Musgrave Scores Second at Gateway; Stands Second in Championship Standings Madison, Illinois (May 1, 2006) Ted Musgrave's weekend at Gateway International Raceway was full of seconds: he started the No. 9 Team ASE Toyota in second, finished ...
Musgrave Scores Second at Gateway; Stands Second in Championship Standings
Madison, Illinois (May 1, 2006) Ted Musgrave's weekend at Gateway International Raceway was full of seconds: he started the No. 9 Team ASE Toyota in second, finished second, and following the race sits second in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point standings after the Dodge Ram Tough 200.
Defending series champion Musgrave followed his Germain Racing teammate Todd Bodine across the line, missing his second consecutive Gateway victory by less than a half second - or about two truck lengths. While Musgrave wanted to score his third overall series victory at the 1.25-mile oval on the banks of the Mississippi River, he was happy to give his new owners a 1-2 finish.
"I really wanted to get that third win here, but if we had to finish second to someone I am really glad it's Todd and we can give the Germain Racing team a great 1-2 finish," Musgrave said. "If that was anyone other than my teammate I would have been a little more aggressive, but Todd's never raced me that way and it doesn't do any good for the team to race that way."
Musgrave started outside the front row after the field was set by the NASCAR rule book due to rain. At the drop of the green, he got the jump going into one and led the first 28 laps. After dropping through the field due to divergent pit stop strategies - much of the field pitted on a lap 31 caution while Musgrave pitted during the competition caution on lap 46 - he was able to knife his way through the field back to the top five by lap 100.
Musgrave came back to pit road for service on a lap 106 caution, and the Germain Racing charge to the front was on from there. Using several cautions to keep the gap between him and the front of the pack to a minimum, Musgrave also used a quick truck to make up time on the track.
Once up to third with 20 laps to go, Musgrave and Bodine erased a nearly three second deficit to leader David Reutimann and sat on his tailgate when the 12th of 13 cautions fell on lap 144. On the restart, Bodine and Musgrave powered around the outside into three and drove off into the distance to pick up Germain Racing's first ever 1-2 finish.
"They put a sealer on the turns and that really helped making passes in the high groove," Musgrave said. "In years past, you would get hung out there and just hang on as everyone went by you on the inside. We were able to use the outside to make a lot of passes here today. It didn't hurt that Tom Ackerman and the guys gave me just an incredibly fast truck, too."
Musgrave sits second in the championship standings, just 12 behind Bodine. With just five races into the 2006 season, Musgrave said it's not too early to start counting points. "We want to win races, but we aren't going to do anything silly to give up points," Musgrave said. "It's never too early to keep that in mind. But if you go out and get the maximum amount of points every week, it will take care of itself."
Next stop for Musgrave and the No. 9 Team ASE Toyota team will be the Quaker Steak and Lube 200 at Lowe's Motor Speedway on May 19.