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Biffle wins Michigan after Johnson blows

Martin was quickly reassuring anxious fans that, "It was not as bad as it looked." He did admit that he'd been worried, though: "I was concerned right before I hit it. I thought, 'This could be one of those sudden stops!'"

"The guys had the #55 car basically land in our pit, and they all survived that fortunately," said Kasey Kahne later. "Thankfully when Mark Martin slid down pit road, he ended up halfway into our pit. One of our guys got hit a little bit by a tyre. His oil tank exploded and stuff. That was really close to a really bad situation but it turned out all right."

Kahne had also spun in the accident and went through the grass, suffering front fender damage to his car which meant that once things had calmed down on pit lane, he needed an extended series of visits for repairs. "They fixed my car," said Kahne. "I had some right front damage there. They patched it up pretty nicely. It didn't drive perfect after that, but it did drive pretty closely to how it was, which was really nice.

Calling the accident "unfortunate," Martin said there had been nothing that he could have done to control the point of impact once the accident had started. "I fought it with everything I had. With where I came from and the speed I came from and the confines of pit road, I couldn't miss it," he said.

Asked whether the accident pointed out a serious design flaw in the pit wall construction, Martin shook his head. "I'm not sure you can ever completely fix something like that. That was a pretty freak angle that I got at that. I'm not sure what you could do."

Brad Keselowski was a little more alarmed about the incident that he'd seen: "Over the course of time, we always get complacent and think that we've hit all the buttons on the safety side," he said. "Then you see something like that. It shows you why you have to never quit working at making these cars and tracks safer."

Martin's grace under fire - and in the face of crushing disappointment from what had looked set to be a very strong day for the five-time winner at Michigan in the past - was in contrast to some markedly frayed tempers up and down pit road. Even long time team mates Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were fast falling out at Michigan on Sunday afternoon.

Gordon was furious with a move that the #88 pulled off at the restart for Martin's accident that saw Earnhardt go four-wide with Gordon, Jeff Burton and Regan Smith - and then slid up the track nearly wiping out the #24. "He can thank me for not wrecking him," Gordon radioed his pit crew after the near miss. "That was stupid."

When he was out of the car later on, Gordon elaborated: "I didn't think it was very smart what he did. He took me four-wide and then he slid up in front of me. If I hadn't checked up, I would have wrecked him and a bunch of us," he fumed. "In that moment, he wasn't treating me like a teammate ... I don't care who I'm racing out there; I'm going to show my displeasure if I'm not happy about something. But that one was pretty close.

"I wasn't doing anything different than I would have done," Gordon continued. "He's racing hard. I don't blame him for taking me four-wide. But if you're going to take a guy four-wide, don't come sliding up the racetrack because that is going to wreck you and other people."




Related Pictures

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Greg Biffle crosses the finish line to win the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Safety crews attend to the No. 5 of Mark Martin after an accident on pit road. (Photo Credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, leads Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 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)
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)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
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)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, who is not in the Championship Four final phase of the Chase, qualified for 2nd position Friday, November 14, 2014 for Sunday`s final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. He will be joined on the front row by Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS who won the Pole position. Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, who is not in the Championship Four final phase of the Chase, won the pole position Friday, November 14, 2014 for Sunday`s final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. He will be joined by Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS on the front row. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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