St. Petersburg Times
Online: Tech Times
 tampabay.com
Print storySubscribe to the Times

Speed Weeks '04 at Daytona

Keep eye on Toyota, Musgrave

By Wire services
Published February 13, 2004

DAYTONA BEACH - A new era in popular American motorsports history begins tonight when a foreign manufacturer, Toyota, debuts in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

Toyota is coming into the series in a big way. Four of its Tundras will start among the top 12 trucks in the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 at Daytona International Speedway, including defending series champion Travis Kvapil.

Kvapil will start third in the No.24. He won the title after the final race last season when Ted Musgrave was penalized for an illegal pass on a late restart.

Musgrave, who starts 16th in the No.1 Dodge, promised to bring a nasty attitude to the track.

"Next year you're going to see a whole new Ted Musgrave," he said after losing the title. "He's going to be the dirtiest (person) out there on the race track, and you might as well throw the rule book away. I ain't going by it no more."

He repeated that mantra a few weeks ago on the Charlotte motorsports media tour, saying he'd changed the sign on his home race shop from Musgrave Motorsports to Mad Dog.

Terry Cook ended Dodge's stranglehold on poles at Daytona by earning the top starting spot in the No.10 Ford with a qualifying lap of 183.643 mph.

"We had our back against the fence, because we had no provisionals," Cook said. "We had no points, and to come here and sit on the pole, this is big. This is Daytona."

Rookie of the year candidate Chase Montgomery has the outside pole in the No.8 Dodge.

The other Toyotas in the field start eighth, 11th, 12th, 14th, 15th, and 17th among a field of 36.

"I knew we would do well, but not this well," Kvapil said. "Toyota didn't have a lot of time to fine-tune the engine, but they should be very proud of the improvements they made from testing in January."

GOOD NEWS: The new Champ Car World Series is on the verge of winning two battles.

Today, owners Gerald Forsythe, Paul Gentilozzi and Kevin Kalkhoven are expected to close a deal that will put the open-wheel series back on track. They won a bidding war for the former CART series in bankruptcy court two weeks ago.

Next week, the new series probably will announce that Jimmy Vasser will continue racing in the renamed series.

"I'm bullish on Champ Car," Vasser said Thursday night. "I really believe the market has hit bottom, and I'm bullish on the future of Champ Car."

The addition of the former CART champion would give the circuit another name driver, joining the likes of Paul Tracy and Bruno Junqueira - the top two finishers in the standings last year.

The question now is which team will Vasser join.

Speculation has centered on PK Racing, which is owned by Kalkhoven and Craig Pollock.

[Last modified February 13, 2004, 01:45:34]


Arena league

  • Lee holds his own in Tampa

  • Baseball
  • Four indicted for steroids

  • Black History Month
  • Fred McGriff

  • College basketball
  • Charlotte beefs up NCAA case
  • St. John's dismisses any thought of dropping team
  • Women: Sloppy UF stumbles at Mississippi State

  • In brief
  • Surprise! Younger Stadler leads Buick

  • NBA
  • Bulls pass an easy test

  • NHL
  • Panthers extend Pens' woes

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report
  • Racing on the wind

  • Preps
  • Lecanto holds off rival to reach 4A-9 title game
  • Seeding no issue: Ridgewood, Wesley Chapel look evenly matched
  • Blakes presses into title game
  • Cougars survive overtime scare
  • Lakewood, Clearwater in final
  • Warhawks, Pirates to square off again
  • Bulls blow open close game during second half
  • For Springstead, words to win by
  • Freedom finds formula to fell Bartow
  • Gaither controls East Bay
  • Jesuit freezes out Frostproof
  • Jesuit's depth holds off Robinson
  • Lecanto's revenge tastes semi-sweet
  • Mitchell sinks Lake Gibson
  • Pasco's postseason run continues with 5-0 win
  • Record day for Cougars
  • Stanton sheds knee brace, leads Seminole
  • Gulf is young but has depth
  • It's too close to call

  • Racing 2004
  • NASCAR's new day dawns
  • A man of his own
  • A study in contrasts
  • Back where he belongs
  • Century of the Snake
  • Champ Car has new direction, but where?
  • IROC at a glance
  • Montoya's different spin
  • Rolex Sports Car at a glance
  • Stepping out of shadows
  • Weber finds Tampa Bay is crazy about NASCAR
  • 2004 Florida Calendar
  • 2004 track directory
  • A racing dictionary
  • American Le Mans at a glance
  • Area tracks
  • Trans-Am at a glance

  • Speed Weeks '04 at Daytona
  • Junior, in huff, pulls off a win
  • Keep eye on Toyota, Musgrave
  • Rookies race right into school of hard knocks

  • Sports on the Air
  • Remote patrol
  • Rays
  • Clock ticks as Hamilton awaits okay
  • Bucs
  • Back home, in Tampa
  • Bucs think Sapp might slip away
  • Career flourishes despite setbacks
  • Players, past and present, like move
  • Lightning
  • Deficit turns to inspiring win
  • Puck-handling proposal is 'silly'
  •  


    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111