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Biffle stays unbeaten in Chase, leads Ford sweep

NASCAR Sprint Cup
Sunday, September 21, 2008

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Greg Biffle celebrates
Ford
Greg Biffle is up on the wheel. For the second consecutive week, Biffle outraced the field down the stretch and won the Camping World RV 400 Presented by AAA at Dover International Speedway.

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.

Rounding out the top 10 were Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton and Michael Waltrip.

Greg Biffle and his Monster Mile trophy
Ford/Autostock
Eight of the top 10 finishers are competing in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship, excluding Martin and Waltrip.

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.

Sam Hornish Jr. brought out the seventh caution of the action-packed afternoon when he cracked the wall after being bumped from behind by another car.

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.

Results

FIN

ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 5 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 190/5 400 Running
2 8 17 Matt Kenseth Ford DEWALT 180/10 400 Running
3 22 99 Carl Edwards Ford Office Depot 170/5 400 Running
4 2 8 Mark Martin Chevrolet U.S. Army 160/0 400 Running
5 20 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's 160/5 400 Running
6 24 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 155/5 400 Running
7 1 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 151/5 400 Running
8 6 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Jack Daniel's 147/5 400 Running
9 21 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility 138/0 400 Running
10 40 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA AUTO PARTS 139/5 400 Running
11 33 20 Tony Stewart Toyota The Home Depot 130/0 400 Running
12 37 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar 127/0 400 Running
13 19 12 Ryan Newman Dodge Alltel 124/0 400 Running
14 42 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Cheerios / Betty Crocker 121/0 400 Running
15 31 5 Casey Mears Chevrolet Kellogg's / CARQUEST 118/0 400 Running
16 30 84 A.J. Allmendinger Toyota Red Bull 115/0 400 Running
17 14 44 David Reutimann Toyota UPS 112/0 399 Running
18 23 6 David Ragan Ford AAA Insurance 109/0 399 Running
19 7 38 David Gilliland Ford Ford. Drive one. 106/0 399 Running
20 16 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 103/0 399 Running
21 34 15 Paul Menard Chevrolet Pittsburgh Paints / Menards 100/0 398 Running
22 41 7 Robby Gordon Dodge Menards 97/0 398 Running
23 15 28 Travis Kvapil Ford Hitachi Power Tools 94/0 397 Running
24 10 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet National Guard / AMP Energy 91/0 397 Running
25 32 66 Scott Riggs Chevrolet State Water Heaters 88/0 397 Running
26 36 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Budweiser 85/0 397 Running
27 12 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge McDonald's 82/0 397 Running
28 13 70 Tony Raines Chevrolet Haas Automation 79/0 396 Running
29 28 00 Michael McDowell * Toyota Champion Mortgage 76/0 395 Running
30 39 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Target 73/0 395 Running
31 18 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 70/0 395 Running
32 29 21 Marcos Ambrose Ford Little Debbie 67/0 395 Running
33 43 96 Ken Schrader Toyota DLP HDTV 64/0 394 Running
34 4 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 61/0 394 Running
35 27 78 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Furniture Row/ DenverMattress.com 58/0 388 Running
36 9 26 Jamie McMurray Ford IRWIN Industrial Tools 60/5 369 Running
37 26 01 Regan Smith * Chevrolet DEI / Principal Financial Group 52/0 365 Running
38 3 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Ground 49/0 362 Running
39 35 42 Juan Montoya Dodge Big Red Slim Pack 46/0 351 Accident
40 38 45 Kyle Petty Dodge Wells Fargo 43/0 349 Running
41 17 10 Patrick Carpentier * Dodge Charter Comm. 40/0 348 Running
42 25 77 Sam Hornish Jr. * Dodge Mobil 1 37/0 304 Accident
43 11 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Interstate Batteries 34/0 172 Engine

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