Musgrave, Team Mopar Dodge take NCTS points lead at Milwaukee. WEST ALLIS, WI (June 29, 2002) - A hard-fought, fifth-place finish in the GNC Live Well 200 at the Milwaukee Mile earned Ted Musgrave the lead in the 2002 NASCAR Craftsman Truck...
Musgrave, Team Mopar Dodge take NCTS points lead at Milwaukee.
WEST ALLIS, WI (June 29, 2002) - A hard-fought, fifth-place finish in the GNC Live Well 200 at the Milwaukee Mile earned Ted Musgrave the lead in the 2002 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point standings.
"It was a fairly solid run, but I think we had a little better then a fifth-place truck," commented Musgrave. "We had some trouble on pit road and later on in the race the Mopar Dodge started to overheat. I don't think we had anything for Terry (race winner Terry Cook), but as the run would go on, we started to stabilize and our laps we as quick as the leader. Unfortunately, we were too far back on the last restart to catch the guys ahead of us. We got the points lead back, so we're pretty happy about that."
Musgrave proved he'd be a threat to back up his Milwaukee NCTS victory from a year ago qualifying his No. 1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge second in the 36-truck field in a time of 30.111 seconds (119.558 mph).
"It wasn't the greatest lap, but we still sat on the outside pole," explained Musgrave. "Track position at Milwaukee is so important, so it was crucial for us to start up front. We ran a truck this weekend that was one of Scott Riggs' from last year, so there must be a little magic left in it. We tested a different truck all day Thursday and finally decided to put it away with about a half hour left in the day. We pulled this one out and it was a lot better."
At the drop of the green flag, Musgrave held the runner-up position until a green flag pit stop on Lap 79. After four fresh tires, a chassis adjustment and a fuel load of fuel, Musgrave returned to the action 23rd as a host of trucks elected not to pit under the caution.
The 2001 NCTS championship runner-up wasted little time working his way back to the front assuming second place by Lap 107. Musgrave held on to the position until the second caution of the day waved some 45 circuits later.
Undaunted by trouble on his ensuing pit stop, Musgrave returned the track 12th in the running order but managed to slice his way back to fifth at the checkered flag.
"We had a little trouble on pit road," said Musgrave. "I think we got held up on the left rear, so that put us back in the pack a little bit. Then the truck started to overheat and I have to admit, I was pretty worried. We got it cooled down and picked up a few more spots. Luckily, we had a caution right at the end of the race and I was able to get by a couple more trucks and finish fifth. All-in-all it was a pretty good day."
The fifth-place effort earned Musgrave $13,350 in prize money and boosted the Franklin, WI driver to the NCTS points lead after eight events. Musgrave heads into the next NCTS event at Kansas Speedway with a four point margin over second-place David Starr.
The O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway will take the green flag Saturday, July 6 at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The ninth race of the 2002 NCTS tour will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast on MRN radio nationwide.