Daring Pass Nets Musgrave, Mopar Dodge Truck Series Win At Darlington DARLINGTON, SC (March 15, 2002) - Ted Musgrave used a daring late- race, three-wide move to assume the lead and roll to a win in the Craftsman Anniversary 200 NASCAR ...
Daring Pass Nets Musgrave, Mopar Dodge Truck Series Win At Darlington
DARLINGTON, SC (March 15, 2002) - Ted Musgrave used a daring late- race, three-wide move to assume the lead and roll to a win in the Craftsman Anniversary 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Darlington Raceway Friday.
"It was do or die at that point, there was no turning back," said a jubilant Musgrave in Victory Lane. "I came into the corner and there was a lapped truck there. Robert (Pressley) went low and I went high. I was bouncing off the wall and Robert was half sideways. Fortunately, I got by and we didn't crash. That's what Truck racing is all about at Darlington."
Musgrave's pass of Pressley capped a big day for the driver of the No. 1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram. After just missing the pole position in qualifying taking the second spot between his Ultra Motorsports teammate, Jason Leffler, Musgrave dominated the early portion of the race on the 1.366-mile Darlington oval.
"We got a good start and Jason got a good start," said Musgrave, who led 38 of the first 60 circuits. "We ran pretty hard. We had to in the beginning of the race because we didn't know what was going to happen. I could see that Jason was really, really fast, but he heated his tires up and I was able to get the lead from him."
A pair of lightning-quick pit stops for fresh rubber and fuel kept Musgrave in the lead throughout the middle stages of the race. Then on Lap 89, contact with a lapped truck caused significant damage to the left front of Musgrave's Dodge changing the complexion of the event.
"There was a lapped truck down on the bottom and he just turned up into me," said Musgrave. "That tore the left front fender off my truck and from that point on, my truck wouldn't turn as good. It was real tight. It would never get back up in the corner and turn back down off the hill. We go a pit stop right after that and the guys worked on it, but there was really nothing they could do because it was all bent in."
The extra time on pit road allowed Pressley to assume the lead when the race went back to green flag conditions on Lap 106. Musgrave then dogged the tailgate of Pressley's Dodge before seeing his opening with just 12 circuits remaining.
"I thought Robert was going to win the race," said Musgrave. "I needed to be up front because my truck needed to get the air on it. When you're up front, you get the clean air and the truck works good. You can turn real well. Running behind Robert with a damaged truck, I just couldn't turn. There was nothing I could do. I had a big aero push, so the only thing I could hope for was to catch him in traffic and make it exciting."
The victory, Musgrave's eighth career Truck Series triumph, earned the veteran Wisconsin driver $39,125 in prize money. It also jumped Musgrave into a tie for the division points lead with Pressley. Both drivers have 360 points two events into the 22-event 2002 season.
Musgrave will try to assume sole possession of the top spot in the championship standings when the series returns to action in Advance Auto Parts 250 at Martinsville (VA) Speedway. The Saturday, April 13 event will take the green flag at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and will be telecast live on ESPN. The event will also be broadcast live worldwide on MRN radio.