Ted Musgrave, Team Mopar Phoenix preview

AVONDALE, AZ (October 19, 2001) - Fresh off his sixth win of the 2001 season, Ted Musgrave is red hot as the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series heads to familiar ground for the driver of the No. 1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram. With 11...

AVONDALE, AZ (October 19, 2001) - Fresh off his sixth win of the 2001 season, Ted Musgrave is red hot as the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series heads to familiar ground for the driver of the No. 1 Mopar Performance Parts Dodge Ram. With 11 NASCAR Winston Cup and two NCTS starts at Phoenix International Raceway, the Silverado 150 at the flat, one-mile desert oval is a welcome stop for Musgrave and his Ultra Motorsports teammates. "I've been to Phoenix in a Winston Cup car a bunch of times and I've always been pretty successful," said Musgrave who owns three Top-5 and four Top-10 NWC finishes at PIR. "I actually won a Southwest Tour race my first time out at Phoenix. It's a track I enjoy and this is a great time of the year to be in Phoenix." Although 2001 is Musgrave's first full NCTS season, the Winston Cup veteran has two Truck Series starts at PIR including a fourth-place run in the 1995 GM Goodwrench 200 and a fifth-place effort turned in the following year at the GM Goodwrench 300. "I drove a couple of truck races for Jack Roush in 1995 and 1996," commented the 46-year-old Musgrave. "They were just kind of fill in races, but we managed to finish in the Top-5 both times, so I'm looking forward to going back Phoenix in the Mopar Dodge." With two races remaining on the 2001 schedule, Musgrave is fifth in the NCTS championship standings. While five finishes of 22nd or worse have hampered the Franklin, WI driver's quest for the 2001 Truck Series crown, Musgrave is only one point out of fourth-place and just 50 markers behind teammate Scott Riggs for third. "Realistically we have a chance to break into the Top-3 in points, but not if those two guys keep finishing in my mirror where I'm only gaining five to 10 points per race," explained Musgrave. "It's been the same scenario the last three weeks. The top five guys in the points have been finishing in the Top-5 in the race. We need those guys to have a have a real bad day and me have a good day to really be in a position to gain on them." In the most recent NCTS event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Musgrave qualified his Mopar Dodge 10th, but was forced to drop to the rear of the field after being penalized by NASCAR for making an unapproved, post-qualifying engine change. Musgrave then stormed through the 36-truck field to snatch his sixth checkered flag of the season. "We knew Las Vegas has a very wide groove," said Musgrave. "There's two and three grooves and I was able to do a lot of passing. Starting at the rear of the pack was not any disadvantage with the exception that we knew we wouldn't be able to lead a bunch of laps and collect the five bonus points for leading the most laps. I knew we had a truck that could run in the Top-5, but I didn't think we'd be able to pull off the win. We were able to actually adjust back there and not let the guys in front of us see how fast we were or what was happening. I think we took them by surprise. It was pretty special to win at Las Vegas. I think that was the fifth time I had been there and hadn't been able to win. I haven't won at Phoenix in a long time either, so a win out there would be pretty cool." The Chevy Silverado 150 at Phoenix International Raceway will take the green flag Friday, October 26th at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The 23rd race of the 2001 NCTS tour will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast on MRN Radio worldwide.

-Mopar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Ted Musgrave , Scott Riggs , Jack Roush