Phoenix: Ted Musgrave race summary

AVONDALE, AZ (November 8, 2002) - Ted Musgrave and his Mopar Dodge narrowly missed winning two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races in a row finishing second in the Chevy Silverado at Phoenix International Raceway Friday. Musgrave battled Kevin...

AVONDALE, AZ (November 8, 2002) - Ted Musgrave and his Mopar Dodge narrowly missed winning two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races in a row finishing second in the Chevy Silverado at Phoenix International Raceway Friday.

Musgrave battled Kevin Harvick for the lead throughout the last half of the race, which came down to a two-lap shootout after a late-race caution flag. Despite his best efforts, Musgrave couldn't get around Harvick on the two-lap dash to the finish settling for second place by less than a truck length at the checkered flag.

"We did all we could to pass Kevin, but his truck was just as good as mine," said Musgrave. "He could run my line and he knew it. We were down in the bottom groove and the Mopar Dodge pushed a little bit when I was behind him. I could keep up with him, but I just couldn't pass him. I gave him a little shove when we came off Turn 4 and I almost had him at the line, but we came up about three feet short."

On Thursday, Musgrave toured the one-mile suburban Phoenix oval in 28.432 seconds (126.618 mph), good enough for the 14th quickest time in qualifying.

At the drop of the green flag Friday, Musgrave held the 14th position before pitting on Lap 25 following the first caution flag of the day.

"The guys did a great job in the pits," said Musgrave. "We changed the sway bar, springs and four shocks in Happy Hour. On our first pit stop, we dropped the track bar a little bit and that's the only adjustment we made all day."

Back on track in the 23rd spot, Musgrave wasted little time making a charge toward the front advancing all the way to third place before making his final pit stop of the day.

From there on out, Musgrave stayed glued to Harvick's tailgate before the third and final caution flag flew setting up a two-lap shootout to decide the 151-lap event.

"On the restart, I called my spotter, Eddie Thrap, and told him to get a hold of the No. 14 spotter and remind Rick (Crawford) that we're racing for points and not to do anything that could jeopardize our positions. Rick is a smart driver and he didn't do anything that he shouldn't have, so I knew we'd have a nice race at the end."

The runner-up finish earned Musgrave $27,260 in prize money and narrowed the gap between the veteran driver and NCTS points leader Mike Bliss to 71 markers with only one event remaining.

The Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway will take the green flag Friday, November 15 at 3:15 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The 22nd and final race of the 2002 NCTS tour will air at 3:30 Eastern on espn2 and broadcast live on MRN Radio nationwide.

-mopar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Ted Musgrave , Mike Bliss