FORT WORTH, TX (June 8, 2001) - Ted Musgrave and Team Mopar appeared to have a Top-5 finish under wraps only to run out of fuel in the late stages of the O'Reilly Auto Parts 400 at Texas Motor Speedway settling for a 14th-place finish in the ...
FORT WORTH, TX (June 8, 2001) - Ted Musgrave and Team Mopar appeared to have a Top-5 finish under wraps only to run out of fuel in the late stages of the O'Reilly Auto Parts 400 at Texas Motor Speedway settling for a 14th-place finish in the process.
"The Mopar Performance Dodge was really fast at the beginning of the race, but, unfortunately, we fell off quite a bit towards the end," said Musgrave. "We made the wrong call on the last pit stop."
After rain forced qualifying to be canceled, the 36-truck field was set according to 2001 owner points. Musgrave started seventh and quickly marched his way to the front, working his way into second position by Lap 18. After the caution waved on Lap 20, Musgrave pitted for right side tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment.
"We made an adjustment during the first round of pit stops and the truck got a little better, but it still wasn't where we needed it to be," explained Musgrave. "The guys worked super hard all night and the Mopar Dodge was getting better, just not as good as those guys that were up front."
Musgrave steadily made his way to the front and flashed by leader Brendan Gaughn on Lap 74 to snag the top spot until the No.1 Mopar Dodge ran out of fuel heading down the back straightaway on the 87th circuit. Although, Musgrave was able to stay on the lead lap, the Franklin, WI native was never able to work his way back to the front of the pack.
"We ran out of gas down the backstretch, but we were able to stay on the lead lap so it wasn't that big of a deal," explained Musgrave. "But, when the next caution came out about 10 laps later, we pulled a spring rubber out of the left rear and that was the wrong way to go. It just made us tighter and everything went down hill from there."
Despite his truck's handling problems, Musgrave was still solidly in the Top-5 with just a handful of laps to go when his Dodge again ran out of fuel. A quick dash to pit road for gas took Musgrave out of contention for what would have been a well-earned Top-5 finish. The 14th-place effort netted Musgrave $11,715 and kept the Winston Cup veteran solidly in seventh position in NCTS championship points chase.
"I thought we were going to be able to hang onto at least a Top-5 finish, but we ran out of gas again with four laps to go and that's when it counted," said the veteran driver. "We'll just keep our heads up and try and win in two weeks at Memphis."
The Memphis 200 at Memphis (TN) Motorsports Park will take the green flag Saturday, June 23 at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The 10th race of the 2001 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast live on MRN Radio worldwide.