Biffle wins second straight Chase race
Published 6:45 pm Sunday, September 21, 2008
DOVER, Del. – Greg Biffle made it 2-for-2 in the Chase for the championship, making another late pass — this time with nine laps to go — and holding off Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards on Sunday.
Roush Fenway Racing teammates Biffle, Kenseth and Edwards engaged in a thrilling run over the final 20 laps at Dover International Speedway, but Biffle made another textbook move to the outside late to pull away.
“That was probably the best race I’ve seen in a long time,” Kenseth said. “You hate to get beat when you’re in those battles.”
Biffle, the winner last week at New Hampshire after passing Jimmie Johnson with 12 laps left, is third in the Chase points standings. Biffle and Johnson are both 10 points behind Edwards for the lead, but Johnson holds the tiebreaker.
“I knew deep down inside the Roush cars had something special and were going to be tough to beat,” Johnson said.
Kenseth was second, and Edwards third in a wildly successful day for Roush Fenway. Kenseth had a disastrous Chase opener when an accident forced him out of the race and he entered 12th in the standings. He moved to 10th.
“The championship isn’t really on my mind at this moment,” Kenseth said.
Kyle Busch, the regular-season points winner, had another miserable race and a blown engine knocked him out early. He finished 43rd in the 400-mile race to drop to 12th and last in the Chase field.
“We’re out of the title hunt, that’s for sure,” Busch said.
Up ahead for Biffle is a trip to Kansas City, a track where he won last season. While Biffle has been able to drive that No. 16 Ford into Victory Lane, he still can’t maneuver into first place in the standings and trails Edwards by 10 points. The only way to catch Edwards is to keep winning races.
“I got to keep doing this,” Biffle said. “I knew these guys were going to be tough.”
Mark Martin was fourth and Chase drivers filled up the next five spots. Johnson was fifth followed by Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer and Jeff Burton.
Michael Waltrip finished 10th.
Other Chase driver results saw Tony Stewart in 11th, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 24th, and Denny Hamlin was 38th. Hamlin’s car also was pushed to the garage, making it a bleak day for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Burton moved up a spot and is fourth in the standings. Harvick made the biggest jump, going from 10th to fifth. The rest of the standings are: Bowyer, Stewart, Gordon, Earnhardt, Kenseth, Hamlin, then Busch.
Edwards’ crew gambled on his final pit spot and took four tires while the other drivers took four. Kenseth took the lead on lap 377, and then the three teammates drove hard toward a close-and-clean finish.
Biffle nipped at Kenseth’s bumper and kept inching his way past his teammate. Then Biffle pinched off Kenseth and got his nose out there to pass him down the backstretch. “The Biff” never let up the rest of the way on the mile concrete track.
“I couldn’t give up. It was my last chance to get him,” Biffle said.
Biffle has two wins in his last two races after not winning in any of the previous 33. He finished third here in June, has reeled off six straight top-10 finishes overall on the Monster Mile and also won the race back in June 2005. Plus, Biffle has two more victories at Dover in the Nationwide Series.
“It was an exciting day to say the least,” Biffle said.