The Driver Suit Blog-Ted Musgrave-My Favorite Driver to Collect Part 1

musgrave2By David G. Firestone

During a conversation over lunch a few weeks ago, I was asked by a co-worker if I have a favorite driver to collect. My response was “Ted Musgrave” but the longer I thought, the deeper it went. I began to think about why he is my favorite driver to collect, as opposed to Dale Earnhardt Sr. who was my favorite driver to watch on track. From there I began to think about sponsors and teams, and for the next 2 weeks, we will examine these three factors, driver, sponsor and team in depth.

We will start with the driver. Theodore “Ted” Musgrave was born in Waukegan Illinois, which is roughly 28 miles from Evanston where I grew up. Having a hometown driver from your area in the Sprint Cup Series is always a plus. He raced for many years in Wisconsin, and began to drive for the ASA in 1987, winning one event before moving to NASCAR in 1989, where he raced a full Busch Series season. In 1990, he raced 4 Winston Cup events, before joining the series full time in 1991. He would lose the Rookie of the Year award to Bobby Hamilton. He raced for the #55 Jasper Engines machine from 1991-1993, for two different owners.

In 1994 he joined Roush Racing driving the #16 Family Channel Ford Thunderbird. Joining Mark Martin boosted his status immediately. The familiar patriotic red white and blue Thunderbird was an attention getter and he had a number of races that he should have won. In a feature for Winston Cup Illustrated, a number of drivers who hadn’t won a race were featured, and each of these drivers had reasons why they haven’t won as part of the article. For Musgrave, this part of the article read “It’s puzzling.” He had a decent career with Roush, but in 1998, Roush let Musgrave go, and replaced him with Kevin Lepage. After leaving Roush, Musgrave joined NASCAR Hall of Fame owner Bud Moore for two races for Rescue Engine Formula, then bounced aground the Sprint Cup until 2003.

In 2001, he had started driving for the Craftsman Truck Series full-time, and here he found his true calling in NASCAR. From 2001-2010 he won 17 races, had 80 top 5’s and 109 top 10’s. He would win the Truck Series title in 2005, while driving the #1 MOPAR Dodge Ram. That season, he had 1 win, 11 top 5’s, 15 top 10’s as well as an average finish of 9.4 in the 25 races held that year. After that, he raced for 3 more years, but only scored one more win. He retired after 2010.

Now I covered this to some extent in January of 2013, but let’s delve further. I have two Ted Musgrave driver suits, this first one is from 1995.16-musgrave 16-musgraveb

It has the familiar Family Channel motif. 16-musgrave-flogo 16-musgrave-blogo It also has a ROUSH RACING and NASCAR WINSTON CUP SERIES logos.  16-musgrave-rchestNo television logos exist on the arms or legs.16-musgrave-rsleeve1 16-musgrave-releeve2 16-musgrave-lsleeve1 16-musgrave-lsleeve2 16-musgrave-legsAnd that classic name on the chest design that bit the dust shortly thereafter.16-musgrave-lchestFrom 1996, I have this helmet.musgrave1musgrave1

It is clearly from 1996 as Primestar joined the team in 1996, and the design was changed from stars and stripes to red and blue in 1996. musgrave1 musgrave5 musgrave3 musgrave2

Ted has autographed the helmet, though the signature has faded.musgrave6This helmet was also the inspiration for a mini helmet, also released in 1996, which is very accurate.16-musgrave4 16-musgrave7

I also have this suit from 1998, which was designed after Musgrave was released from Roush Racing.15-musgrave 15-musgravebIt has TV logos, though not in the “proper” configuration for NASCAR,15-musgrave-rsleeve2 15-musgrave-lsleeve2 15-musgrave-legsa NASCAR 50th Anniversary logo,15-musgrave-lsleeve1and Ted’s name on the belt.15-musgrave-beltWhen it comes to die casts, I have 4, two from 1996,16-musgrave4 16-musgrave5 16-musgrave6 16-musgrave7 16-musgrave8 16-musgrave9     as well as a 1996 hauler,16-musgrave1 16-musgrave2 16-musgrave3 and a die cast from 1997.16-musgrave10 16-musgrave11 16-musgrave12  This is a large piece of sheet metal from his days with Germain Racing, which Ted has autographed on the side.musgraveMy last two pieces of Ted Musgrave memorabilia are two of the oldest and most cherished pieces in my collection. These two autographed hero cars were given to me from a family friend. She had encountered Ted Musgrave at a party and happened to get these from him directly. I love and treasure these two cards and never get tired of looking at them.musgrave1 musgrave2Next week, we will look at his most well-known sponsor, The Family Channel, but now on to…

Paint Scheme Reviews!

Ryan Newman #31 Kwikset Chevy SS Looks exactly like Kurt Busch’s scheme, and it earns the same A+ grade

Landon Cassill #40 CRC Brakleen Chevy SS I like the color scheme, and the design is good. My only complaint is that it doesn’t clarify that CRC Brakleen is a brake fluid. Still it earns an A

Brian Vickers #55 Treatmyclot.com Toyota Camry A good scheme, and the 55 lettering looks really good here, and the gold is a nice touch. The treatmyclot.com logo works better than the Aarons logo, A+

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