Greg Biffle wins a big one for Ford
If you want to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup race, you need a fast car. That much is a given. But winning is a lot easier when your toughest competition self-destructs, which is exactly what happened in Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway. And it was a big reason Greg Biffle wound up in Victory Lane.
It was a historic victory for Ford Motor Co., which won its 1,000 race in NASCAR’s top three divisions.
Take nothing away from Biffle, crew chief Matt Puccia or the rest of the No. 16 Roush Fenway team, all of whom performed flawlessly on Sunday. But Biffle was helped tremendously by the misfortunes of others.
• On Lap 7, Bobby Labonte spun and Jeff Gordon, who was behind him, had nowhere to go and clobbered him hard.
• Pre-race favorite Kurt Busch, who qualified second and led the first 21 laps, got loose in Turn 2 and hit the wall in his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet on Lap 29, putting him out of contention.
• Kasey Kahne led 14 laps but blew a right-front tire while leading on Lap 104 and hit the wall, his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet briefly catching fire.
• Jamie McMurray led 21 laps and blew a right-front tire on Lap 168.
With so many others self-destructing that left the Roush Fenway Fords of Carl Edwards and Biffle out front, as the race laps wound down. But Edwards’ engine overheated — and he blamed Biffle for not working with him to get paper off his grille.
Biffle took the lead by not pitting after the caution for McMurray’s tire failure and from there had one last challenge: The all-conquering No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet of Jimmie Johnson, who closed to second place late in the race.
But with three laps to go, Johnson cut a right-front tire, and from there Biffle cruised to an easy victory over Harvick.