2002 series champion Greg Biffle showed he still had the right stuff as for the second consecutive year he wheeled his way to victory at the Lowes Motor Speedway.
Biffle, driving a Nemco Motorsports Chevy qualified forth for the event and took the lead for the first time on lap sixty-six as the he battled with Brian Vickers for the point.
The two drivers battled throughout the event with Biffle taking the lead for the final time on lap one --sixty-two only to check out to gain a margin of victory of 12.8 seconds.
The event was originally slated to run Friday night under the lights, however, rain red flagged the race after the field was started under the Green/Yellow to help hold the track, the skies open, and NASCAR parked the field after completing only nine non competition laps. The event was re-scheduled setting up for a Saturday double header at the Speedway.
The delay impacted Biffle, but in the end the car came around to take the checkers.
"I thought we would have changed to stickers after running last night in the rain. We lost grip and the five (Brian Vickers) could run on us. After the first pit stops, the car tires helped but we were still loose. When the sun came out it worked in my favor, and against everyone else, when the car tightened up, we hit the set up right on the head".
The win marked the tenth of Biffle's Busch career and his second victory in six starts at the charlotte facility.
Finishing behind Biffle were Michael Waltrip, Mike Bliss, Brian Vickers, and Jamie McMurray.
Waltrip noted he had little for Biffle and felt driving style made all the difference. "He makes up a lot of time, if he doesn't wreck. Said Waltrip. There was a time I came up on him and I noticed the entire right side was all scraped off, that is a testament to how hard he goes at it."
Third place finisher Mike Bliss saw the third place finish was shot in the arm for the struggling team. "We have gotten so many DNF'S on our side that a finish like this really helps", noted the Joe Gibbs driver.
Many Winston Cup regulars who were "Busch Whacking" were concerned that the eight hundred mile day may be too much for the driver. Winston Cup series point's leader Matt Kenseth who was slated to start twelfth, backed out of the event, putting Roush teammate Jeff Burton in the car.
Runner up Michael Waltrip was unconcerned about the physical demands of competing in both events. Never short for words, Waltrip seemed indignant at the thought he may not be up to the challenge.
"I ran the Boston Marathon for four hours on my feet, so I figure I can drive a race car for seven hours sitting on my ass"
Race winner Biffle concurred, noting that he felt his car was so good, he could not miss the opportunity to drive it competitively.
"Only another driver could understand that you do not have the opportunity to drive a car that is this good that often", noted Biffle.
The point race, the tightest in series history, remains just as close as David Green holds the points lead by thirty --six over Brian Vickers, with a total of eighty points separating the top five contenders.
Green, who prior to the event never led a lap at the track,
"They say I'm no good at Darlington", said Green. " No good here at Charlotte, and here and there. I've got something to tell them now, I'm with a great race team" Green finished sixth, and gained additional bonus points for leading a lap.
Next week the series heads to Memphis Motorsports Park for the last stand alone event of the season.
-thomas chemris, guest writer