NASCAR »

Biffle wins Michigan after Johnson blows

There were short tempers in the Richard Childress Racing camp as well, with Kevin Harvick left fuming when early adjustments to the car left the #29 in a far worse state than when he'd started. The heated conversation with his pit crew got to the point where team owner Richard Childress himself came on the air and told them to just get on with it: ""We got what we got here, arguing ain't gonna get us nowhere!" he snapped.

Harvick's team mate Jeff Burton, meanwhile, was furious when he was placed by NASCAR behind Marcos Ambrose for the next restart, which was needed following a quick new caution when contact from Ambrose tipped Regan Smith into a spin. Even less happy about the incident was Smith himself.

"Ambrose is just driving over his head," fumed Smith. "I don't know if it is because he won last week, he's got extra pressure or what. He's been doing it all day. He's almost wrecked four times that I've seen. Unfortunately, four tyres are better than two, and I was four."

Ambrose was conciliatory when the two met up after the end of the race. "I feel terrible for him, I didn't mean to get into him," said Ambrose. "I got down in there and he came off my side of the car and I was trying to get out of there for him and just caught him on the way past. I feel bad for him. You can't take it back, all you can say is sorry."

Another quick caution came out on lap 89 when Joey Logano hit the wall in turn 3 on two consecutive laps and left debris on the track, and after a flurry of pit stops it meant that Truex Jr. led at the green flag ahead of Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and Sam Hornish Jr.; Kenseth had a shaky moment into the first turn and temporarily dropped back several positions.

Further back, Jeff Gordon was also off the pace - and his engine sounded very sick. As well as Jimmie Johnson's Saturday engine change, Tony Stewart - also running a Chevrolet built by the Hendrick Motorsports shop - had suffered a valve spring issue affecting one of the engine cylinders. Gordon confirmed that the same fault had hit him, too.

"A valve spring, just running along there and all of a sudden dropped a cylinder," said Gordon. "The #14 had that same issue. Got our fingers crossed for all the other Hendrick engines out there - this is a tough place on engines. We rarely have these issues and it's unfortunate to have this one here today. It's the kind of year we have been having."

It was not the way he'd been hoping to follow up his race win last weekend. "I was hoping after Pocono we could carry some momentum and not have these kinds of back-to-back weekends, but that's not the case. We go on to Bristol and fight hard there."

Michigan is notoriously hard on engines, being flat-out for a higher proportion of the two-mile circuit than almost any other track that the Sprint Cup cars race on, but that was small consolation to reigning Cup champion Tony Stewart who spent ages in the pits trying to get his car repaired before finally having to concede defeat.

"I appreciate everybody at the Hendrick engine department," said the owner-driver. "We had three different engine tuners down there trying to get it fixed for us. It wasn't for a lack of effort. It's uncommon to have a problem like this."




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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)

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.