Musgrave to drive Caterpillar Chevrolet at Richmond RICHMOND, Va. (Sept. 7, 1998) Ted Musgrave will drive the No. 96 Caterpillar Chevrolet in Saturday night's Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400 at Richmond International Raceway, team owner Buz...
Musgrave to drive Caterpillar Chevrolet at Richmond
RICHMOND, Va. (Sept. 7, 1998) Ted Musgrave will drive the No. 96 Caterpillar Chevrolet in Saturday night's Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400 at Richmond International Raceway, team owner Buz McCall confirmed in an announcement Monday morning.
Musgrave, 42, is one of the top drivers available for the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup season, after he was released by team owner Jack Roush earlier this season from the Roush's No. 16 PRIMESTAR Ford after nearly a five-year relationship. Musgrave, a native of Franklin, Wis., hopes to make his 239th career NASCAR Winston Cup start at Richmond in the Exide 400.
"We've been doing everything we can do with this race team," McCall said. "Everything we've done is to make our team better, to make Caterpillar, Siemens and our other sponsors proud of us, and to continually improve.
"When Ted Musgrave became available for the Richmond race, it was a great opportunity for us. He has a really good history at that race track and a really good history as a driver. We're looking forward to working with him over this weekend, and we hope to have a great couple of days with him."
McCall had used several drivers, including Hut Stricklin and Ron Fellows, since releasing driver David Green in June.
Musgrave has enjoyed considerable success at Richmond. He finished ninth in this race a year ago, coming back from a 38th place starting position. The Caterpillar Chevrolet team qualified eighth for that race. Musgrave's best Richmond finish, third place, came in the 1996 Pontiac Excitement 400.
The Caterpillar Chevrolet is fielded by McCall's American Equipment Racing of Charlotte, N.C., with crew chief Sammy Johns.
"I'm looking forward to driving the Caterpillar Chevrolet for Buz McCall this weekend," Musgrave said. "It's been a long time since I drove a Chevrolet and I'm kind of anxious to see if everything I've heard about them is the truth. I know they have some pretty good equipment and I know Sammy Johns knows his stuff. Hopefully we can show them a few things this weekend.
"I like to think Richmond is one of my better tracks. I grew up on the short tracks, that's where my career started. I guess I'm like almost all of the guys in the sport in that respect. You have to learn somewhere and I guess just about everybody started with the short tracks.
"Richmond isn't exactly like 'going back to my roots.' I don't know of anyone who started out with a street stock in front of 100,00 people on a smooth as glass, wide three-quarters mile. When you think back, you think about beat up pavement and beat up race cars banging each other left and right for 20 laps and hoping to win $25 and a trophy. Still, the experience from those days carries over to these days for just about everybody too.
"I don't think it's the 'grassroots' things that makes the short track night races so popular. It's the tight, hard, rubbing-type racing that gets a hundred thousand people to stand up for an entire race and that makes televisions all over the country to snap on. These races are popular because they're good races, and I think all of us are pretty proud to be part of that.
"We're going to do everything we can do to get this Caterpillar Chevrolet going this weekend. It will take a little time for us to get everything right and to get comfortable, but I feel sure we can do that pretty quickly. I guess we're not going to have much choice in that regard anyway. We have a few hours of practice Friday afternoon and then qualify in the evening. We know the track's going to change some and tighten up some, so we'll go from that knowledge and see what we need to do to adjust."
"I'm looking forward to this opportunity," said Musgrave, who has driven for team owners Travis Carter and Bud Moore since leaving the Roush car after the Bud at The Glen in early August. "I guess I'm sort of the Hertz guy in racing right now. That's sure better than 'not exactly.' Remember that old television show? I ought to get me some cards made, 'Have steering wheel, will travel.'
"I just want to race. This is what I love to do and this is all I've ever wanted to do. I'm looking forward to a big weekend at Richmond."
Source: NASCAR Online