Musgrave, Team Mopar Dodge bewildered at Texas. FT WORTH, TX (September 13, 2002) - With just over 20 laps to go, it appeared Ted Musgrave was well on his way to winning the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Twenty ...
Musgrave, Team Mopar Dodge bewildered at Texas.
FT WORTH, TX (September 13, 2002) - With just over 20 laps to go, it appeared Ted Musgrave was well on his way to winning the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Twenty minutes later, the driver of the No. 1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge was a bit bewildered over his sixth-place finish.
"I've lost a lot of races over the years, but never anything quite like that," said Musgrave. "It's going to take me awhile to figure this one out."
Musgrave toured the 1.5-mile Texas quad-oval in 30.251 seconds (178.506 mph) in qualifying, posting the seventh quickest time of the 35 trucks to take the green flag.
"We worked a lot on our qualifying setup, but it didn't turn out like we had hoped. Our qualifying time was as fast we could run. We ran flat out for two laps, but it wasn't good enough for the front row. We worked really hard to try and get the pole for the race because it's important for us to be out front in clean air. We came up short, but it was still a solid Top-10 starting spot."
Musgrave was powering away from the field and headed toward Victory Lane when the caution flag flew just 13 laps from the finish for oil on the raceway. Musgrave raced past the caution flag but skidded in the oil losing several spots in the process. The nine-time NCTS winner righted his truck and drove back to the front of the field only to have NASCAR officials tell him he needed to fall in line in the fifth position.
"I've always been under the impression you couldn't lose positions under the caution flag, but I guess that's not the case," said Musgrave. "There was a lot of discussion before it was determined we would have to stay in fifth. At that point, we decided to pit and change tires because the ones we had were flat-spotted from the spin. From there, it was an uphill fight."
With just eight laps remaining and Musgrave now in the 10th position, the field took the green flag for the final time. The Franklin, WI native blasted his way back by the competition to finish sixth in a night that should have ended much better.
"I know everyone is disappointed about the way things turned out, but it could have been a lot worse," said Musgrave. "The fact is we actually gained some points on the leader and moved from fourth to third in the standings. There's five races to go and in my mind we are still the team to beat."
Musgrave, now 63 markers out of the lead in the 2002 NCTS championship chase, will next try to cut into that margin when the series travels to South Boston (VA) Speedway Saturday, September 21 for the Hardees 250. The event will take the green flag at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and will be telecast live on ESPN. MRN Radio will also broadcast the event as it happens on more than 400 stations worldwide.