Nashville: Ted Musgrave race notes

Musgrave, No. 9 Team ASE Toyota Finish 4th at Nashville Superspeedway Musgrave Survives Last Lap Melee to Score Fourth in Nashville; Moves Up to 4th in Championship Standings Lebanon, Tennessee (August 14, 2006) Ted Musgrave wheeled the No. 9...

Musgrave, No. 9 Team ASE Toyota Finish 4th at Nashville Superspeedway

Musgrave Survives Last Lap Melee to Score Fourth in Nashville; Moves Up to 4th in Championship Standings

Lebanon, Tennessee (August 14, 2006) Ted Musgrave wheeled the No. 9 Team ASE Toyota to fourth place in the Toyota Tundra 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Nashville Superspeedway, avoiding a last lap melee that scrambled the field. The defending series champion pointed the nose of his truck to the bottom in turn one and two on the final circuit, missing Todd Bodine and Mike Skinner as they made contact while racing for the lead. Musgrave raced back to the line as the field scrambled behind him to score his seventh top-five finish of the season.

"That is exactly how you have to race," Musgrave said, referring to the action on the last lap. "You take everything possible you can. I saw what was going to happen on that last lap. I laid back, I knew I wasn't going to win, but I knew if I could keep my nose clean I could pick up a couple of positions, and that is exactly what happened."

Musgrave started 17th but quickly started to move his way forward. By lap 30 of the 150-lap event, Musgrave was battling for a top-five position. Cautions early in the race put many teams on divergent pit strategies, and Musgrave came down pit road under caution on lap 37 and dropped back outside the top 20 as many other teams elected to stay out.

More caution flags would limit the number of green flag laps throughout the middle stages of the race, hindering Musgrave's efforts to quickly work his way back towards the front. After his second pit stop on lap 112, Musgrave would have to come from 15th if he had any hopes of continuing his streak of top-five finishes in every NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race run on the 1.33-mile concrete tri-oval. As the laps wound down, Musgrave was able to race his way into the top ten. When Rick Crawford crashed out of third position with just a handful of laps to go, Musgrave was facing his first finish outside the top five.

Musgrave was seventh on the final restart on lap 149, and stayed in that position at the white flag at lap 150, the originally scheduled distance.

But the one extra lap that was needed to get the race finished was exactly what Musgrave needed as the leaders tangled and he was able to gain three positions to finish fourth. "What it is the tires are really bad at that point in the race and everyone is just sliding around," Musgrave said. "I was just trying to keep my nose clean and pick up some points. We messed up some adjustments in the middle of the race and were able to get them back. Coming from the back in the Truck races is awfully hard to do these days."

Next up for Ted Musgrave at the Germain Racing No. 9 Team ASE Toyota is the O'Reilly 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday August 23rd. Practice, qualifying, and the 200-lap race are all scheduled for the same day, with SPEED carrying the race live starting at 9 P.M. Eastern.

-credit: gr

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , Ted Musgrave , Rick Crawford