LAS VEGAS, NV (October 13, 2002) - With six laps to go, Ted Musgrave was in the driver's seat of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Las Vegas 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Unfortunately, Musgrave's good fortune was short-lived as the Franklin,...
LAS VEGAS, NV (October 13, 2002) - With six laps to go, Ted Musgrave was in the driver's seat of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Las Vegas 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Unfortunately, Musgrave's good fortune was short-lived as the Franklin, WI driver cut down a right front tire relegating him to a disappointing ninth-place finish.
"It wasn't a blister, a manufacturers problem or a wear problem, we just ran over something sharp and the right-front went down on us with five laps to go," explained Musgrave. "That's just kind of the way our luck has been lately. It's certainly not from a lack of effort. We were in really good shape to win this thing for Ultra Motorsports, Dodge and Team Mopar. I guess it just wasn't our day."
In time trials, Musgrave turned in the fifth-fastest time of the 38 trucks attempting to make the 36-truck field, touring the 1.5-mile Las Vegas oval in 33.312 seconds (162.104 mph).
"We ran a race pace in qualifying," explained Musgrave. "We taped up the Mopar Dodge and put air in the tires. We qualified with the same springs, shocks and sway bars we raced with. Sure, we would have like to have won the pole, but fifth is a good starting spot."
At the drop of the green flag, Musgrave wasted little time taking his Mopar Dodge to the front of the field. By lap 11, the nine-time career NCTS winner was second to leader David Starr and grabbed the top spot just 13 circuits later. Musgrave relinquished the point to Mike Bliss nine laps later, before heading to pit road under green flag conditions just past the one-third mark.
After green flag pit stops cycled through, Musgrave was back in second and recaptured the lead with 50 laps remaining. The Midwest short-track ace never fell from the top-two until Lady Luck turned her back on Team Mopar five laps from the checkered flag.
"We were really good, Mike was better, but I wore him down," said Musgrave. "He got his tires hot and I was able to use some strategy and hold him off until the tire went down. We were trying to win a race for the manufacturer's championship and for Team Mopar. We'll just keep trying. We might have fallen out of any realistic shot at winning the points championship, but we'll just keep trying. We'll keep working hard, hold our heads up and try and win in a couple of weeks at California."
The American Racing Wheels 200 at California Speedway will take the green flag Saturday, November 2 at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The 20th race of the 2002 NCTS tour will be broadcast live on MRN Radio nationwide and telecast on a tape-delayed basis, Sunday, November 3 at 5 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.