SPARTA, KY (July 14, 2002) - A hard fought night in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Kroger 225 at Kentucky Speedway resulted in a ninth-place finish for Ted Musgrave and his Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram. "The Mopar Dodge was decent ...
SPARTA, KY (July 14, 2002) - A hard fought night in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Kroger 225 at Kentucky Speedway resulted in a ninth-place finish for Ted Musgrave and his Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram.
"The Mopar Dodge was decent tonight, but I don't think anyone had anything for Mike Bliss," commented Musgrave. "We started pretty far back in the field and picked our way through hoping time, cautions and pit stops would bring us back through the pack. The truck handled great, but we just weren't able to reel the leaders back in."
In time trials, Musgrave toured the 1.5-mile northern Kentucky oval in 32.843 seconds (164.419 miles per hour), posting the 14th quickest time of the 45 trucks attempting to make the 36-truck field.
"It's always just the luck of the draw for qualifying," explained Musgrave. "A guy blew up at the end of practice and all of the oil was down in the corner, so everyone had to run through it. The first guys that went out today suffered pretty badly from that. There isn't anything you can do though, you've just got to go, take your lumps and then start from there. There's nothing that the Mopar team did wrong, we just had an early number and had to run through that oil."
While Musgrave started farther back than usual, he still managed his regular solid run working his way into the Top-5 as late as Lap 75 in the 150-circuit contest. Just past Lap 100, Musgrave pitted for the final time taking on four tires and fuel. Now well back in the field, Musgrave could only watch as several competitors pitted for fuel only in the late going allowing them to beat the pit cycle and come back on the track in front of the No. 1 Mopar Dodge.
"A lot of guys short pitted tonight and in hindsight, that was probably the way to go," Musgrave stated. "We felt like we had a Top-5 truck, but ended up with a Top-10."
Musgrave earned $15,825 in prize money and more importantly, held on to the 2002 NCTS point lead by a slim 1,676-1,662 margin of Kentucky race winner Bliss.
Next up for Musgrave and his Mopar Performance Parts Dodge will be the New England 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway. The event will take the green flag Saturday, July 20 at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The 12th race of the 2002 NCTS tour will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast on MRN radio nationwide.