GREG BIFFLE WINS AT MICHIGAN
Jimmie Johnson looked as if he would win his fourth race of 2012 until his engine faltered with six laps to go. Greg Biffle assumed the championship points lead with just three races remaining until the start of the Chase (photo courtesy: Jerry Markland, GETTY IMAGES SPORT)
Roush Fenway Racing driver Greg Biffle held off Brad Keselowski to win at Michigan International Speedway -- Race 23 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—are available now. For ticket information, click [HERE] or call (866) 409-RACE.
Biffle ended Roush Fenway Racing’s four-year slump in the Irish Hills of Michigan by holding off Keselowski in a green-white-checkered finish to score his second win of the year.
The race looked like it belonged to five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, who worked his way from the rear of the field in a back-up car to take the lead late in the race. But only six laps from finally scoring his first career Michigan victory, Johnson’s engine expired and knocked him out of the race.
Johnson was trying to become the first driver to reach four victories this season. Keselowski and reigning Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart also have three. Drivers will earn bonus points in the Chase For The Sprint Cup for ''regular-season'' victories.
Said Biffle: “It’s an important win. I know that a lot of people don't expect us to win the championship, and don't expect us to compete for the title. I don't care what they say or who they want to talk about, but we will be a factor when it comes down to Homestead. I promise you that. Everybody has been working so hard and it’s been awesome to have the support of 3M and Ford and everyone behind us.”
The win vaulted Biffle into the point lead with only three races remaining before the start of the Chase For The Sprint Cup. The Chase will consist of the Top 10 drivers in points plus the two drivers from 11th to 20th with the most wins. Tickets for this year’s Ford Championship Weekend—Nov. 16-18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway—are on sale NOW. For ticket information, click [HERE] or call (866) 409-RACE.
Keselowski held on for second in his Miller Lite car to give Penske Racing a solid finish in front of his home state fans.
“Well I think they’re going to start calling me 'Silver Medal' at Penske Racing because we finished second in three out of the last four races,” Keselowski said. “I’m proud of our effort. I just want to get that one more spot. I want to win races and we’ve been running solid and I’m proud of that but we want that one more spot, too.”
Keselowski may have finished second but he doesn’t plan on being in that spot when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title is decided.
"We're in a great position as a team as the Chase is about to start here to make some noise,” Keselowski said. “I'm just feeling lucky to be there. But then, of course, we obviously want to win. I can taste the legitimacy of being a championship contender. With a little more speed today, I think we could have got us a win. I know in the Chase we can get a bunch of them.
“I'm proud of where we're at and ready for the Chase to get going. A little bit more speed and, man, I feel like we could have had it today. It's hard not to think about that.”
In winning, Biffle moved into first place in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship standings with a 20-point margin over teammate Matt Kenseth, who finished 17th. NASCAR’s most popular driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. is in third down by 22 with Johnson falling three spots to fourth 28 off the pace. Keselowski is in fifth 47 markers out of the lead.
Earnhardt bounced back with a nice showing amid adversity. That was after finishing 32nd at Pocono and 28th at Watkins Glen the last two races.
Sixth through 10th in the standings are Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, Stewart and Denny Hamlin.
In the all-important wild card standings, fourth place finisher Kasey Kahne who has two wins leads Ryan Newman, Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon, each of whom has one win each. The Chase will consist of the Top 10 drivers in points plus the two drivers from 11th to 20th with the most wins. Tickets for this year’s Ford Championship Weekend—Nov. 16-18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway—are on sale NOW. For ticket information, click [HERE] or call (866) 409-RACE.
Next up for the Sprint Cup Series drivers is Bristol on Saturday, August 25 (7 p.m. ET, ABC) — 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—are available now. For ticket information, click [HERE] or call (866) 409-RACE.