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Bold Biffle conquers California.

Despite qualifying on the third row, Greg Biffle announced during Saturday's Bud Pole qualifying session that he would be leading the Auto Club 500 within five laps of the green flag.

The Roush Racing driver led lap four, and went on to take his fourth career Nextel Cup victory.

It wasn't all plain sailing for the driver of the #16 National Guard Ford, which benefited from additional Post-It backing this weekend. 100 laps in to the 250-lap race, Biffle made a green flag pit stop for fuel and tyres only to find himself trapped on the tail of the lead lap when the caution flag waved eight laps later.

However, Biffle was able to stay ahead of the leaders, regain his lost ground when the caution flag flew again, and then make his way back towards the front.

Electing to forego a final stop for fuel and tyres with 30 laps to go, Biffle swept by teammate Kurt Busch to take the lead on lap 228 and never looked back.

Despite being chased by a group of drivers on fresher tyres, Biffle held on for his second win in three races (Homestead 2004 and today).

Jimmie Johnson, who earlier saw a no tyres gamble fail, stopped with 30 laps to go and used his better rubber to snatch second from Busch in the closing laps of a race that saw far less two and three wide racing than in 2004.

Defending series champ Busch, like Biffle, found himself on the tail of the lead lap at the halfway point thanks to the lap 108 caution caused by Dale Earnhardt Jr's puncture. After a fight back similar, but less publicised than Biffle's, Busch was in position to take the lead when the majority of leaders pitted with 30 to go but could only hold off Biffle for eight laps once the green flag had waved.

Busch would cross the line third, just holding off Jamie McMurray and Carl Edwards.

Edwards, who was a factor in the race all day, scored just the second top five finish of his career for Jack Roush's team but lost out in the penultimate round of pit stops when he slowed to avoid several other cars.

California native Kevin Harvick finished sixth in front of his home crowd while Mark Martin's late race no tyres gamble didn't pay off and he dropped to seventh.



Related Pictures

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02/11/05 Daytona. Greg Biffle will start the Roush Racing Ford Taurus from the outside pole for the Budweiser Shootout. Photo Credit: Autostock
NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Hendrick Motorsports  #48 Lowes Chevrolet Monte Carlo driver Jimmie Johnson at Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL. Feb,2005.┬ęDorsey Patrick,2005
2/10/05 Daytona Beach, FL
2004 Nextel Cup Champion Kurt Busch specks to the press during the annual Media Day at Daytona International Speedway.
Photo Credit: Autostock
Cole Whitt on track at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California for testing on March 21, 2014. (Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Parker Kligerman at Las Vegas Motorsport for testing on March 6, 2014. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Cole Whitt at Las Vegas Motorsport for testing on March 6, 2014. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finished 7th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Earnhardt Jr. is 4th, Gordon is 1st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammate Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS won. (Photo Credit: HHP/Alan Marler for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS finished 1st, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS finished 37th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick  is 22nd, Kahne is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd.(Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Tami Kelly-Pope for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
The front right tire of the #27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet, driven by Paul Menard, catches fire during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the #17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford tangle during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Cars race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)

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