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Biffle wins NASCAR race at Michigan

Sprint Cup
Sunday, June 16, 2013

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Greg Biffle

Greg Biffle feels right at home at Michigan International Speedway.

He took the lead for good on a late restart and ran away from the field in the closing laps to win Sunday's Quicken Loans 400. The No. 16 Ford driver won his second straight race here and the 19th of his career. Four of those victories have come at MIS.

"It's definitely a special day," Biffle said after delivering Ford Motor Co. its 1,000th victory in NASCAR's three national touring series. "Just super-excited for Ford and sure excited to be No. 1,000."

The win secured Biffle a berth in the 2014 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and moved him up a spot to eighth in the standings.

Second a week ago at Pocono, Biffle led the pack to the restart on lap 173 and outran Martin Truex Jr. to stay out front. He led a race-best 48 laps.

Owner Jack Roush's operations center is in suburban Detroit and he considers MIS his home track. He was beaming almost as broadly as his driver.

"We expect to be at our best when we come to MIS and I am glad we could pull it off," Roush said. "I was a little nervous for a minute there, but I am glad it worked out and glad we could give Ford its 1,000th win."

Sprint Cup Series points leader Jimmie Johnson was gaining on Biffle in the final laps but a cut right front tire took him off the track with two laps to go.

Kevin Harvick finished second and Truex, Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart rounded out the top five.

Johnson took second a few laps before his misfortune and Harvick backed out of the throttle to hold on to at least a third-place finish.

"It was the third set of tires we had and they felt a little wobbly," he said. "We just wanted to hold our track position."

Biffle still was impressed with Johnson, whom he finished second to a week ago at Pocono.

"The guy was 10 (on the restart) and was catching me with 10 to go," Biffle said. "That's a fast race car.

"We beat the 48 today and that says a lot. He was really, really fast."

Johnson ended the day 28th to wrap up a tough day for Hendrick Motorsports. None of the racing giant's four entries cracked the top 25.

Pole winner Carl Edwards, who trailed Johnson by 51 points at the start of the race, cut 20 points off the deficit by finishing eighth.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the lead near the halfway point and appeared strong, but a blown engine ended his race on lap 131.

"It made a lot of damage there when it broke," he said after leading 34 laps at the track where he ended his 143-race dry spell a year ago. "I'm not sure they're going to be able to figure out what happened."

Jamie McMurray led 21 laps but fell out of contention when he blew a right front tire on lap 167.

The day's worst-looking wreck came shortly after the midway point when Kasey Kahne struck the wall near turn 2. The car caught fire as Kahne was getting out, but he stuck his arm back inside to trigger the fire-suppression system. He was not hurt.

Kurt Busch started on the outside of the front row and led the first 21 laps but spun and smacked the turn 2 wall two laps later.

Stewart ran his streak of top-seven finishes to four straight races and jumped from 13th to 10th in the standings.

There were showers after Saturday's Nationwide Series race and NASCAR gave crews a competition caution 20 laps in to assess tire wear on the clean surface.

The Sprint Cup Series continues next Sunday when drivers run the first road course of the season in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway.

Results

Pos Driver Car # Make Start Laps Status
1 Greg Biffle 16 Ford 19 200 Running
2 Kevin Harvick 29 Chevrolet 21 200 Running
3 Martin Truex Jr 56 Toyota 13 200 Running
4 Kyle Busch 18 Toyota 9 200 Running
5 Tony Stewart 14 Chevrolet 14 200 Running
6 Matt Kenseth 20 Toyota 8 200 Running
7 Clint Bowyer 15 Toyota 27 200 Running
8 Carl Edwards 99 Ford 1 200 Running
9 Joey Logano 22 Ford 6 200 Running
10 Jeff Burton 31 Chevrolet 18 200 Running
11 Austin Dillon 33 Chevrolet 7 200 Running
12 Brad Keselowski 2 Ford 16 200 Running
13 Danica Patrick 10 Chevrolet 37 200 Running
14 Paul Menard 27 Chevrolet 4 200 Running
15 Trevor Bayne 21 Ford 25 200 Running
16 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 17 Ford 15 200 Running
17 Aric Almirola 43 Ford 5 200 Running
18 Ryan Newman 39 Chevrolet 35 200 Running
19 AJ Allmendinger 47 Toyota 32 200 Running
20 Juan Pablo Montoya 42 Chevrolet 10 200 Running
21 Casey Mears 13 Ford 24 200 Running
22 David Gilliland 38 Ford 26 200 Running
23 Marcos Ambrose 9 Ford 23 200 Running
24 J.J. Yeley 36 Chevrolet 40 200 Running
25 David Ragan 34 Ford 31 200 Running
26 Mark Martin 55 Toyota 22 200 Running
27 Travis Kvapil 93 Toyota 41 200 Running
28 Jimmie Johnson 48 Chevrolet 17 199 Running
29 David Stremme 30 Toyota 34 199 Running
30 Denny Hamlin 11 Toyota 11 199 Running
31 Dave Blaney 7 Chevrolet 36 199 Running
32 David Reutimann 83 Toyota 33 198 Running
33 Jamie McMurray 1 Chevrolet 28 196 Running
34 Ken Schrader 32 Ford 39 195 Running
35 Kurt Busch 78 Chevrolet 2 193 Running
36 Joe Nemechek 87 Toyota 42 193 Running
37 Dale Earnhardt Jr 88 Chevrolet 12 131 Engine
38 Kasey Kahne 5 Chevrolet 3 103 Accident
39 Jeff Gordon 24 Chevrolet 29 52 Accident
40 Josh Wise 35 Ford 38 51 Vibration
41 Mike Bliss 19 Toyota 43 50 Vibration
42 Michael McDowell 98 Ford 30 36 Vibration
43 Bobby Labonte 51 Chevrolet 20 5 Accident

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