six years for Sprague, who is still seeking his first Miami victory. "It's discouraging," said Sprague, a two-time series champion. "I've had awesome trucks here. There were three of four times I could have won. But I've never won here." Musgrave led 86 of the 167 circuits, leading the race six times. There were 14 lead changes among six drivers, with six cautions for 21 laps. The long accident of the race came on lap 87 when Ricky Sanders tagged the wall after coming together with Ron Hornaday III, with both drivers uninjured.
It was the second widest margin of victory in series history, second only to Sprague's 13.189-second victory over Joe Ruttman at Phoenix on April 20, 1997.
Saturday, James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger teamed to win the Nextel 250 in the Dyson Racing Ford. Second in the Grand-Am Rolex Series race were Banana Joe's Lola drivers Jon Field and Oliver Gavin. The next event at Homestead-Miami Speedway will be the Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami presented by 123.com Americatel. For ticket information, call (305) 230-RACE, or visit www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com.