BUSCH: Fontana: Race report

Biffle wins California Nail Biter By: Thomas Chemris 2002 Busch series champion Greg Biffle benefited from a flawless gas and go to win the Stater Brothers 300 at the California Speedway. Biffle, driver of the Charter Ford for Roush Racing...

Biffle wins California Nail Biter
By: Thomas Chemris

2002 Busch series champion Greg Biffle benefited from a flawless gas and go to win the Stater Brothers 300 at the California Speedway. Biffle, driver of the Charter Ford for Roush Racing has had a feast or famine season. California marks the teams second win of the year, but it also marks the first race in the previous five that the team was able to finish an event.

The win did not come easy, as Biffle who stated fifteenth had to make several extended pit stops to add oil to the car. "We had to put in three and a half quarts of oil, and we are not sure were it went", said crew chief Brad Parrott.

Even though it may have seemed that things were going wrong, Biffle's team got it right when it came to a late race gas and go. Many teams ran out of fuel on track, or stalled the car in the pits to loose valuable track position.

Pit road mis-cues by Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex, Kevin Harvick, as well as others handed the lead to Biffle for the thirteenth Busch series win of his career.

"We had oil pressure giving us trouble", noted the race winner." The engine guy's never gave up, the crew never gave up, and I never gave up", said Biffle. "We have gone through so much stuff, we haven't finished a bunch of races. This is the first race we finished since we won last time. I just have to give credit to Brad (Parrott), and the entire team. We weren't planning on pitting, and with about ten to go I saw the fuel pressure jump around a little bit," Biffle explained. "The last two Busch races here, I could have won, but I ran out of gas or had to pit for gas and nobody else did. It was a flashback, but this time we came down, took a few seconds of gas and it really worked out."

Finishing behind Biffle were Tony Stewart, who was driving a one race deal for Richard Childress Racing, followed by Stacey Compton, Matt Kenseth, and Kasey Kahne.

Kenseth, who was well on his way to victory was disgusted with the problems the team encountered. "I don't understand exactly what we did there, noted Kenseth." The only gamble we had was to stay out. We did not have to gamble, we had the best car, and we had the lead. Everybody else pitted, all we had to do was to pull on pit road on get the same amount of fuel everyone else did and we still should have had a four second lead"

Another driver who suffered on pit road was New Jersey's Martin Truex Jr. Truex, who led a total of 16 laps looked as if he had a shot of winning two races in a row, but stalled the car on the final stop. The team had a difficult time getting going and saw a solid top five go to a thirteenth place finish.

Stalling cars was not the only problem on pit road. Rookie Stan Boyd spun entering the pits on lap sixty-two, kicking tires up, and injuring two crewmembers. One of Boyd's crewmembers, Eric Sainer was transported to a local hospital and subsequently treated and released.

Leaving California, Michael Waltrip, by virtue of a sixth place finish, retains the championship points lead, fifty-two points ahead of Kyle Busch. Followed by Truex Jr, David Green, and Robbie Gordon.

Next week the series heads out to the second solo event of the year at Gateway International Raceway for the Charter 250.

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Michael Waltrip , Kevin Harvick , Greg Biffle , David Green , Kasey Kahne , Martin Truex Jr. , Stan Boyd
Teams Richard Childress Racing