Musgrave, No. 9 Team ASE Toyota Finish 3rd at Bristol Team ASE Toyota Finish 3rdth at Bristol Motor Speedway Musgrave Scores Third Place Finish in Bristol Tussle; Remains 4th in Championship Standings Bristol, Tennessee (August 25, 2006) Ted...
Musgrave, No. 9 Team ASE Toyota Finish 3rd at Bristol
Team ASE Toyota Finish 3rdth at Bristol Motor Speedway Musgrave Scores Third Place Finish in Bristol Tussle; Remains 4th in Championship Standings
Bristol, Tennessee (August 25, 2006) Ted Musgrave opened the 2006 season with six consecutive top five finishes, including back-to-back third-place finishes behind Mark Martin and Germain Racing teammate Todd Bodine at Daytona and California.
After a stretch of mid-season tough luck, Musgrave and the No. 9 Team ASE Toyota are back on track after picking up a third-place finish in the O'Reilly 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. After scoring six straight top-fives to start the year, Musgrave hit a rough patch starting in the seventh race of the season at Mansfield.
From there though round 12 at Kansas, Musgrave could only muster one top-ten finish - a seventh-place effort at Texas. But a strong sixth-place run at Kentucky seemed to get momentum turned around.
After a frustration night in Memphis that resulted in a 19th-place finish, Musgrave and his No. 9 Team ASE Toyota crew have strung together an eighth-place finish at Indianapolis, a fourth-place at Nashville, and now a third-place result at Bristol.
"We came here with new crew chief Rick Gay and the communication seems to be pretty good right off the bat," Musgrave said. "We had a pretty good truck. We just rode around trying to stay out of trouble and be nice to Todd and Mark. Mark had the best truck tonight and Todd and I were right there with him, but I don't think we had anything for him. But that one-two-three finish sure does remind me of how we opened the season at Daytona and California. The truck was pretty tight. We made one little adjustment and had to live with it."
Musgrave's strategy for the night was simple: pit as early as possible and use track position to maintain a spot at the front throughout the race on the tight and tough 0.533-mile Bristol oval.
"The tires are so hard they last forever and you don't have to stop for tires," Musgrave said. "It used to be that in 40 or 50 laps the tires were worn out and if you ran 80 laps you had the cords showing. Some guys would try to run the distance and others would come down and get tires and then blast through the pack and put on a show. We don't have that any more. You do what we did tonight, pit as early as you can and wait for everyone else to pit and gain track position and then hold it to the end. A longer race wouldn't help that situation, but tires that wear out after 50 or 60 laps would."
Musgrave now sits fourth in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship standings behind teammate Todd Bodine, Johnny Benson, and David Reutimann. Musgrave sits 244 points behind leader Bodine, and just 14 points behind Reutimann for third.