MADISON, IL. (April 27, 2001) - Redemption will be the order of the day for Ted Musgrave and his No.1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram as the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series heads to St. Louis for the Ram Tough 200 by Pepsi at Gateway International...
MADISON, IL. (April 27, 2001) - Redemption will be the order of the day for Ted Musgrave and his No.1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram as the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series heads to St. Louis for the Ram Tough 200 by Pepsi at Gateway International Raceway.
At the series' last stop in Martinsville, VA, mechanical difficulties prevented Musgrave from becoming just the fourth driver in NCTS history to win three races in a row. At Gateway, Musgrave will be eager to atone for a 22nd place finish at the short, .526-mile Virginia oval.
"We had some bad luck at Martinsville," explained Musgrave. "Early in the race we had a gear failure, so that pretty much dashed our chances for agood finish. When you finish that far down in the running order, it really motivates you heading into the next race. My goal going into St. Louis is to win the pole, lead the most laps and win the race."
To do that, Musgrave will have to get his Mopar Dodge to handle perfectly on the egg-shaped, 1.25-mile Gateway oval.
"I really like the place," said Musgrave of the St. Louis track. "It's got very distinct corners. Turns one and two are all together different then three and four and St. Louis has long straightaways where youcan make some passes. It's a nice facility and a nice area. It's a great little race track. I'm looking forward to chasing the win in the Mopar Performance Parts Dodge at Gateway."
It's been feast or famine for Musgrave in his inaugural TruckSeries season. The Winston Cup veteran rallied to capture the first of back-to-backwins at Homestead (FL) before devouring the competition at Bakersfield (CA) capturing the pole and winning the OSH 250. The victory also earned Musgravea $10,000 Craftsman bonus for winning the race from the pole position.
On the famine side, mechanical problems translated into 22nd-place finishes at Daytona (FL) and Martinsville.
The Ram Tough 200 won't be Musgrave's first attempt at taming the Gateway oval. Musgrave had a chance to test the waters at Gateway last season piloting the No. 82 Channellock Chevrolet in the CARQUEST Auto Parts 250 Busch Series race.
"I ran the Channellock car for Armando Fitz at St. Louis and that was the first time I'd ever seen the race track," said Musgrave,who started 33rd and finished 17th. "We didn't run too bad and finished pretty good."
Although this will be Musgrave's first NCTS start at Gateway International Raceway, he couldn't be more optimistic about his chances for nabbing his third Truck Series victory in just five races this season. With veteran crew chief Fred Wanke and the"Ultra Bad Boys" calling the shots from pit road, Musgrave feels he's in position to do just that.
"I'm looking forward to running the Mopar PerformanceParts Dodge Ram at St. Louis," Musgrave said. "Being there one time and enjoying the race track, I think I'll like it even more in the truck."
The Ram Tough 200 by Pepsi will take the green flag Sunday, May 6 at 4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The fifth race of the 2001 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast live on MRN Radio worldwide.