NASCAR »

Biffle thwarts Johnson in Texas

Greg Biffle was one of the early leaders on Saturday night, but he had to time his move perfectly at the end to usurp dominant leader Jimmie Johnson before the chequered flag.
Saturday evening's Samsung Mobile 500 under the floodlights of Texas Motor Speedway looked set to be a tale of three drivers. There was polesitter Martin Truex Jr. who led from the start, and then there was championship leader Greg Biffle who blasted past him for the lead on lap 31: between them they led all but 17 of the first 100 laps of this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup race.

But just when they were starting to feel feeling cosy and in control of proceedings, along came five-time former champion Jimmie Johnson. He didn't hit the front until lap 113, but he would then go on to lead the most laps of the race by heading up 156 of the 334-lap race distance: as the race headed into its final stages, it seemed that no one had any answer for the #48 this week.

Biffle had faded a little after his early strong run, and from lap 113 to lap 304 he led only one single solitary lap during a green flag pit stop sequence. Most of the rest of the time he seemed to spend staring at Johnson's rear spoiler, wondering what on earth he had to do to break his 49-race long drought of wins that stretched back to October 2010 when he has last visited victory lane in Kansas during the Chase.

"I was foaming at the mouth," admitted Biffle of his need to get back to winning ways. "When you haven't won in a long time, [it] didn't matter who it was, whether it was a five-time champion or what. I was driving my heart out. I was doing all I could do."

And then on lap 303 Biffle made his move, closing up on the #48 and diving underneath Johnson in turn 3 for the lead next time around, powersliding up again to head off the counterattack. It paid off, but Johnson wasn't going to be shaken and he hung on to the rear of the #16, the gap never more than a second as the duo pulled away from third-placed Mark Martin.

But just when you thought Johnson was merely taking a breather and gathering himself for the final assault, the #48 slid up too high and brushed the wall in turns 3 and 4 with 15 to go on the 1.5-mile banked oval speedway. The damage was light and Johnson was able to continue, but it took the shine off the car and prevented him from mounting his strike on the leader.

Biffle sailed away, and grew suddenly worried when he realised that Johnson was no where in sight. "It kind of spooks you when you can't see him," he admitted. "It seemed like when I got to him that it was almost too easy. I don't know if he used up his tyres or what. He had a little trouble in traffic and that is why I could close in on him.

"I just dug deep," he continued. "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."

And all he had proved easily more than enough, leaving Johnson having to settle for second place safely far ahead of Mark Martin in third. "I'm definitely disappointed," Johnson admitted. "We had a great race car and there's a lot to be proud of here today. Our pit stops were amazing. We had a very, very fast race car."




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Smoke flies from the car of Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 14, 2012 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Tyler Barrick/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 Filtrete Ford, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 14, 2012 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet SS, finished eighth and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS, finished 35th Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, finished fourth and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, finished twelfth Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and his team celebrate in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, qualified for sixth position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Johnson is seventh in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmie John`s Chevrolet SS, won the pole position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Harvick is sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, poses with the pole award after qualifying fastest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, poses with his wife DeLana, son Keelan, and the pole award after qualifying fastest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 17, 2014 in the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS finished second. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, Justin Allgaier, driver of the #51 Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, and Michael Annett, driver of the #7 Allstate Peterbilt/Pilot Chevrolet, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, leads the field at the start of the Nationwide Childrens`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS, qualified sixth Friday, August 15, 2014 for Sunday`s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Harvick is 8th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Stewart-Haas vice-president Greg Ziparelli addresses the media at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
The #28 Texas 28 Spirits Stage Dodge, driven by JJ Yeley, is seen after an on-track incident during the NASCAR Nationwide Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on August 9, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York.  (Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Nelson Piquet Jr., driver of the #77 WORX Ford, prepares his equipment in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.