Madison: Dodge Motorsports race remarks

Sunday, May 5, 2002 Gateway Int'l Raceway - St. Louis, MO Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers Ram Tough 200 Race Results TED MUSGRAVE (No. 1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram) NOTE: Musgrave was the fastest qualifying Dodge Ram (Third - 34.775 ...

Sunday, May 5, 2002
Gateway Int'l Raceway - St. Louis, MO
Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers Ram Tough 200 Race Results

TED MUSGRAVE (No. 1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram)

NOTE: Musgrave was the fastest qualifying Dodge Ram (Third - 34.775 sec, 129.403 mph)

"Early on, starting third, we kind of just hung in there knowing that the two front runners up there were pretty strong. Everyone was pretty equal, I just had to keep my head on my shoulders, and then sure enough we picked a few people off and got into second place running behind Dennis Setzer for a while. Dennis' truck was working really good. But I knew sooner or later that mine wasn't going to go away as much as his was going to. Sure enough, I did get him. Once we got the Mopar Dodge up front we were able to run some pretty decent laps.

"Everything was coming fine until the pits came out. We made a pit stop and had some trouble with the right lug nuts coming off or something like that. That put us back a little ways. Even still I went around the No. 29 truck when they dropped the green and got behind the No. 2 Dodge and started making some moves. All of a sudden I started losing power, and it wasn't more than six to eight laps after that she dropped a cylinder. The rest of the day was more or less trying to survive - don't blow it up and make it to the end."

JASON LEFFLER (No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge Ram), started fifth and finished second

"It was a great day for the No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge was awesome right out of the trailer. It was an eventful race - even though it didn't look like it, we had transmission problems. That hurt us. But, it was a good points day for us. Our Dodge handled great. Everything went our way, kind of. Even though we had a bad break with the transmission, we didn't get a yellow. If we had a yellow it would have really hurt us because we wouldn't have been able to go through the gears on the restart."

BRENDAN GAUGHAN (No. 62 NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Ram), started 19th

NOTE: Gaughan was the top rookie of the race - finishing 11th (unofficially)

"Well we've come here in years past and have been tight every time. We came here this weekend and our goal was to not be tight. We accomplished that by staying pretty loose the whole day. But, we'll take the goods and the bads. We gained on a bunch of guys who had bad days. Hopefully we gained a little bit in the points battle. That's the goal each week, to keep narrowing the gap to first place. The NAPA gang had two great pit stops - one of 'em under green. We had no mistakes on our pits, all and all it was a good team effort. We learned a lot and we get to go to Pikes Peak next week with a brand new truck. This truck today ran in Darlington. We've been to Pikes Peak before and we've got a lot of experience there and now we expect to be even better."

BRIAN ROSE (No. 4 Perry Connection Dodge Ram), started 27th and finished eighth

"This feels really good, considering where we started. We had an objective to come here and get a good finish. We needed to run good to keep our position in the points. We needed to get a little bit more respect from some of these other drivers out here. There is a lot of great talent out here and I'm a new face and I need to try and gain their respect. We really struggled after qualifying and happy hour yesterday. Really, the crew just worked really hard last night back at the hotel to make things right. We looked back at our notes from last year and talked about my feel in the truck.

"We had great stops today in the pits. I believe we picked up a position each time we came in. I just can't say enough about everyone, including our new sponsor the Perry Connection. They came on and joined us and were able to get us here to this race. We weren't really sure that we were coming this weekend. So, to be here running was our big dream. To run good and get another top-10 was just huge.

BILL LESTER (No. 8 Dodge Motorsports Dodge Ram) NOTE: Lester was the top-qualifying rookie (12th - 35.309 sec., 127.446 mph)

"Well, just coming out of here in one piece was a just huge accomplishment. It was a big relief, a load off of my shoulders; pretty much every other description like that probably applies. We were good. They told me at one point that we were almost the third fastest truck out on the track. I just tried to keep my rhythm, keep my nose down and focus and concentrate.

"We tried to be patient, and at the same time be aggressive. The most important thing is to keep the fenders on our No. 8 Dodge. Our motto is to finish first, first you've got to finish. So I'm proud of that. I think we kind of miscalculated on our fuel mileage and it kind of dropped us behind. But, I did my best.

CARLOS CONTRERAS (No. 43 Hot Wheels Dodge Ram)

"Every lap I was was watching my crew. I had no radio and no spotter. From lap 45 on I couldn't tell them what was wrong with the truck. It was a tough experience. The track was very slick, but overall I had a good truck."

ANGIE WILSON (No. 81 Dodge Ram), started 30th

"Well, you know, we finished the race. We started 30th and finished 25th, so we gained some spots. This is a hard ballgame and a different ballgame. We need to get some seat time and just keep improving and finishing races. I think by the end of this season we'll start to running a little bit better. I think some of it is a little bit of me, just learning and trying to hang in there.

"This is a fun track to race. My goal right now is to make the races and finish. It's a tough ballgame and we need to get our act together a little bit. I need to get my act together a little bit. That's just going to take some time and experience, and we'll be there."


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Series NASCAR Truck