Air Ride Technologies' Street Challenge Welcomes NASCAR's Ted Musgrave
Ted Musgrave's love of racing came from watching his father, Elmer Musgrave, who was a top short-track racer in the Midwest. Unlike a lot of NASCAR stars, Ted got a relatively late start in racing-he didn't start driving a race car until he was 18 years old. But it did not take him long before he made his name known around several Illinois and Wisconsin short tracks.
In 1987, Musgrave drove in the American Speed Association (ASA), winning the Rookie of the Year award after finishing fifth in the ASA Driver Championship points.
Ted made his debut in one of NASCAR's elite series in '90. A tragic accident took the life of USAC Sprint Car star Rich Vogler, who was putting together a team to run in a top series of NASCAR. Vogler's car owner, Ray DeWitt, had known Musgrave from his ASA and ARTGO days, and he asked him to fill in for the rest of the season. Musgrave drove for the Ray DeWitt/D.K. Ulrich team from '91 to '94. Then Mark Martin, an acquaintance from Musgrave's ASA racing days, suggested to Jack Roush that Musgrave would be a good choice to fill the vacancy on the Roush Racing No. 16 team in '94. Musgrave left Roush Racing late in '98. His best NNCS points finish in nine full-time seasons was seventh for Roush in '95.
After several limited-schedule seasons in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, Ted joined Ultra Motorsports owner Jim Smith in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. He ran his first full season of competition in the Truck series in 2001. He finished up his '01 campaign as runner-up in the points chase, earning seven wins with 24 starts. In '02, Ted finished up his second full season third in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver points standings.
In '03, his team owner, Jim Smith, revealed Musgrave was battling cancer in the midst of a tight battle for the NCTS title. Through the support of his team, family, friends, and his many loyal fans, Ted beat his battle with cancer and finished the '03 season third in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver points. The following year, he finished the '04 season third in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver points chase. Since '02, Musgrave has finished no less than third place for three consecutive years. Musgrave and the No. 1 Mopar Dodge team captured their first NASCAR Craftsman Series Championship in '05 for owner Jim Smith.
Ultra Motorsports closed its doors before the start of the '06 season. It did not take Musgrave long to find a new home. He joined the Germain Racing Team before the start of the '06 season and is looking to be the first driver to repeat as the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion.
Along with his heavy race schedule, Musgrave also finds time to build hot rods. This year, he'll make time to not only attend, but also take part as a celebrity driver in the annual Air Ride Technologies Street Challenge at Putnam Park. We look forward to inheriting more gray hair riding along with him!