KANSAS CITY, KS (July 7,2001) - Ted Musgrave overcame a mid-race mechanical problem to drive his Mopar Dodge Ram to a second-place finish in the inaugural O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway. "The Mopar Dodge was pretty good...
KANSAS CITY, KS (July 7,2001) - Ted Musgrave overcame a mid-race mechanical problem to drive his Mopar Dodge Ram to a second-place finish in the inaugural O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway.
"The Mopar Dodge was pretty good today," said Musgrave. "We actually fought a tight truck among other things throughout most of the race. We had a problem we have to work on and it happened during qualifying too and we're not sure what it was. The motor started laying down, like it was boiling the gasoline or whatever, but it wouldn't run."
After starting seventh in the 36-truck field Musgrave quickly worked his way toward the front. By the time the caution flag waved for the second time on Lap 10, Musgrave had roared into the fourth position where the Franklin, WI native remained until he passed eventual race winner Ricky Hendrick on Lap 56.
One circuit later, Musgrave made his way down pit road for a green flag stop taking on right side tires and fuel. His Ultra Motorsports team also made a track bar adjustment to help ease the tight condition. The green flag stop dropped the Winston Cup veteran all the way back to 13th in the running order. Musgrave then quickly recycled his way through the field and was solidly back in the Top-5 running fourth by Lap 70.
Just as things seemed to be going his way, Musgrave headed for pit road on Lap 77 when his Dodge Ram began to miss with an apparent broken valve spring.
"I thought that was it," explained Musgrave. "The truck just started sputtering so we raised the hood, checked all the plug wires and nothing appeared out of the ordinary. I went back out and came in on the next lap for left side tires and fuel and after the green came back out the Mopar Dodge seemed fine.
Now in second place, Musgrave staged a spirited duel with then leader Jack Sprague. Just when it seemed like Musgrave was going to retake the point, his Dodge mount again began to act up.
"I got right on Jack's bumper for about five laps and all of a sudden it started to lay down again," Musgrave stated. "It was the weirdest thing because it happened intermittently. When it did it, the truck wouldn't come back and we were stuck with it for the rest of the day."
Despite the problem, Musgrave was able to coax a runner-up finish out of the wounded truck netting $30,850 in the process. The strong run also kept him fourth in the NCTS championship chase, only two points behind third-place Jack Sprague, and 97 markers behind point leader and Ultra Motorsports teammate Scott Riggs.
"That's what point days are all about," Musgrave said. "To have trouble like we did and still finish second in pretty cool. We need to stay to focused and notch another good finish next week at Kentucky."
The Kroger 225 at Kentucky Speedway will take the green flag Saturday, July 14 at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The 13th race of the 2001 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule will be telecast live by ESPN and broadcast live on MRN Radio worldwide.