BUSCH: Leffler charges to ORP win, Toyota's first

Jason Leffler passed Greg Biffle on the penultimate lap of the Kroger 200 to win his second NASCAR Busch Series race. It was his eighth victory at O'Reilly Raceway Park and the first for Toyota in the Busch Series. The Clermont, Indiana track is...

Jason Leffler passed Greg Biffle on the penultimate lap of the Kroger 200 to win his second NASCAR Busch Series race. It was his eighth victory at O'Reilly Raceway Park and the first for Toyota in the Busch Series. The Clermont, Indiana track is familiar ground for Leffler who has scored five victories in USAC National Midget Series and two in the Silver crown cars on the .686-mile oval.

"I really love this place," said a jubilant Leffler in victory lane. "I have a lot of laps around this place."

Leffler gave up several positions on the track by taking tires on a lap 142 pit stop. Eight laps later he was in ninth place. With a bullet, so to speak.

While Biffle held onto the lead by riding the rim, Leffler was charging to the front by diving low in the corners. With 30 laps to go, in fifth place, it was clear he could challenge for the lead if he got close enough to make his bid.

Biffle, who led twice for a total of 94 laps, finished second.

David Reutimann was across town qualifying for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard and missed qualifying for the Busch race. He finished third. Mark Green qualified the No. 99 car in the sixth position but Reutimann had to start the car at the back of the field. "Mark Green did a great job of setting it up," Reutimann said. "I owe it all to Mark Green and my crew chief."

Reutimann was obviously dejected, especially since he knew why Leffler ran so well. "We got beat by tires," he said. By stopping in the pits, "you give up track position. It's hard to pass here but in the end I think it was a good call" to stay out.

Leffler's run to the front wasn't easy, with Reutimann giving him his toughest battle of the evening. "He was pinching me off," said Leffler. "He made it hard for me to pass. You can sit there and run third or you can try to win the race. I had to rough him up a little bit," to take second.

Reutimann didn't give up easy, retaking second place through the next set of corners. "He roughed me up a little bit back," said Leffler, "but I got back by him."

Although Carl Edwards faded in the last 30 laps and finished fourth, he and Biffle ran first and second with 30 laps to go before tire wear became an issue. With Biffle favoring the high line, Edwards took the bottom, running side by side in an intense battle for the lead.

When Reutimann and Leffler joined the battle for the lead, Reutimann bumped Edwards, momentarily upsetting both cars. That allowed Leffler to slip into third place. Ultimately, Edwards could no longer keep Reutimann behind him

Ron Hornaday finished fifth, followed by Aric Almirola and Scott Wimmer in seventh.

Carl Edwards leads the championship point standings 3394-2542 over David Reutimann. Leffler is third in points with 2447.

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jason Leffler , Greg Biffle , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Mark Green , Scott Wimmer , David Reutimann , Carl Edwards , Aric Almirola