BIFFLE: “I'M GOING TO KEEP AFTER IT ALL THE WAY TO HOMESTEAD.”
Roush Fenway Racing driver Greg Biffle passed Jimmie Johnson on Lap 303 and held on for the win at Texas. Biffle increased his championship points lead with his 17th career Sprint Cup victory (photo courtesy: Tom Pennington, GETTY IMAGES SPORT)
On Saturday night, Biffle took the lead for the first time on Lap 31. Biffle led five more times before taking the lead for good from then-leader Jimmie Johnson on Lap 303. The five-time champion lost his composure while battling with the lapped car of Ryan Newman.
“Catching the (No.) 48 car at the end, I had to dig deep,” Biffle said. “It was all I had to be able to get to him, and it seemed like when I got to him it was too easy. I don't know if he used up his tires or the traffic — he had trouble, I think a little bit of trouble in traffic. That's when I could close in on him.”
Johnson complained about lapped traffic -- specifically the No. 39 of Newman -- noting that he tried to push things a little too much and paid for it by scraping the wall in Turn 3. Johnson’s moment of weakness provided Biffle with the perfect opportunity to secure the lead with 31 laps remaining — and end a 49-race winless streak after winning Race 7 of 36 en route to NASCAR’s series-crowning Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway Nov. 16-18. Tickets for Ford Championship Weekend—Nov. 16-18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway—go on sale May 1. For ticket information, click [HERE] or call (866) 409-RACE.
After dominating most of the latter two-thirds of the 334-lap race, Johnson finished second. Mark Martin was third.
"I'm definitely disappointed," Johnson said of dominating so much of the race before losing the lead to Biffle late in the going. "But we had a great race car. I'm very proud of the effort. I knew the team would forgive me if I wrecked it trying to beat him, so I just gave it all I had."
Biffle’s 17th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory also extended his points lead to 19 over Roush Fenway Racing teammate Matt Kenseth and Earnhardt Jr.
Biffle came close to the title in his third full-time Sprint Cup Series season. In 2005, he won six races but lost the championship to Tony Stewart by just 35 points. After nearly a year of working with crew chief Matt Puccia, Biffle is determined to make the NASCAR Chase For The Sprint Cup.
“When I moved from the Truck series to Nationwide, it was a huge step,” Biffle said. “It was much, much harder. And when I moved from the Nationwide to the Cup series, I had no idea that the competition was going to be what it was.
“I knew it was going to be hard. But man, it's tough, and there's a lot of great drivers in this sport and a lot of good equipment. But I knew it was going to be hard.
“But this year is my year, so I'm going to keep after it all the way to Homestead.”
Next up for the Sprint Cup Series drivers is Kansas on Sunday, April 22 (12:30 p.m. ET, Fox TV, MRN Radio) —Race 8 of 36 en route to Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 16-18). Tickets for Ford Championship Weekend—Nov. 16-18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway—go on sale May 1. For ticket information, click [HERE] or call (866) 409-RACE.