Kahne Makes it Two in a Row
Cup Rookie Makes History With Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge at Homestead
MOORESVILLE, NC (November 19, 2004)-Kasey Kahne made his second NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series as special as his first, and made history at the same time by winning the Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday afternoon. Kahne, driving the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge, became the first driver to win in his first two NCTS starts with a 1.016 second win over his Ultra Motorsports teammate Ted Musgrave.
"It was a great run," Kahne said following the event. "The Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge was really good. This Ultra Motorsports team has given me a great truck for both races. To go two for two - one win at Darlington and here at Homestead - is pretty awesome. We made some changes on that first stop. At the start, we were wanting to get it rolling. The truck was better on used tires there. It was pretty fun being back there in the pack with all of those other trucks. It was a good time. We just kept getting better and better and worked our way up and had great pit strategy to get us up to the front. We needed to be there. I think if Ted would have started in the front of that final restart he would have won too. They had a great race truck also."
Kahne started in the 13th position but quickly picked off five spots in the first 10 laps of the event. Caution flags fell early and often during the first half of the race, delaying Kahne's surge to the lead. He eventually took the lead for the first time on lap 79 and almost never relinquished it after that. In all Kahne led 54 of the 134 laps competed. In the end it was his teammate Musgrave who posed the most serious threat to Kahne's historic two for two NCTS run.
"We just had to keep running hard," Kahne said. "The truck wasn't as good in a way. The sun went down and there was a ton of grip on the track. We just kept running hard, and I would've had to spin out or something for him to pass us at that point. It was pretty nice to drive such a good handling truck."
"Kasey was really good, you know, and I was trying to chase him down but we got a little tight," Musgrave said. "We just experimented with a setup and we were just a little bit off. But, Ultra Motorsports came back with the two top Dodges again, so that's pretty good. The Mopar team came on strong at the end of the season. We were just a flat tire away from a championship again."
Bobby Hamilton clinched the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship with his 16th place finish. Hamilton bested Dennis Setzer by a scant 46 markers to procure the first NCTS crown for Dodge. Musgrave's finish allowed him to secure the third spot in the NCTS standings.
"It's cool that Bobby Hamilton was able to win the championship for Dodge," Kahne said. "Dodge won the manufacturers championship. It was a great year for Dodge. That was a lot of fun. We were better on long runs but we were good on short runs too. The guys on this Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge did a great job. They gave me great pit stops again today."