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Camping World Truck Series Brings the Heat to Miami

by Dave Grayson
Thursday, November 19, 2009

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Hornaday-Harvick Action
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will conclude its 2009 season this Friday at the Homestead Miami Speedway for the running of the Ford 200. There won't be any drama regarding the series' championship. Ron Hornaday Jr. settled that issue last week in Phoenix by winning his record setting fourth championship for Kevin Harvick Inc-KHI. Hornaday joins the legendary company of Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt Sr and Jeff Gordon as the only NASCAR drivers who have won four championships.

PRE RACE NOTES OF INTEREST

Just because the series' championship is clinched does not mean there aren't some end of the season issues to resolve. For the first time in 15 years the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Owner's Championship is going down to the final race before a winner is declared.

Kevin Harvick Inc, with DeLana Harvick listed as the owner, is on top of those standings with a 60 point advantage over Billy Ballew Motorsports. That means this championship is not exactly clinched yet and could turn into a classic Chevrolet versus Toyota battle in this final race.

KHI will be bringing the one two punch of Hornaday and Kevin Harvick to Friday's race. With the championship no longer a concern, Hornaday is expected to charge to the front and try to win this race. If he finishes ninth or better then KHI will become the recipient of their second owner's title. There's a strong possibility of that happening. Hornaday, who will be making his 250th career series start, has one win at Homestead Miami Speedway along with a healthy driver rating of 104.1.

Harvick, who likes to take a diversion from his primary Sprint Cup ride to drive one of his own trucks, has two starts at this race track that netted a fourth and a third place finish. His driver rating for those two starts is 118.9. Also, don't overlook the fact that Harvick will be riding the momentum of last week's truck win at Phoenix.

On the other side of the owner's championship run are the Toyotas of Billy Ballew Motorsports who will be running for their first title. That effort will be led by the always formidable Kyle Busch who has seven series wins this year including five within his last six starts. While he's still seeking his first win at Homestead Miami, he does have an impressive average finish ratio of 4.0 along with a driver rating of 116.8.

A genuine dark horse in this race will be the presence of Aric Almirola in the second Ballew Toyota. Hornaday and Harvick could find themselves having to deal with some interference moves from this young driver.

Don't overlook the presence of "the Onion." Todd Bodine, and his Germain Racing Toyota, is expected to be a major factor in Friday night's Ford 200. No only is he the defending race champion, he's also a three time winner at Homestead Miami Speedway.

Thor Sport Racing will have plenty to be thankful for this year. Their drivers, Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter, are going to finish within the top five of the final championship standings. Additionally, Sauter now has a complete lock on the Raybestos Brakes Rookie Of The year title. Both drivers are also considered to be possible winners in Friday's season finale race.

The teams that comprise the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will not be leaving Florida after Friday's race is over. They will remain in order to celebrate their season next Monday during the gala awards banquet. held in conjunction with the NASCAR Nationwide Series, at the Loew's Miami Beach Hotel.

Friday's Ford 200 has 39 entries vying for 36 starting berths. 13 of those entries are on the go or go home list meaning they are outside of the top 30 in owner's points and will have to earn a starting berth based on their qualifying speeds.

The race will be broadcast live by the Speed Channel beginning at 730 pm eastern time.

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