Biffle stays unbeaten in Chase, leads Ford sweep
Biffle, who ran with the leaders most of the day, turned up the adrenaline with 24 laps to go and dogged teammate Matt Kenseth for 15 laps before finally passing Kenseth with a eight laps remaining.
It was no-holds-barred, bare-knuckle racing at its best as Biffle tried to pass Kenseth lap after lap on the low side of the track. Kenseth kept fighting him off, and Biffle slipped to the outside lane. The two cars touched momentarily, and Biffle came out of the corner sideways, but in the lead.
Carl Edwards, who joined the free-for-all for several laps, eventually had to settle for third place. It was a 1-2-3 finish for Roush Fenway Racing.
Mark Martin was fourth in a Chevy, and two-time champion Jimmie Johnson was fifth.
Tony Stewart, another Chase contender, was 11th. Denny Hamlin wound up 38th, and the favorite coming into the final 10-race Sprint Showdown, Kyle Busch, had another dismal day, finishing dead last, 43rd.
A splendid day for racing with balmy, tropical weather turned stormy for former champion Kurt Busch just a lap into the race. David Gilliland barely brushed the left rear of Busch, causing Busch's Dodge to slam the outside retaining wall. The action on the high-banked Dover Downs track -- dubbed the "Monster Mile" -- continued shortly after the restart.
Patrick Carpentier lost control of his Dodge in Turn 1, spinning out of control and nicking the fender of Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup contender Carl Edwards. Both cars, as well as Kurt Busch and Gilliland, were able to continue.
Jeff Gordon showed his pole speed out front with Hamlin, Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Martin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., David Reutimann, Bowyer, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. in tow.
On lap 31, McMurray sped past Gordon for the lead and put a comfortable distance between himself and the rest of the field.
Joe Nemechek brought out another caution on lap 64 when his Chevy cut a right front tire and slammed the outside wall.
On the restart at lap 69, excellent pit work by his crew put Kenseth on the point, followed by Gordon, Martin, McMurray and Edwards. Rounding out the top 10 at the time were Reutimann, Johnson, Bowyer, Burton and Biffle.
McMurray chased Gordon down and passed him again on lap 83 for second place. Gordon dropped to fifth behind Kenseth, McMurray, Martin and Edwards.
Several notables had moved into contention shortly after 100 laps with Tony Stewart leading the way. Stewart raced from 33rd to 15th at 130 laps and Juan Pablo Montoya had moved from 35th to 17th.
Earnhardt brought out a caution on lap 141 when he lost control of what he termed "a loose race car" and did a solo spin down the front straightaway. Almost simultaneously, Kyle Busch's Toyota started spewing smoke, signaling the possibility of a rear end gear problem. When the green flag started them again on lap 148, it was Kenseth and Edwards up front, Martin, Gordon and Biffle just behind. Earnhardt and Kyle Busch were limping around the track in 22nd and 36th spots, respectively.
AJ Allmendinger's Toyota brought out another caution just a few laps later when he scraped the wall.
The fireworks continued shortly after the green flag when Robby Gordon slipped up into McMurray, who was passing Gordon's No. 7, a lap down, on the outside in Turns 3 and 4. The two cars made contact and spun. The accident ended McMurray's chances to win even though he continued in the race.
The top five remained the same with Kenseth on the point.
The "Monster Mile" was certainly living up to its ugly reputation for wrecking cars.
During this caution period, Kyle Busch's car returned to the garage area to figure out what the problem was with his machine. Busch was the hottest driver on the circuit in the first two-thirds of the season, winning eight times to become the odds-on favorite in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. He had problems at New Hampshire last week and fell out of the race. Sunday's problem put him in 12th place in the Chase standings, from first to last in two races.
Hornish, who had returned to the track, spun again on lap 187 to bring out another caution, the eighth of the race.
Johnson went to the front shortly before halfway when some teams stopped and some didn't during the flurry of caution-flag stops.
Ryan Newman was second with Dave Blaney third. Gordon was next with Montoya on his bumper, followed by Reutimann, Allmendinger, Hamlin, Edwards and David Gilliland. Kenseth had dropped back to 11th with Biffle 12th. The complexion of the race changed completely at this point, but Johnson and company still had 200 laps remaining.
Feedback can be sent to email@example.com
Go to our forums to discuss this article