A late turn of events sent Greg Biffle to victory lane Sunday afternoon in Michigan. With just five laps to go, Biffle was running second until the leader of the race, Jimmie Johnson, blew his engine and that ended Johnson’s day. Johnson has never won at Michigan and he thought Sunday was the day. Johnson’s frustration was apparent on the radio when he said “you’ve got to be kidding me.” When Johnson’s engine let go, Greg Biffle stormed to the lead and never looked back.
This is Biffle’s second victory of the season; he won at Texas in April as well. This win is a major momentum booster for the whole No.16 team as they look ahead to the Chase. The first yellow flag flew early when the No.38 of David Gilliland spun off turn four. The first round of green flag pit stops began on lap 35.
After the stops cycled through, pole sitter Mark Martin regained the lead. Just laps after the stops ended, we saw a big crash involving leader Mark Martin. Coming off turn four Juan Pablo Montoya got into the No.47 of Bobby Labonte, spinning Labonte. Leader Mark Martin approached the wreck and had to spin to avoid getting into the wreck, when Martin spun he also collected Kasey Kahne. Martin spun himself and then slid down pit road towards the pit wall. Martin slid between the gap of the pit wall and then he had a vicious hit when his car hit the edge of the pit wall. The wall just hit behind the driver and Martin was able to exit the car without injury.
If the wall made contact with the car just a few feet ahead, Martin could have been seriously injured. Many thought Martin had a chance at victory today but this wild wreck thought otherwise. This isn’t the last time in this race when the leader experiences trouble. After the wreck was cleaned up we began racing again and Clint Bowyer was the new leader.
On lap 76, the caution flew for Regan Smith who made contact with last week’s winner Marcos Ambrose and Smith backed into the outside wall. Wild card contender Joey Logano hit the wall hard in turn three after hitting the wall a lap before to bring out the caution. The initial hit Logano took was when he got loose while racing Juan Pablo Montoya. On the restart, Martin Truex Jr was the new leader. Another wild card contender experienced troubles when Jeff Gordon went down a cylinder just before halfway in the race. At the halfway point in the race, Martin Truex Jr led followed by Biffle, Hornish Jr, Kenseth and Harvick.
On lap 101, Biffle took the lead for the first time in the race when he passed Martin Truex Jr. Lap 135 was a bad lap for Kurt Busch because he hit the wall hard in turn three to bring out the caution. On the restart, Dale Earnhardt Jr was the leader. Earnhardt Jr Is trying to sweep both Michigan races in 2012 after Earnhardt Jr won his first race in four years at Michigan in June. Earnhardt Jr’s teammate Jimmie Johnson passed him for the lead on lap 141.
On lap 143, Juan Pablo Montoya blew a tire to bring out the caution. After Earnhardt Jr regained the lead from the No.48, he lost it again with 48 laps to go. The final round of green flag pit stops began with 37 laps to go. After having a great run on the day, Trevor Bayne blew a tire and hit the wall hard in turn one to bring out the yellow flag. Brad Keselowski’s crew got Keselowski to the lead following the round of pit stops. Keselowski led until ten to go when Johnson passed him for the lead. Disaster struck for Johnson with five to go when Johnson blew his engine after having the dominant car of the day.
After Johnson lost his engine, Biffle became the new leader. Johnson’s troubles created a green-white-checker finish. On the restart, Biffle got a push from Earnhardt Jr to power to the lead. Then Biffle held of Keselowski for the win. Biffle wasn’t showing all of his excitement in victory lane but Biffle said that this is a huge momentum builder for his race team for the Chase.
Another point’s shake up has sent Biffle to the points lead again. He leads his teammate Kenseth by 20 points. After Johnson’s engine issues, he has fallen to fourth in the standings. Wild card holders stayed the same as Kahne and Newman still hold the wild card spots. Edwards just needs a win to move into the second wild card position and Kyle Busch needs to run well or win to move into a wild card spot. Busch has some of his best tracks coming up like Bristol and Richmond so Busch will have a great opportunity to make the Chase. Biffle gets that much needed second win so he could have more bonus points for when the Chase starts.
Next week the Sprint Cup Series heads to the world’s fastest half mile in Bristol, Tennessee for a race on Bristol’s revamped surface.
Results via Nascar.com
|2||19||2||Brad Keselowski||Dodge||Miller Lite||43/1||201||Running|
|3||5||5||Kasey Kahne||Chevrolet||Farmers Insurance||41/0||201||Running|
|4||22||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||National Guard / Diet Mountain Dew||41/1||201||Running|
|6||2||99||Carl Edwards||Ford||Geek Squad||39/1||201||Running|
|7||12||15||Clint Bowyer||Toyota||5-hour Energy||38/1||201||Running|
|8||15||39||Ryan Newman||Chevrolet||Wix Filters||36/0||201||Running|
|9||10||27||Paul Menard||Chevrolet||Menards / Pittsburgh Paints||36/1||201||Running|
|10||7||56||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||NAPA Auto Parts||35/1||201||Running|
|11||21||11||Denny Hamlin||Toyota||FedEx Office||34/1||201||Running|
|12||17||22||Sam Hornish Jr.||Dodge||Shell / Pennzoil||0||201||Running|
|13||23||18||Kyle Busch||Toyota||Interstate Batteries||31/0||201||Running|
|14||24||1||Jamie McMurray||Chevrolet||Bass Pro Shops / Mercury||30/0||201||Running|
|15||30||93||Travis Kvapil||Toyota||Burger King / Dr Pepper||29/0||201||Running|
|16||20||29||Kevin Harvick||Chevrolet||Jimmy Johns||28/0||201||Running|
|17||4||17||Matt Kenseth||Ford||Fifth Third Bank||28/1||201||Running|
|18||36||38||David Gilliland||Ford||Taco Bell||26/0||201||Running|
|21||39||18||David Reutimann||Toyota||Interstate Batteries||23/0||200||Running|
|23||37||34||David Ragan||Ford||Long John Silver’s||21/0||199||Running|
|24||6||21||Trevor Bayne||Ford||Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center||0||199||Running|
|25||9||83||Landon Cassill||Toyota||Burger King / Dr Pepper||20/1||198||Running|
|28||11||24||Jeff Gordon||Chevrolet||Drive to End Hunger / AARP||16/0||167||Engine|
|29||18||78||Regan Smith||Chevrolet||Furniture Row / Farm American||15/0||154||Running|
|31||16||20||Joey Logano||Toyota||The Home Depot||13/0||132||Running|
|32||14||14||Tony Stewart||Chevrolet||Mobil 1 / Office Depot||12/0||109||Engine|
|33||40||32||T.J. Bell||Ford||Southern Pride Trucking / U.S. Chrome||0||108||Transmission|
|34||31||30||David Stremme||Toyota||Inception Motorsports||10/0||72||Electrical|
|35||1||55||Mark Martin||Toyota||Aaron’s Dream Machine||11/2||64||Accident|
|36||35||87||Joe Nemechek||Toyota||AM / FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves||0||38||Rear Gear|
|39||43||98||Mike Skinner||Ford||Phil Parsons Racing||5/0||25||Electrical|
|40||34||26||Josh Wise *||Ford||MDS Transport||4/0||21||Susp.|
|41||38||23||Scott Riggs||Chevrolet||North Texas Pipe||3/0||20||Susp.|
|42||27||191||Reed Sorenson||Ford||Plinker Tactical||0||15||Overheating|
|43||33||119||Jason Leffler||Ford||Plinker Tactical||0||14||Fuel Pressure|