Homestead: Hornaday wins race, Bliss the championship

Hornaday wins Ford 200; Bliss celebrates championship. MIAMI, Fla., ¯ (Nov. 15, 2002) -- The Ford 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway belonged to the IWX Motor Freight team. Mike Bliss, driver of the No.

Hornaday wins Ford 200; Bliss celebrates championship.

MIAMI, Fla., ¯ (Nov. 15, 2002) -- The Ford 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway belonged to the IWX Motor Freight team.

Mike Bliss, driver of the No. 16 IWX Motor Freight Chevrolet, locked up the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship by finishing fifth while teammate Ron Hornaday drove the No. 11 IWX Motor Freight Chevrolet to victory.

Hornaday, a two-time Craftsman Truck Series champion, made a return to the series this weekend in a one-race deal for the IWX Motor Freight team, which normally fields only a truck for Bliss.

"What we planned was that we wanted Ron to win the race and for me to win the championship," Bliss said. "We did that. It shows how strong this team is. I'm just fortunate to drive for it.

Hornaday, who held off runner-up finisher Ted Musgrave by 1.796 seconds, captured his first series win since 1999 in Monroe, Wash.

At the start of the season, Bliss and the No. 16 truck hadn't planned on running the full schedule, but owner Steve Coulter continued to fund the team out of his own pocket. On Friday at the 1.5-mile South Florida facility, they became champions.

"I don't want to say we were a bunch of misfits, but nobody wanted to hire us and now this whole team are champions," Bliss said.

Rick Crawford finished seventh in the No. 14 Circle Bar Ford and second in the points, 46 behind Bliss. Musgrave ended up third in points, trailing Bliss by 51.

Ford Championship Weekend Continues on Saturday with the Ford 300 NASCAR Busch Series championship finale. Tickets for the Ford Championship Weekend are available by calling the Homestead-Miami Speedway ticket office at (305) 230-RACE.

-Dis-

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Series NASCAR-TRUCK