Musgrave Third in Talladega Truck Series Debut; 2005 Champ Currently 4th in Championship Standings Talladega, Alabama (October 9, 2006) In one of the most anticipated races in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series history, Ted Musgrave drove the No. 9...
Musgrave Third in Talladega Truck Series Debut; 2005 Champ Currently 4th in Championship Standings
Talladega, Alabama (October 9, 2006) In one of the most anticipated races in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series history, Ted Musgrave drove the No. 9 Team ASE Toyota Tundra to a third-place finish in the John Deere 250, the series inaugural race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Musgrave started the season with a third-place run at Talladega's sister track - Daytona International Speedway - and now has nine top-five finishes in the 2006 season. Musgrave stayed out of trouble throughout the 94-lap event on the newly paved 2.66-mile tri-oval, and was in a position late to score his first win of the year. After his Germain Racing teammate Todd Bodine was assessed a pass-through penalty for going out of bounds to get by eventual race winner Mark Martin, Musgrave took over the top spot on the restart with just four laps remaining. Musgrave tried to make his truck as wide as possible on the backstretch, but the drafting line formed up to his outside and pushed him to the middle of the lead pack.
Once out of the top spot, Musgrave had to deal with a veritable hornets' nest of nearly two-dozen drivers fighting for a top ten position going down the backstretch on the final lap. Contact was made just in front of the defending series champion, sending several trucks into the wall and forcing a caution flag finish. "All I saw were trucks going by me in a hurry on that last lap," Musgrave said, referring to getting hung out of the draft. "Some of them were even going sideways. Things were happening, but to tell you the truth that's not anything you can focus on. You see what's going on, but you need to be concentrating on running your line and making your move. I was focused on my deal and I know there were a bunch of wrecks, but I am just happy it is over."
Musgrave commended the Truck Series drivers for being patient, giving room, and putting on a competitive and clean race for the series' first run at Talladega Superspeedway. "It was a good show other than that last lap deal that wrecked all those trucks back there," Musgrave said. "I think everybody did a fantastic job and kept their heads on their shoulders. There were a lot of three wide out there and everybody did a great job out there. There was a lot of opportunity for it to end up in a big wreck and I know because I was near a lot of it, but to everyone's credit that didn't happen."
Musgrave still sits fourth in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship standings behind Bodine, Johnny Benson, and David Reutimann. Musgrave is unofficially 286 points out of the lead, but has closed to 46 points behind Reutimann for third.
Next up for Musgrave and the No. 9 Team ASE Toyota is the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway. Practice and qualifying will take place on Friday October 20th, with the 200-lap race scheduled for 1:15 P.M. Eastern on Saturday October 21st.