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Biffle holds off Johnson in New Hampshire

NASCAR Sprint Cup
Sunday, September 14, 2008

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Greg Biffle and the No. 16 crew celebrate their first trip to Victory Lane this season
Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR
Greg Biffle, a true, hard-charging stock car driver, hasn't been talked about that much in the buzz leading up to NASCAR's Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship. Some might say he was "The Forgotten Man." Not anymore. Biffle won Sunday.

He made the top 12 with an up-and-down season and started getting up to form in the races leading up to Sunday's Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

On Sunday, he grabbed his first victory since last year at Kansas Speedway, the 13th of his Sprint Cup career. Biffle passed two-time champion Jimmie Johnson with 11 laps remaining and held Johnson off for the win.

Carl Edwards was third, Jeff Burton fourth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. placed fifth. Rounding out the top 10 were Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick.

Eight of Sunday's top 10 finishers are eligible for the championship. Pre-race favorite Kyle Busch had a terrible day and wound up numerous laps behind in 34th position. A series of mishaps ruined his day.

Former champion Matt Kenseth also had a miserable day, the victim of a multi-car crash that stopped the race for 10 minutes or so after 220 of the 300 laps had been completed. Kenseth wound up 40th. The red flag waved while officials cleaned up debris from the 220th lap accident.

The crash started when former Indy winner Sam Hornish Jr. ran out of room on the bottom of the track and bumped Kyle Petty, triggering a melee that also involved Casey Mears, David Gilliland, Kyle Busch, and Kenseth.

Jeff Gordon, a four-time champion, wound up 14th and Clint Bowyer, another Chase driver, was 12th.

Edwards showed what he had pretty early, zipping to the front on the eighth lap.

Points leader Busch suffered a sway bar problem and dropped back in the field. His crew fixed his car when NASCAR called a competition caution at lap 35 to allow the teams adjustments.

The track was very green at the start after a drenching overnight rain. Edwards still led on the restart at lap 44. Stewart, Johnson, Kurt Busch and Hamlin were in the top five.

The younger Busch, a favorite to win his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship after pacing the field through its first 26 races, had dropped to 43rd position by the time his crew fixed his problem. Busch didn't help himself when he passed several cars when coming into the pits, which cost him a lap.  Busch had eight wins and a 30-point lead as the first race of this year's Chase unfolded.  Johnson took the lead from Edwards on the 65th lap and Stewart moved up to second.

On lap 84, Busch lost control out of turn two, spun and was hit by Jamie McMurray, which pretty much ended Busch's chances for the day.

David Ragan also spun after being hit in the rear during the accident. Johnson still led on the restart, with Earnhardt right behind him, but Earnhardt took over shortly.

At 150 laps (halfway), it was Earnhardt, Biffle, Johnson, Kurt Busch, Hamlin, Burton, Edwards, Montoya, Bowyer and Truex Jr.

Results

FIN

ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 9 16 Greg Biffle Ford DISH Network Turbo HD 190/5 300 Running
2 3 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's 180/10 300 Running
3 2 99 Carl Edwards Ford Office Depot 170/5 300 Running
4 7 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility 160/0 300 Running
5 4 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet AMP Energy / National Guard 160/5 300 Running
6 20 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 150/0 300 Running
7 18 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 146/0 300 Running
8 8 20 Tony Stewart Toyota The Home Depot 147/5 300 Running
9 6 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Express 138/0 300 Running
10 11 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 134/0 300 Running
11 13 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Budweiser 130/0 300 Running
12 5 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Jack Daniel's 127/0 300 Running
13 21 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Cheerios / Betty Crocker 124/0 300 Running
14 10 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 121/0 300 Running
15 27 44 David Reutimann Toyota UPS 118/0 300 Running
16 24 28 Travis Kvapil Ford Valvoline 115/0 300 Running
17 22 42 Juan Montoya Dodge Juicy Fruit Slim Pack 112/0 300 Running
18 15 8 Aric Almirola Chevrolet U.S. Army 109/0 300 Running
19 33 66 Scott Riggs Chevrolet Haas Automation 106/0 300 Running
20 43 70 Johnny Sauter Chevrolet Haas Automation 103/0 300 Running
21 28 15 Paul Menard Chevrolet Sylvania / Menards 100/0 300 Running
22 30 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Target 97/0 299 Running
23 29 01 Regan Smith * Chevrolet DEI / Principal Financial Group 94/0 299 Running
24 23 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Stanley Tools 91/0 299 Running
25 32 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA AUTO PARTS 88/0 299 Running
26 38 7 Robby Gordon Dodge Jim Beam / Operation Homefront 85/0 299 Running
27 35 00 Michael McDowell * Toyota Champion Mortgage 87/5 299 Running
28 14 6 David Ragan Ford AAA Insurance 79/0 298 Running
29 37 21 Bill Elliott Ford Motorcraft 76/0 298 Running
30 36 77 Sam Hornish Jr. * Dodge Mobil 1 73/0 298 Running
31 39 10 Patrick Carpentier * Dodge Berlin City Auto Group 70/0 298 Running
32 40 96 Joey Logano Toyota The Home Depot / DLP HDTV 67/0 297 Running
33 31 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar 64/0 297 Running
34 1 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M's 66/5 288 Running
35 16 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 63/5 287 Running
36 17 12 Ryan Newman Dodge Kodak 55/0 285 Out of Race
37 25 5 Casey Mears Chevrolet CARQUEST / Kellogg's 52/0 269 Running
38 34 84 A.J. Allmendinger Toyota Red Bull 49/0 264 Running
39 19 26 Jamie McMurray Ford Crown Royal 46/0 230 Running
40 12 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Carhartt 43/0 228 Running
41 26 38 David Gilliland Ford Ford. Drive one. 40/0 228 Running
42 41 45 Chad McCumbee Dodge Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil 37/0 228 Running
43 42 78 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Furniture Row/ DenverMattress.com 34/0 218 Running

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