Kahne Wins Ford 200; Hamilton Celebrates Championship
MIAMI, Fla., -- Kasey Kahne held off Ultra Motorsports teammate Ted Musgrave to win Friday's Ford 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Bobby Hamilton finished 16th to clinch the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship.
Kahne edged Musgrave by 1.106 seconds to earn his second straight NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory in his second career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start.
"We just kept getting better and better and worked our way up and had great pit strategy to get us up to the front," said Kahne, who is in his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rookie campaign. "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."
For Hamilton, who serves as both the driver and owner on the No. 4 Square D Dodge, he celebrated his first NASCAR title and the first Craftsman Truck Series championship for Dodge. The last time Dodge won a NASCAR championship was in 1974-75 with Richard Petty in NASCAR's premier series.
Hamilton, who was in a close championship battle with Dennis Setzer and Musgrave, was aware of the points implications throughout the race. "We pretty much knew what was going on," Hamilton said. "If somebody made up a position or five positions, we pretty much knew what we had to do. We had a pretty good truck. We just tried to use our heads out there."
Rounding out the top five in the Ford 200 were David Starr, rookie David Reutimann and Matt Crafton. Rounding out the top five in the championship standings were Setzer, Musgrave, Carl Edwards and Crafton.
Tickets are still available for Saturday's Ford 300 NASCAR Busch Series finale and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Final Practice Happy Hour. To order tickets to Ford Championship Weekend, call (305) 230-RACE or (866) 409-RACE.