Musgrave, Team Mopar Dodge on target to repeat NCTS win at Gateway. MADISON, IL (April 26, 2002) - After sitting on the pole and winning last year's Ram Tough 200 at Gateway International Raceway by a staggering 10.428 seconds, you can't blame...
Musgrave, Team Mopar Dodge on target to repeat NCTS win at Gateway.
MADISON, IL (April 26, 2002) - After sitting on the pole and winning last year's Ram Tough 200 at Gateway International Raceway by a staggering 10.428 seconds, you can't blame Ted Musgrave for looking forward to this year's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series annual stop at the 1.25-mile St. Louis area oval.
"It's a good racetrack," said Musgrave. "It's a driver's type of track. Don't get me wrong - you have to have a good truck or you won't go anywhere - but the guy who knows his way around St. Louis can take a mediocre truck and make it a pretty good one. It's that kind of track where you have to set up the truck so it's more or less at a happy medium. Then the driver has to get the best out of it. If you can get your truck set up really good to get up off the corner, you can make some nice passes down the front straightaway."
Musgrave got the best out of Gateway's distinctly different corners grabbing the third of his division-leading seven victories last season. After winning the pole, Musgrave dominated the event leading 136 of the 160 laps contested.
"There were a couple things that contributed to us being so successful at Gateway last year," explained Musgrave. "We had a good setup on the Mopar
Dodge right off the trailer, but we still worked on our race setup, worked on it all day. Then it started to rain during Happy Hour and a lot of guys never even got on the racetrack. I think that really contributed to us dominating the way we did."
In the most recent NCTS event at Martinsville (VA) Speedway, Musgrave put on a Gateway-like performance blistering the tricky .526-mile Martinsville oval to capture his second Bud Pole of the season. Musgrave then dominated the race leading the first 71 laps before contact with a slower truck sent his Mopar Dodge into the Turn 1 wall. Musgrave recovered and stayed on the lead lap, eventually retaking the top spot before brake failure forced the veteran behind the wall for extensive repairs.
"Martinsville was tough," commented Musgrave, currently second in the NCTS championship chase. "We had the truck to beat until I got caught up with a lapped truck fairly early in the race. That was definitely a tough pill to swallow because I know we had a Mopar Dodge capable of winning the race. We'll just have to put all that behind us and look ahead to Gateway. We've got good notes to go on from there last year, so I'm looking forward to it. It's pretty hard not to look forward to going back to a race where you're the defending champion."
The Ram Tough 200 at Gateway International Raceway will take the green flag Sunday, May 5 at 4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The fourth race of the 2002 NCTS tour will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast on MRN Radio nationwide.
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