Phoenix: Ted Musgrave preview

MOORESVILLE, NC- (October 27, 2003) -Ted Musgrave knows the score. The seasoned NASCAR veteran had hoped to chop a considerable hunk out of Brendan Gaughan's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points lead at Martinsville but came away still trailing by...

MOORESVILLE, NC- (October 27, 2003) -Ted Musgrave knows the score. The seasoned NASCAR veteran had hoped to chop a considerable hunk out of Brendan Gaughan's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points lead at Martinsville but came away still trailing by 69 points. For the driver of the Mopar Dodge it might have been too little but hopefully it's not too late.

"Three points is all we gained and that isn't enough unfortunately," Musgrave said. "We just weren't able to capitalize fully on Brendan's and Travis's misfortunes at Martinsville. The positive side of things is that things did get a little tighter all around. It does look like everything is going to come down to Homestead and that will make it just that much more exciting at the end."

Musgrave is wrapped in a tight NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship battle with Gaughan, Travis Kvapil and Dennis Setzer. With two races left in the NCTS season all the competitors are keenly aware of the sense of urgency. As the circuit heads to Phoenix International Raceway for this Friday's Silverado 150, Musgrave will once gain return to a familiar and prosperous venue.

"I have had good success there and I like the racetrack," Musgrave stated. "I have been fortunate to have good finishes at Phoenix even in Winston Cup and at the Copper Classic. I went out there for a late model race and won that too so I have had really good success there and I like that kind of racetrack. I really don't know if there is a key to getting around Phoenix. It is a short track in one aspect but then it is pretty fast and it is flat and you need grip. Positioning the truck coming off of turn two is very important to get a good run down the backstretch and keeping your speed through there. Grip is at such a premium -- it gets hot, it gets slick and having a lot of patience to work your way into a good rhythm is very important at that track."

As for Musgrave's outlook for what he and his Mopar Dodge team need to accomplish to win the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series crown, it's simple: take care of your own business and let fate take care of the rest.

"We just have to put blinders on and do what we've got to do. Whatever happens to the other teams - misfortunes or good runs or whichever - we can't control their destiny, we can only control ours. We're just going to take the same truck we ran at Phoenix last year, same setup, same spring shocks. We ran really good, almost won the race, and ended up second. We went through all the notes. We're just going to mirror-image that setup and see if it's very competitive this time. That's all we can do - just put blinders on, look straight forward, and run each and every race like we did during the year to get us in this position. Hopefully, that's good enough for the end."

The Silverado 150 is set for October 31st at Phoenix International Raceway. The event will be broadcast live nationally on the Speed Channel and MRN Radio.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Ted Musgrave , Dennis Setzer , Brendan Gaughan , Travis Kvapil