As with so many of NASCAR's stars, Ted Musgrave learned to love racing from his father, Elmer Musgrave, who was a top short-track driver in the Midwest. Still, Ted got a relatively late start, not getting in his first race car until he was 18. But it wasn't long before he was known at several Illinois and Wisconsin short tracks. In 1987, Musgrave was named the American Speed Association (ASA) Rookie of the Year after finishing fifth in the series points. In 1990, he made his debut in NASCAR's elite series under unfortunate circumstances. A tragic accident took the life of USAC sprint racer Rich Vogler, who was putting together a run in the top series of NASCAR. Car owner Ray DeWitt had known Musgrave from ASA and ARTGO, so DeWitt asked him to fill in for the rest of the season. Musgrave drove for the Ray DeWitt/D.K. Ulrich team for three years, until Mark Martin, an acquaintance from Musgrave's ASA racing days, pegged him to fill a vacancy on the Roush Racing team. Musgrave left Roush Racing late in 1998 after posting five top-10 finishes and 17 top-20s. His best NWCS points finish in nine full-time seasons was seventh for Roush in 1995. After taking several limited-schedule seasons in Cup racing, Musgrave enjoyed a breakout year in 2001 driving for Ultra Motorsports in the Craftsman Truck Series. In just the second race of the season, and his fifth career start in NCTS, he took his first win in the Florida Dodge Dealers 400K at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He would finish the 2001 campaign with seven wins in 24 starts. In 2003, his team owner, Jim Smith, revealed that Musgrave was battling cancer in the midst of a tight battle for the NCTS title. "We were winning races while he was going to the doctor on Monday getting chemotherapy," Smith said. "I think if anybody's deserving of (this championship), it's Ted Musgrave. They said I'm deserving of it. I think he's equally if not more deserving." Musgrave then tried to put everyone at ease. "The important thing for everyone to know is that I have a very treatable form of cancer and by all indications the treatment that I have received has done what it was designed to do. At this point my cancer seems to be in complete remission."