Musgrave, Team Mopar bitten by bad luck at PPIR. FOUNTAIN, CO (May 19, 2002) - A flat right-rear tire was the latest skirmish in Ted Musgrave's recent run of bad luck forcing the driver of the No. 1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram to settle...
Musgrave, Team Mopar bitten by bad luck at PPIR.
FOUNTAIN, CO (May 19, 2002) - A flat right-rear tire was the latest skirmish in Ted Musgrave's recent run of bad luck forcing the driver of the No. 1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram to settle for a 16th-place finish in the Rocky Mountain 200 presented by Dodge NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Pikes Peak International Raceway.
"I'm not sure how it happened or where it came from, but I ran over something on the racetrack and cut down the right rear tire," said Musgrave. "I had to hurry up and get in the pits before the tire really went down and something bad happened. Unfortunately, we had used up our last set of new tires, so we were forced to put on tires that had 75 laps on them. Right there, we were a lap down and racing guys with fresh tires. All we could do was just get to the end of the race and try make the best of a bad situation."
Musgrave started the 200-lap event second and took the lead by the time the field came back to the flagstand to complete the first lap. Musgrave then settled into the second spot behind his Ultra Motorsports teammate Jason Leffler until his first pit stop on Lap 44 following the second caution of the afternoon.
"We started out the race decent," commented Musgrave. "Jason's truck was a little better, but I was able to hold him off for the first couple of laps and get some bonus points. I had to let him go because he had a faster truck and once he got out front, he was pretty stout. Then again, 30 laps into the run, he stabilized and I was able to maintain the speed as him."
Musgrave again snared the lead on the 50th circuit and held down the top spot for the next eight tours around the one-mile PPIR oval. The Franklin, WI native fought a tight handling condition for several laps until pitting for four tires, a full load of fuel and a chassis adjustment on lap 112.
"We made a few adjustments on our last pit stop because the Mopar Dodge seemed to get tighter and tighter, but what was going on was the right-rear tire was going flat," explained Musgrave. "We raised the track bar and did a few things to make the truck rotate better through the center of the corner. That was a good plan until the tire started going down."
Musgrave earned $11,315 for the 16th-place effort and is now fifth in the 2002 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship standings, 41 points out of first place after five events.
Next up for Musgrave and the Mopar Dodge will be a return to the "Monster Mile" at Dover Downs International Speedway.
The MBNA America 200 will take the green flag Friday, May 31 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The event will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast on MRN radio nationwide.