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NASCAR Winston Cup Series UAW-GM Quality 500 Report: #16, Ted Musgrave

7 October 1997

 #16 Ted Musgrave, Family Channel/Primestar Ford Thunderbird
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 UAW-GM Quality 500 Race Report
 Charlotte Motor Speedway
 October 5, 1997

CONCORD, NC - Musgrave and his team came and conquered their Charlotte
demons. Using JR53, which has seen great action at places like
Fontana, Michigan and Pocono, the team began its sojourn at the
1.5-mile track with a test two weeks before the race. "Ted said after
the May race that he has never, ever had a good feel of the track,"
said Crew Chief Ince. "I made it our mission to give that to him,
knowing that we could probably remedy that by taking a car he likes -
JR53 - and that had done really well on similar tracks and working on
it at Charlotte. We had a good test, and we're hoping we made some

And indeed they did. Musgrave posted several laps in the top 13 or so
during practice, and managed to bring it home with a very respectable
14th place effort on Wednesday night's qualifying session. "We drew so
early (third)," said Musgrave after his lap, "that we would have done
even better had we drawn a late number, but I'm happy. The car was
perfect, absolutely perfect.  We just didn't get the full benefit of
the super cool air that other people did."

The rest of the week proceeded with like results, with the No. 16
improving in every practice. By Sunday, the team felt like it had a
good shot at a great result. A dominant Bobby Labonte took his Pontiac
and lapped most of the field by the first 60 laps, yet Musgrave lost
his only because of a slow pit stop, but was able to get it back, as
the 24 (Jeff Gordon) car did, when fluids from David Green's car
leaked onto the track after his axle fell out of the car. Labonte
spun, and Ted passed him in plenty of time to get his lap back. From
there, he raced as high up as seventh often showing himself to be the
fastest car on the track per the NASCAR monitor, but true to form,
disaster struck once again as a pit stop on lap 228 left the right
rear fender pushed into the tire. Musgrave had to stop again almost
immediately as the smoke from the tire rub dictated that he'd better
come in before it blew.  The team took lefts only, but had to wait for
a stop and go penalty issued for speeding on pit road. The penalty was
an extended one, as every time the team touched the car, the official
would start the watch over. Musgrave lost almost three laps as a
consequence, and dropped to 26th when he returned to the field. He
made up as much as he could, and managed to finish 17th. He remains
ninth in the overall standings. "We have absolutely no luck," yelled
Ince from his perch on the toolbox. "No luck."

By Roush Racing Public Relations