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NASCAR Winston Cup Pennsylvania 500 Report -- #16, Ted Musgrave

22 July 1997

 #16 Ted Musgrave, The Family Channel/PRIMESTAR Ford Thunderbird
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 Pennsylvania 500 Race Report
 Pocono Raceway


LONG POND, PA - This had to be one of the most heartbreaking weekends
that the No. 16 team has ever experienced; from Friday on it was clear
that The Family Channel/PRIMESTAR Ford was the car to beat, but due to
a strange bit of something, which has yet to be diagnosed, the team
finished fourth.  Doesn't sound too bad, but it didn't feel very
good. The story:

After qualifying 22nd, the poor showing later attributed to a slow
leak in the engine's vacuum, the team set to work changing the setup
to race trim, and by the end of Happy Hour, Musgrave had posted the
fastest times of the day in his favorite old standby, JR53. Replete
with a newly-tested carburetor and manifold combination fresh from the
testing grounds of Indianapolis, the team geared up for Musgrave's
first Winston Cup victory.

And it seemed like it was going to happen. Armed with a four leaf
clover taped to the dash, Musgrave set off to conquer. He moved from
22nd to 12th by lap 30 (of 200) and was in the top 10 by lap 40. After
the first four-tire pit stop, at 18.5 seconds the fastest the team has
mustered since Darlington last March, Musgrave moved into third behind
Jarrett and J. Gordon, both of whom took on only two tires. From then
on, the race was on. After the first couple of stops, fuel mileage
came into play, as it was clear that Musgrave could in fact go further
than anyone else, with the exception of Ernie Irvan.  What was
questionable, however, was if the mileage was good enough. We decided
to go for it, which led to the 16 team's first ever 15 second
stop-and-go penalty. We needed to be on a 42-lap cycle, which would
have put us on a cycle where we would have had to pit only once more
after that initial stop; unfortunately, we couldn't quite do it, and
Musgrave ran out in turn four of lap 41, and then had to shut the car
off to coast into the pits.  The penalty came about because once shut
off the car had no working tachometer, and Musgrave was found to have
been speeding down pit road. In the end, it didn't make any
difference, as Ernie involved himself with Sterling Marlin's left side
and took himself out of the race, and in the process, forced the
caution that let both Mark Martin back onto the lead lap and the issue
of mileage to end for everybody left in the race. The final pit stop,
we thought, would be the deciding factor, and in fact should have
been.  Musgrave short stopped (he pitted before he actually had to)
before Jarrett, Gordon and J. Burton, and managed to build up a
sizable lead by the time the other contenders pitted and returned to
the track. Right there, with 35 laps to go, we had the race won, armed
with two fresh right-side tires and a full tank of fuel. With 30 laps
to go, our luck had turned, and the car, which had been slightly tight
all day, went uncontrollably loose.

Teammate Burton, to wit, told Ted after the race how he had managed to
drive it at all was beyond him. At this time, the car is still in the
transporter on its way back to Liberty, and so out of reach of
examination. Musgrave was convinced that something broke in the rear
end of the car while Crew Chief Ince, scoring his second Western Auto
Mechanic of the Race award this year, believes that we got an off set
of tires. And so it goes. Musgrave finished fourth behind the 88, 24
and 99, and just in front of Martin, keeping the streak of hot Roush
finishes alive. In fact, in the last seven races, Martin, Burton and
Musgrave, respectively, have scored more points than anyone else.
Musgrave remains in 10th heading, with JR53, into the Brickyard 400 in
two weeks.

By Roush Racing Public Relations