Teddy Says Relax
Ted Musgrave used to walk through NASCAR garages and cringe.
While driving in the top stock car series, he would invariably be asked the same question:
“When are you going to win a race?”
The man formerly known as the best Cup driver to have never won in the series has no such worries now – especially after garnering a stunning seven NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victories in 2001. And after trading in his car for a truck, he has finally claimed a NCTS crown.
With the 2006 season already underway, Musgrave will try to make it two in a row – although his early struggles are never far from his mind.
“Being a short track racer, when you’re growing up and going through the ranks, you had plenty of opportunities to go win championships at your local race track out in the boonies somewhere that nobody had even heard of,” says Musgrave, who had one win in 2005. “What we did living in Illinois and Wisconsin, I’d have to race against people like (Dick) Trickle and Matt Kenseth and all these other guys. You’d run, and if you stayed at that certain race track you may have won the championship, but I elected to go around the country a little bit and run against people in Michigan and Ohio and all around. Just to see how good you are.
“You may be really good in your back yard, but you don’t really know how you’d stand up to the guys around the country.”
Musgrave tried his hand at virtually all forms of competition.
“I went out to Phoenix and ran the Copper Classic,” he says. “We won out there, and we’ve been to the Snowball Derby and won out there. The only one I didn’t actually win, and I regret it a lot, is in Nashville in the All-American 400.
Now in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Musgrave is competing against the best in the world, he says.
He has come close in the past but had yet to snatch the brass ring in the truck series until 2005. He can have more fun now that the championship monkey is off his back.
“It’s kind of a neat mix because we’ve got a lot of veterans from the Cup Series, the Busch Series and also now, mix that in with a lot of fresh, young drivers coming up like Todd Kluever, and it’s a great series,” he says. “After our races, we get to go home and then turn on the TV and watch the Cup race. I put my feet up on the couch and say ‘suckers.’ We’re home, and you’re still racing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s big glory over there, and all the money and all kinds of stuff. But I traded that in four years ago, and I’ll never go back.
“This is much more fun. Over there the pressure is just so high. The pressure’s off. You just keep your mind on racing and have fun.”
Con-Way to sponsor NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team
Con-Way Transportation will be the No. 60 Wyler Racing team’s primary sponsor for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series’ 2006 race season.
The race team is owned by Jeff Wyler, of the Cincinnati-based Jeff Wyler Automotive family of dealerships. The team competed in 15 Craftsman Truck Series events during the 2005 season. Three-time series champion Jack Sprague drives for Wyler. Sprague dominated the fall 2005 Atlanta race leading 45 laps before a last-turn accident spoiled the win. He went on to bring home the team’s best finish at the season finale at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in second place.