Ted Musgrave Fontana race report

FONTANA, CA (November 3, 2001) - Ted Musgrave and Team Mopar came from deep in the field overcoming a late race stop for fuel to win the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Auto Club 200 at California Speedway. "It was pretty wild," said...

FONTANA, CA (November 3, 2001) - Ted Musgrave and Team Mopar came from deep in the field overcoming a late race stop for fuel to win the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Auto Club 200 at California Speedway. "It was pretty wild," said Musgrave after scoring his seventh victory of the season. "I really enjoyed myself out there today. It got pretty racy there for a while. We ran high and low, but the Mopar Performance Parts Dodge was really good. The handling package we had on it was awesome. We weren't to worried about the overall speed at the beginning of the race, but the continuation of that was having a truck that was as good at the end of the race as it was at the beginning. That's what we had today." Musgrave started his Mopar Dodge 12th in the 36-truck field. When the green flag dropped, the Franklin, WI native left little doubt he would be one of the trucks to beat rocketing his Mopar Dodge all the way to third by the 13th circuit. Musgrave headed to the attention of the Team Mopar "Ultra Bad Boys" during the first caution on Lap 18. After getting fresh right-side rubber and a full load of fuel, Musgrave returned to the track in sixth position. Musgrave quickly diced his way through traffic and found himself in the runner-up spot by Lap 30. Musgrave again dove onto pit road for left-side tires and fuel just short of the halfway mark of the 100-lap event. Team Mopar crew chief Fred Wanke later opted to pit one more time during the fifth caution period of the race to make sure Musgrave would have enough fuel to make it to the finish. "We had to come in," explained Musgrave. "We weren't sure if we had enough gas to go all the way. All the leaders pitted on the caution before we did and we thought we could go the distance, but as it turned out we weren't sure. Instead of risking running out of fuel and losing the race for sure, we chose to come in on the next caution. We had to restart pretty deep in the field but as it turned out, we made the right call." Now deep in the field in 17th, Musgrave blazed his way through the pack to take over the lead on Lap 82. Following the eighth and final caution of the day, Musgrave rode out a green-white-checkered finish to collect his seventh win of the 2001 NCTS season. The victory earned Musgrave $49,685 and propelled the veteran driver from fourth to second in the final NCTS championship standings. "That was a great win," said Musgrave. "We struggled with the fuel mileage thing, but I still think we made the right decision. This was our seventh win of the season and Ultra Motorsports' 12th of the year. We didn't win the championship, but we don't have anything to hang our heads about. I've had the time of my life this year. We wound up second in the points and I think we can put a pretty serious assault on the championship next year. I can't wait for Daytona in February." The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Championship Awards Banquet will officially ring down the curtain on the 2001 season Thursday, November 8. The event, which will be held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Miami, FL will begin with a reception at 6 p.m. with dinner and the awards ceremony to follow at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

-Mopar-

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Series NASCAR-TRUCK