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)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane with team owner Dale Earnhardt jr. after winning the series championship during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, and Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, burn out as Crafton celebrates winning the series championship and Wallace celebrates winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship in Victory Lane with the trophy, NASCAR President Mike Helton and sportscaster Krista Voda during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the series championship and placing ninth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, and his daughter Elladee take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Crafton drives the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 13, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Fastenal Ford, climbs out of his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 7, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 9, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, speaks to the media during a press conference after failing to advance to race for the championship in the season finale after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 9, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/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.