Theodore "Ted" Musgrave (born December 18, 1955 in Waukegan, Illinois) is a racecar driver currently competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. He drives the #59 ASE Toyota Tundra for HT Motorsports.
Musgrave's father, Elmer, was a famous short-track racer in the Midwest. Originally from Illinois, Ted moved to Grand Marsh, Wisconsin and began racing at age 18 (a relatively late start for a driver) at short tracks in that state. In 1987 he moved to Franklin and went national to the American Speed Association (ASA) series, where he earned Rookie of the Year honors by finishing fifth in points.
Winston Cup CareerEdit
In 1990, Musgrave was called upon by Winston Cup team owner Ray DeWitt to replace Rich Vogler, who had been killed at a wreck at Salem Speedway. Musgrave had four starts in Cup that year, his best finish being a 22nd at the Checker Auto Parts 500. From 1991 to 1993 he raced the #55 for the DeWitt/Ulrich team. He was runner-up to Bobby Hamilton for Rookie of the Year in 1991 and had twelve top-ten finishes.
In 1992, driving for Dewitt/Ulrich, he led all Winston Cup drivers in laps completed. In 1994, he was hired by Jack Roush to race for Roush Racing in the #16 Family Channel Ford Thunderbird as a teammate with Mark Martin. In his first season, Musgrave had three poles, and finished fifteenth in points. In 1995, Musgrave had a breakout year of sorts, posting 7 top-five finishes (including two second-place finishes) and 13 top-tens. At one point in the season, he was third in Winston Cup points. He slumped late in the season and finished 7th, but most felt his first race win was just around the corner. 1996 turned out to be a disappointment for Musgrave. He usually ran well in most races, but could never find what he needed to get his first win. He had several top-tens early in the season, but once again slumped in the second half and wound up 17th in points. He did, however, win the pole for the final Winston Cup race ever held at North Wilkesboro Speedway.
In 1997 NASCAR Winston Cup Series, Roush vowed to give Musgrave whatever he needed to win his first race. The #16 car now had dual sponsorship from Family Channel and Primestar. Once again, he started off well, and came very close to his first win at Darlington Raceway. Musgrave was running second late in the race and clearly had a faster car than leader Dale Jarrett in the closing laps. At one point, he was side by side with Jarrett, but Jarrett held him off for the win. Critics of Musgrave would say after the race that he should have been more aggressive and bumped Jarrett out of the way to get his first win. Later in the season at Pocono Raceway, Musgrave had a strong car and was running second late in the race with a chance to win when his car went unexpectedly loose. He ended up 4th. Musgrave was in the top 10 in points for most of 1997, but a bad final race at Atlanta caused him to fall to 12th for the year.
In 1998, Musgrave got full sponsorship from Primestar, and was 18th in points when he was suddenly replaced by rookie Kevin Lepage, to the shock of many. There was even some speculation that Musgrave's teammates Mark Martin and Jeff Burton regularly got better equipment than Musgrave and teammates Johnny Benson and Chad Little.
In 1999, Musgrave was signed by Butch Mock Motorsports to run the #75 Remington Arms Ford. Musgrave struggled mightily however, and only put together two top-ten finishes before finally quitting the team after the Pennzoil 400. He began 2000 without a ride, but soon caught on with Joe Bessey Motorsports filling in for the injured Geoffrey Bodine, and ran five races with that team. After a one-race return to the #15, Musgrave finished the year with Team SABCO, driving the #01 for Kenny Irwin Jr., who had died in a practice accident at New Hampshire International Speedway. Musgrave has run seven Cup races since then, six of them with Ultra Motorsports and one for Petty Enterprises.
Craftsman Truck SeriesEdit
Musgrave made his Craftsman Truck Series debut in 1995 at the GM Goodwrench/Delco Battery 200, driving the #61 Ford F-150 for Jack Roush. He started and finished in fourth place. He ran two more races the next year for Roush's #99 truck, and finished fifth at Phoenix. He did not run trucks again until 2001, when he signed to drive the #1 Mopar Dodge Ram for Ultra Motorsports. He won three of out the first five races that year, and had eighteen top-ten finishes, but was unable to catch Jack Sprague for the title. The next two seasons, he had three wins apiece and finished third in both season's points. During the 2003 season, Musgrave announced he had been battling bladder cancer while racing. Ironically, his wife Debi has been diagnosed with leukemia since 2000. Musgrave appeared to be in position to win the Truck championship that year, but in the season-ending Ford 200, Musgrave was penalized for attempting to pass a slower truck low on the final restart past the start/finish line, and surrendered the championship to fellow Wisconsinite Travis Kvapil.
In 2005, Musgrave won just one race, winning from the pole position at Gateway International Raceway as he did also in 2001, but he was able to claim the Craftsman Truck Series title. Musgrave moved on to Germain Racing's #9 Toyota for 2006 with sponsorship from Team ASE after Ultra Motorsports closed the doors following the 2005 season. Musgrave finished sixth in points in 2006, but failed to win a race that season.
In 2006, he was chosen to drive in the International Race Of Champions for the first time. He was the only driver representing the Craftsman Truck Series for the 2006 season. In 2007, Musgrave was parked for one race after hitting Kelly Bires out of anger under a caution at the Milwaukee Mile. He was parked, fined, and docked points, ending any legitimate shot he had to make a run at the championship. Brad Keselowski was named the replacement driver at Memphis Motorsports Park. This marks the first time in Craftsman Truck Series history that a driver has been suspended from a race. Later that season, Musgrave got his first career win for Germain Racing at Texas Motor Speedway, breaking a 66-race winless streak. Despite the one-race suspension, Musgrave finished 7th in the series points, marking seven consecutive top-10 points finishes in the Craftsman Truck Series.
After the conclusion of the 2007 season, Germain Racing announced that they would not renew Musgrave's contract for 2008 season. Musgrave was replaced in the #9 by rookie Justin Marks. He moved to HT Motorsports for 2008, bringing his ASE sponsorship with him to the #59 truck.