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Biffle Wins Cup Race At Texas Motor Speedway

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, April 14 2012

Greg Biffle had a big time Saturday night in Texas. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Christa L Thomas)

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Greg Biffle passed Jimmie Johnson for the lead with 31 laps to go and went on to win Saturday night’s Samsung Mobile 500 Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway.

The victory was the first for Biffle and his Roush Fenway Racing team since they won at Kansas Speedway in October of 2010. It was Biffle’s first victory with crew chief Matt Puccia.

“I tell you what,” Biffle said in Victory Lane, “these guys did a great job in the pits and adjusting on the car all day. I can’t thank everybody enough for sticking behind the 3M 16 car.”

It was the 17th victory of Biffle’s career.

He beat Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet of Johnson, who hung on to finish second and who led a race-best 156 laps, by 3.2 seconds.

Johnson said that Biffle was able to blow past him when they encountered lapped traffic.

“You know,” Johnson said, “at the end the 16 really probably the last two or three runs the 16 and I were pretty equal, run pretty similar lap times, and right before the last pit stop I got caught in some traffic, he got to me and came out of the pits and was pacing him and had a second half lead and then we caught traffic, some guys were multiple laps down that didn’t show much respect to myself, the leader, and before I know it 16 was there on the side of me and got by.”

Biffle said, “I just dug deep. I knew I had to do it and I kept trying and trying and trying. I knew the team would forgive me if I wrecked it trying to beat him so I just gave it all I had.

“I was foaming at the mouth. When you haven’t won in a long time and you’ve got a guy, it doesn’t even matter who it was. If it was the five time champion or what. I was driving my heart out. I was doing all I could do. I kept moving up the track, down the track, up the track. I found a little something with about 40 to go down in three and four where I saw the 48 (Johnson) putting his left front tire on the race track and

Jimmie Johnson had this view of Greg Biffle over the final laps at Texas. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Brian Lawdermilk)

I drove across there one time and I found some grip right there and so I started driving that line and started closing in on him instantly.

“He was beating me down there most the night and that was probably line sensitive. I didn’t pick up on it until late. I kept moving around until I found something. I could beat him down in one and two all the time but in three and four he would kill me across there. I was a little loose in and slide the nose and the wind kept blowing the car off turn four. I would watch him and he was smooth as a sail. I knew his car was a little better than mine but I kept putting pressure on him and that is what it took. I drove up behind him getting in the corner down there and his car was loose and it moved up and gave me the opening.”

Biffle padded the series points lead, which has held since the third event of the season. He will arrive at Kansas – where he is a two-time winner – next week 19 points ahead of Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr., who are tied for second place.

Biffle gave Roush Fenway its ninth win in 23 Cup races at Texas, and completed a Lone Star State weekend sweep. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won the Nationwide race on Friday night for Roush’s fourth Texas victory in a row and ninth overall in the second-tier series.

“I don’t know if this is my last sweep,” team-owner Jack Roush said. “But I’m going to remember this one for a long time.”

Johnson appeared to be his way to the 200th victory for Hendrick. But the pass by Biffle, and then a scrape with the outside wall, put No. 200 on hold at least until next week at Kansas.

“Yeah, man, second sucks,” Johnson said. “I wish we could have won. We were in contention, had a great race car. Pit stops were just amazing all night long. Car was great.”

Mark Martin, driving for Michael Waltrip Racing, finished third.

Fourth was Johnson’s teammate, Jeff Gordon.

Fifth was Biffle’s teammate, Kenseth.

Rounding out the top 10 were Martin Truex Jr., Kasey Kahne, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and Earnhardt Jr.

Biffle’s winless streak had reached 49 races.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, April 14 2012
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