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Biffle thwarts Johnson in Texas

Johnson agreed with Biffle's suggestion that it had been lapped traffic - specifically Stewart-Haas' Ryan Newman - that had been the decider in the closing stages and meant that he and his team mates Jeff Gordon (who finished fourth), Kasey Kahne (seventh) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (tenth) are still to deliver the long-awaited 200th win for team owner Rick Hendrick.

"A little bit more respect through some lapped traffic could've been a little different," he said. "I just got tangled up in some lapped traffic and the #16 made a great move and got by me and then I was pacing him from there and didn't have anything left to go get him. I tried and ran out of grip going into turn three and drilled the fence but I brought it home in second - I'm very proud of the effort."

His newest team mate Kasey Kahne was lucky to recover from an early setback which saw him get blocked in his pit stall by Bobby Labonte pitting just ahead of him under green on lap 44.

"I really don't know what the #47 was thinking," said Kahne, who has been no stranger to undeserved bad luck so far in 2012. "I am getting ready to take off and he is coming in. He over shot the pit because he knew I was getting ready to take off. So, he over shot his own pit.

"As soon as I saw his guys jump off the wall, I just hit the brakes and got superlucky," he continued. "We could have torn the right-front up. I'm glad it didn't happen but we definitely had to fight back. That slowed us down a lot. We probably lost ten seconds on that at least."

But he was looking on the bright side of the incident as well. "It's nice to put a full race together and have to go through a lot of adversity through the race and still get a good finish," he said. "We all got better as it went so that was good. I'm not pleased yet, but it was good. We have some work to do. We have to start these races better."

The race proved remarkably free of cautions, with just a yellow for debris on lap 67 and a second for more debris after Wood Brothers' part-time driver Trevor Bayne hit the wall on lap 93. Just ten laps in total were run under yellow during the evening, which meant that the final 233 laps of the race were run under a continuous green flag - a track record.

"I love it, I love races like that," was Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s view of the extended caution-free period. "I know that it's probably not the most exciting thing as a green-white-chequered or watching the field with a lot of cautions, but those races to me are really strategic and I can appreciate then for what they are. I think there are positives to having a lot of cautions and positives to race caution-free in my mind."

Even so, the 500-mile race lasted a gruelling three hours and ten minutes. It was made even harder work by the drivers having to cope with the 30mph winds gusting through the region on the edge of the vicious storm fronts tearing through the southern US that had been bringing tornados to neighbouring states.

"Oh, man - the wind was something else. It was terrible for me," said Earnhardt. "Down the front straightaway it was weaving around and bobbing and you didn't know which way it was going to go and you'd get in the middle of the corner and pivot the car through the corner and the wind would blast the door of the car and turn you sideways. You didn't know when you was going to get a gust out of nowhere and almost spin you out."




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