Ted Musgrave: 'It's Going to Be Exciting'
In addition to his vast Winston Cup experience, Musgrave has already logged many laps at the track in the seat of Jim Smith¿s No. 1 Mopar Dodge.
¿Dodge rented the track a couple of times during the past few seasons for testing,¿ Musgrave explained. ¿I¿ve got quite a few laps there in a truck. I can¿t wait to get over there. I think you¿re going to see a really great race because there could be a lot of Winston Cup drivers entering that race.¿
But Musgrave believes the Winston Cup drivers who ¿moonlight¿ in the Hardee¿s 200 will have to make some major mental adjustments.
¿In a truck, you can just about flat-foot the thing all the way around. You can¿t do that in a Winston Cup car. It¿s a totally different feel,¿ Musgrave said. ¿The trucks don¿t run into the corner as quick as a Winston Cup car, but it has decent downforce so you¿re able to hold it wide open through one and two.
¿That¿s a neat deal. I can¿t wait to race at Lowe¿s Motor Speedway because it¿s going to be exciting running two- and three-wide.¿
Living in nearby Troutman, the Hardee¿s 200 also gives Musgrave a little extra time at home to tinker with his collection of vintage cars.
¿I¿ve got a couple of hot rods, a couple of old street rods, but most are classics: 1958 Fords and Buicks, just bone-stock the way they came off the showroom,¿ he said. ¿That¿s my relaxation.
¿I¿ve got a lot of my cars done and I have a lot of parts for the cars that I¿m going to do. After that, I don¿t need any more projects. I¿m running out of time to do too much. If you do too many of them, you¿re going to lose your energy and enthusiasm.
¿I¿m happy right now. I¿m just restoring a ¿56 T-bird for my daughter so when she¿s old enough to drive it¿s ready for her. I¿ve got one more project I want to do. I¿ve got a ¿53 Cadillac hearse,¿ Musgrave continued. ¿I want to restore that to where it¿s got Winston Cup running gear, but in the back it has TVs and coolers and things like that instead of caskets. That¿s just a fun little project I might do later on.¿
But first there are races to be won and competing in the truck series may extend the 47-year-old Musgrave¿s driving career. ¿I want to race for quite a while longer. That's all I've ever done and all I've ever wanted to do,¿ he said. ¿Until I feel that I'm not competitive, I'll keep racing. Right now, I feel just as competitive as I have the past 10 years. There's no sense in giving it up. We're in the truck series, we're winning races and we're running for the championship.
"When I'm not competitive, I'll tell them to put somebody else in the seat. If I don't think I can get the job done, I'll step down, but I don't see that happening any time in the near future.¿
The Hardee¿s 200 and The Winston Pole Night on Friday, May 16, combine to offer one of the most unique nights in American motorsports.
The stars of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and their crews will battle for the top starting positions in the sport¿s annual all-star event¿The Winston. The unique qualifying session includes a pit stop where crews must demonstrate lightning-fast speed and pin-point accuracy. After qualifying, the stars of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series take to the track for 200 miles of bumper-to-tailgate action.
Tickets for the inaugural Hardee¿s 200 and The Winston Pole Night start at just $20 and are available by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.