Musgrave Disappointed with 33rd in 2006 Finale; Finishes 6th in 2006 Championship Standings Homestead, Florida (November 21, 2006) Engine Problems Sideline Defending Series Champ - Ted Musgrave finished a disappointing 33rd in the 20065 NASCAR...
Musgrave Disappointed with 33rd in 2006 Finale; Finishes 6th in 2006 Championship Standings
Homestead, Florida (November 21, 2006) Engine Problems Sideline Defending Series Champ - Ted Musgrave finished a disappointing 33rd in the 20065 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season finale at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. For Musgrave, it was also his final race as the defending series champion; he passed the series championship trophy to his Germain Racing teammate Todd Bodine. "We knew that qualifying wasn't going to be that important so we concentrated on race runs in practice and we still qualified in the top ten with the Team ASE Toyota," Musgrave said. "Once the race started, we had a great truck, one that was capable of finishing in the top five. We were just cruising there in the top ten biding our time. We knew we had a couple of pit stops to get through and then make a charge for the end. But just like we've had for it seems like the past two months, something out of our control jumped up and got us.
"At Martinsville we got black flagged. We've had some flat tires get us. We got wrecked at Loudon. Here at Homestead we broke an intake valve, and that did a lot of damage to the rest of the engine. It's the first time we've had any kind of problem with the engine this year. There was nothing wrong with the engine; we just had a valve failure. It was very disappointing to watch the end of the race from the sidelines because we knew we had a chance to get up and finish in the top five and stay in the top five in the points."
Although Musgrave fell to sixth in the final NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship standings, he was still pleased with the overall effort of the No. 9 Team ASE Toyota team. "We've had our up and our downs this year for sure," Musgrave said. "We came out of the box really good, then had our struggles towards the end of the year. We've had races were we didn't really run that well, but the guys all worked their tails off and we learned from it. We know have all of the pieces in place to come out of the box in 2007 and run for wins and a championship. We are disappointed we didn't get to continue our streaks of winning a race every year and finishing in the top three in the points every year since 2001, but we're very encouraged for 2007. On one hand we're glad the year is over so we can get the monkey off our back, but at the same time we wish we had another race to go to this weekend because with the group of guys we have working on our trucks now we know we'd have a chance to win."
Musgrave concluded the 2006 season with ten top-5 finishes and 13 top-10 finishes. He led 155 laps, and completed the year with a 12.2 average finish. He finished the season just 14 points behind Jack Sprague for the sixth position in the standings. Musgrave will celebrate the Germain Racing Team's championship with Bodine and the remainder of the top ten drivers in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship at the series awards banquet on December 10 in Orlando, Florida.
The next on-track action for the No. 9 Team ASE Toyota is the Pre-season Thunder testing session at Daytona International Speedway in January. TruckSeries.com will have complete 2007 test session coverage online at www.truckseries.com.