NAZARETH, PA (August 20, 2001) - Ted Musgrave will trade his veteran status for a rookie stripe when the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rolls into the Nazareth Speedway for the Chevrolet Silverado 200. One of the most unique venues the Truck Series...
NAZARETH, PA (August 20, 2001) - Ted Musgrave will trade his veteran status for a rookie stripe when the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rolls into the Nazareth Speedway for the Chevrolet Silverado 200. One of the most unique venues the Truck Series offers, Nazareth Speedway will present the driver of the No. 1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram with one of the most formidable challenges on this year's 24-race tour.
"Nazareth, now there's a racetrack that's going to be tricky," said Musgrave of the one-mile triangular shaped oval. "I've never raced there before, but from what I'm hearing, laps and seat time will be the key to a successful afternoon. The biggest thing for me is going to be time on the racetrack. Fortunately, there's a manufacturer's test at Nazareth Friday, so we'll have a full day of testing before we the track opens for competition."
Considered a cross between a traditional oval and a road course, the eastern Pennsylvania circuit not only presents a tall task to Musgrave, but Team Mopar crew chief Fred Wanke will have to be on top of his game for the 200-lap event. While Musgrave has yet to log a lap at Nazareth, Wanke knows what it takes to run up front having finished fourth there with driver Rich Bickle in 1997 before guiding Joe Ruttman to the pole and a runner-up effort in last year's thatlook.com 200.
"I don't really do all that much differently to prepare for Nazareth, with a couple of exceptions," explained Wanke. "There's going to be a lot of shifting and a lot of braking, so those are two things that we need to be careful with. Basically I'll set the Mopar Dodge up for a flat, one-mile like Milwaukee, Loudon or Chicago. We won earlier this year at Milwaukee and I ran very well with Joe Ruttman last year at Nazareth, so we should be in good shape. I know Ted's never been there before, but he catches on quickly."
So far this season, the Musgrave/Wanke Ultra Motorsports duo has combined for two poles and four wins. With seven races remaining on the 2001 Truck Series schedule, Musgrave sits solidly in sixth-place in the NCTS championship chase, 157 markers behind leader and teammate Scott Riggs.
Last week at Chicago, Musgrave and Wanke notched another solid Top-10 run, finishing seventh in the Sears Craftsman 175 at the Chicago Motor Speedway. After qualifying fourth in the 36-truck field, Musgrave charged to the front and led a good portion of the event. Only a couple of miscues on pit road prevented Musgrave from making the hard left turn into Victory Lane at the conclusion of the race.
"We were the class of the field at Chicago," said Musgrave. "Once we got out front, we checked out. But, we had a little trouble on the first round of pit stops and got shuffled back a little and could never make up the track position we needed to get back out front. That was a shame, because I know the Mopar Dodge was capable of winning the race. We still finished seventh, so that was a good points run. We'll get our pit stops worked out this week at the shop and be ready for another win a Nazareth. I really feel good about our chances. We're taking the same truck we ran last week at Chicago, so we'll be in good shape."
The Chevrolet Silverado 200 at Nazareth Speedway will take the green flag Sunday, August 26 at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The 18th race of the 2001 NCTS tour will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast on MRN Radio worldwide.
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