Mopar Speed Thursday, February 17, 2005 NCTS "My first thoughts when I heard that I was going to be driving the No. 1 again were ones of relief. It was like, 'oh yeah, we're back.' We're just very pleased to be back in familiar surroundings.
Thursday, February 17, 2005
"My first thoughts when I heard that I was going to be driving the No. 1 again were ones of relief. It was like, 'oh yeah, we're back.' We're just very pleased to be back in familiar surroundings. Everyone knows each other and that combination has been successful for us. It's really exciting to head to Daytona with a comfortable team.
"Three different years the title has come down to the final race. I really hope this can be our year. We've stepped up our program in order to compete with everyone this season. The competition level is really high in the truck series, and we're relying on our tried and true method of consistency to make this season end with a championship."
Ted Musgrave, on his return to the helm of the No. 1 Ultra Motorsports Mopar Dodge Ram and on competing for the 2005 NCTS championship.
Ted Musgrave and the No. 1 Ultra Motorsports Mopar Dodge Ram team will get the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series underway this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. EST, with qualifying for the Florida Dodge Dealers 250. Musgrave will take to the 2.5-mile tri-oval of Daytona International Speedway in an attempt to earn the Bud Pole award for the series' season opener, and position himself for his first win at Daytona on the NCTS circuit.
"At Daytona, it's all about staying out of trouble," Musgrave said. "We're going to try and qualify well, and then sit back and bide our time. You're always waiting for the "big one" to happen, and sometimes it's like weeding your way through land mines in this race. We're going to take it a lap at a time. Being there at the end is what's most important."
In 2004, Musgrave qualified in 16th position and had begun a march to the front of the field when a mulit-truck wreck brought the team's night to an end. He'll look to change his luck this year. Driver introductions are slated to begin at 8 p.m. EST on Friday, with the green flag scheduled to drop on the field at 8:15 p.m. EST.
Live coverage of the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 will begin on Speed Channel at 8 p.m. EST. For more information regarding Musgrave or the NCTS, log on to www.tedmusgrave.com or www.nascar.com.
Francis Piles Up Wins, Hunts for More at Volusia Opener
Steve Francis and the No. 15 team will kick off the 2005 World of Outlaws Stacker 2 Late Model Series championship chase this week at Volusia Speedway Park. Francis, who earned runner-up honors in 2004, is looking to ride the early momentum his team has built as they head into the 34th Annual Speedweeks event on Feb. 17 and 19.
The No. 15 team established itself as a contender early in 2005, as they captured the Early Thaw Championship in January. They then went on to earn the 29th Annual Winternationals Speedweek Championship last week at East Bay Raceway Park. In only 14 starts this year, Francis has earned three victories and 12 top-five finishes.
"Volusia is a little bit bigger racetrack, and it's got a different surface than East Bay does," said Francis. "We're also going to have to get back into the groove of running World of Outlaws Series events, as the format is different and we'll run a heads-up qualifying effort in these shows. But when you get right down to it, it's still dirt track racing, and we're going to work to make sure we're as ready as we can be when racing starts tonight."
The World of Outlaws Stacker 2 Late Model Series is slated to compete at Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 17 and 19. For more info regarding Francis or the World of Outlaws Stacker 2 Late Model Series, log on to www.stevefrancisracing.com or www.woolms.com.
"This season, we're going to focus on improving at the two or three tracks we weren't as strong at last season. I really think that if we can improve our results at those tracks, we'll be in a much better position at the end of the season. Last year, it came down to where we were hurt in the points due to our performance at a few tracks, and other drivers were able to pick up points.
"We're also going to work on our qualifying efforts for this season, which will allow us to start races closer to the front. All in all, I think we've got a great chance in winning the title this year."
Steve Francis, commenting on what his team looks to do differently in their approach to winning the 2005 World of Outlaws Late Model Series title.