Musgrave, Team Mopar Dodge cap off 2002 with a runner-up finish at Homestead. HOMESTEAD, FL (November 16, 2002) - Ted Musgrave capped of 2002 on a high-note, scoring a second-place finish in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season finale at ...
Musgrave, Team Mopar Dodge cap off 2002 with a runner-up finish at Homestead.
HOMESTEAD, FL (November 16, 2002) - Ted Musgrave capped of 2002 on a high-note, scoring a second-place finish in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season finale at Homestead Miami Speedway Friday.
"We started out in the front row, got the lead right off the bat and led the most laps," commented Musgrave who led a total of 757 laps over the course of 2002. "The Mopar Performance Parts Dodge was good all day long. We were in good shape throughout the whole race. We had a caution late in the race and that really mixed things up. Ron (Hornaday) got out front in clean air and the No. 2 (Jason Leffler) and the No. 14 (Rick Crawford) were battling side by side, so I had to wait for that shake out before I could get by. Unfortunately, by then, Ron had pretty well checked out and we didn't have enough laps to catch him."
In time trials Thursday, Musgrave toured the 1.5-mile South Florida oval in 36.737 seconds (146.991 mph), posting the second-quickest time of the 43 trucks attempting to qualify for 36 starting positions.
"The truck was a little loose in qualifying, but the Mopar team did pretty good," commented Musgrave who posted a stellar 4.77 starting average during 2002. "Even though we didn't get the pole or win the race, this team has been extremely dedicated all year long. I'm really proud of all my guys."
At the drop of the green, Musgrave rocketed his Mopar Dodge past Pole sitter Mike Bliss, snatching the lead by the time the Franklin, WI driver crossed the start/finish line to complete the first lap. Musgrave held down the top spot for the next 44 circuits, prior to heading down pit road under green flag conditions on Lap 55.
Following a four-tire stop, including a full load of fuel along with a chassis adjustment, Musgrave returned to the action and again snagged the lead just seven laps later. The veteran driver again held down the lead, this time for the next 51 tours until pitting again on Lap 112 following the first and only caution flag of the afternoon.
Back under green, now in third, Musgrave fought a spirited battle with teammate Jason Leffler for the second position, but was unable to get back to Hornaday by the time the checkered flag fell on the 200-mile event.
The second place effort earned Musgrave $29,300 in prize money and allowed the veteran driver to wrap up 2002 third in the final NCTS points standings, just five points behind second-place Rick Crawford and 51 markers in the rears of champion Mike Bliss.
"As the championship battle went, we did everything could have possibly done," explained Musgrave. "Mike (Bliss) did what he had to and he and his whole crew did a really good job all year. They hung in there all season and finished a lot of laps and that's what got them all those points. But, I can't say enough about my team either. Each time we raced this year, we ran up front and had a chance to win."
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Championship awards banquet will ring down the curtain on the 2002 season Saturday, November 16 at the Sheraton Bal Harbour Resort in Bal Harbour FL. The event will be telecast on a tape-delayed basis Saturday, December 4 at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.