Greg Biffle went from worst to first to grab the win at Texas Motor Speedway. Biffle started 41st in a back-up car after wrecking his primary ride in practice, but by lap 87 Biffle had managed to wheel the No. 16 Roush Ford to first...
Greg Biffle went from worst to first to grab the win at Texas Motor Speedway. Biffle started 41st in a back-up car after wrecking his primary ride in practice, but by lap 87 Biffle had managed to wheel the No. 16 Roush Ford to first place.
Luckily for Biffle, the car they brought as a back-up was the race-winning ride from California.
"I tell you what, it was a big day for us," said Biffle. "Our guys in the pits -- look at our pit stops -- look at the guys pitting this race car. We crashed in practice and blew a right-front tire and I thought there might be a tire problem, and sure enough there was a tire problem, I must have run over something but we lost our good car and had to pull out the back- up.
"It's all the hard work of these guys. I really appreciate the hard work from the Viagra team and the 99 team.all of those guys came over and we had six different uniforms working on this race car yesterday and that means a lot to me. That anybody would jump in there and dig deep for anybody."
Biffle raced in the top five for the remainder of the event, taking the lead for the final time with 24 laps to go. He was clearly the class of the field as he sailed to his fifth career win virtually unchallenged.
"The racing gods are looking on us and everybody else," said Biffle who led a race high 219 laps. "This team, we're really blessed to have these kind of race cars and these guys working on the team. I couldn't be happier right now. It was an awesome day."
Biffle's name has been in the rumor mill lately as possibly looking to leave the No. 16 Ford at the end of the season. When asked if he would return to Roush next year: "Yes. Absolutely. There isn't a question about it. We are just finalizing some things."
Jamie McMurray was second, bringing home his best finish of the season.
"This is very exciting," McMurray said. "Like other teams that have been struggling at the beginning of the year, we've been working hard on chassis and bodies and engines. Out engine package is real good right now. It runs for 500 miles and it's extremely fast.
"I'm proud of everybody at the engine shop. Our crew chiefs all work together well and they made some good decisions today. It's very exciting to be part of Chip's and Felix's team right now."
Jimmie Johnson was third collecting his fifth top-five result of 2005.
"Chad (Knaus, crew chief) threw everything he had at that car," said Johnson. "Finally we got it right. We were coming on strong and I don't think anyone had anything for the No. 16. We were catching Jamie a little bit there and a 600-mile race? Maybe we would have finished second. The longer the races, the better we do, I guess.
"I don't know why."
It was a great day for Chip Ganassi Racing as Casey Mears and Sterling Marlin complete the top five.
"I thought we had a shot at it today," said Mears. "It feels good and I'm proud of the effort my guys put in this weekend. We blew out a right-front tire two laps into practice on Friday and killed our primary car. They worked hard to get the back-up car ready to go out and race. We had a good Happy Hour. We ran second to Biffle most of the day. We might have had something for him with four tires there at the end, but we were making calls to win the race not finish second.
"I tried to run the bottom and we just couldn't run fast enough. It was a great day for the Ganassi organization in general."
Two of the favorites to win this weekend both encountered trouble:
Tony Stewart had a horrible weekend at TMS. After an early crash in the Busch race Saturday, he looked poised to gain some momentum back; but with 30 to go, after leading 45 laps, the No. 20 Gibbs Chevy blew an engine. His car caught fire and he suffered limited burns to his right leg and right arm.
"Tony has some first degree burns," said Mike Arning, Stewart's PR Rep. "There is a small burn on the lower back of his right thigh that's about the size of a fist. The other area is on his right elbow. It's about the size of the one on his thigh, and it's more like a bad sunburn. Both are minor burns which he'll treat on his own in the coming days."
Kasey Kahne wrecked the No. 9 Dodge on lap 271 after the shaft on the oil pump let go, "Something broke. I got off the throttle in the corner and it slowed way down and then something dropped out of the bottom of the car.we had a top five car."
Defending race winner Elliott Sadler almost pulled off the comeback of the day. After running at the tale end of the lead lap at the races midpoint, the No. 38 team made major changes on their Ford and steered it within a top-15 result. With seven laps to go, the No. 38 Ford snapped a timing belt and was relegated to a 28th place finish.
"I have no earthly idea (what happened)," said Sadler. "I don't know, but it's somewhere in the drive train. I'd like to comment on it more but I just don't know what happened. We were going to have a top-15. We had about a 40th place car at the beginning of the race and then Todd (Parrott, crew chief) and the guys kept adjusting on it and made it better. We had a top- 15 car and that's about where we would have finished, but it just wasn't meant to be."
The mechanical failure proved costly for Team 38, causing them to freefall from third to eighth in points.
Jimmie Johnson remains at the head of the 2005 Nextel Cup class. Greg Biffle (-135), Rusty Wallace (-237), Kurt Busch (-245), Jeff Gordon (-247), Sterling Marlin (-259), Mark Martin (-260), Elliott Sadler (-263), Ryan Newman (-269) and Dale Jarrett (-289) complete the top ten in standings.
All in all, there were 11 cautions for 56 laps and 25 lead changes among 14 drivers.