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)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser PrecisionChevrolet SS, qualifies for tenth position, Thursday, May 21, 2015, for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Truex, Jr. is second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. All 43 drivers will be participating in
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, qualifies for eighth position, Thursday, May 21, 2015, for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Harvick leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. All 43 drivers will be participating in
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Patriotic Chevrolet, sits in his car prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 21, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Johnson’s car features Army 1st Lt. Robert L. Henderson II as part of the 600 Miles of Rememberance.  (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 DeWalt Toyota, poses with Miss Coors Light Amanda Mertz after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 21, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 DeWalt Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 21, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. HM3 James R Layton is honored on the car as part of the 600 Miles of Remembrance program. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #6 Ford EcoBoost Ford, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR XFinity Series 3M 250 at Iowa Speedway on May 17, 2015 in Newton, Iowa.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Roush Performance Products Ford, leads Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, during the NASCAR XFinity Series 3M 250 at Iowa Speedway on May 17, 2015 in Newton, Iowa.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Roush Performance Products Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning during the NASCAR XFinity Series 3M 250 at Iowa Speedway on May 17, 2015 in Newton, Iowa.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Roush Performance Products Ford Mustang Ford, takes the chequered flag in the NASCAR XFinity Series 3M 250 at Iowa Speedway on May 17, 2015 in Newton, Iowa.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Roush Performance Products Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR XFinity Series 3M 250 at Iowa Speedway on May 16, 2015 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Photo by Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Roush Performance Products Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR XFinity Series 3M 250 at Iowa Speedway on May 17, 2015 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet SS, is introduced Saturday night, May 16, 2015, before the start of the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Kahne finished in seventh place. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet, leads a pack of trucks during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 15, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag ahead of Erik Jones, driver of the #4 Dollar General Toyota, to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 15, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag ahead of Erik Jones, driver of the #4 Dollar General Toyota, to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 15, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Great Lakes/Menards Toyota, races during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 15, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Photo by Jerry Markland/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 - 2015 Crash Media Group

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