BROOKLYN, Mich. – Greg Biffle delivered a major milestone to Ford executives on Sunday when he won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan Int’l Speedway.
The victory was Ford’s 1,000th in NASCAR national series competition, but it didn’t come easy for Biffle.
Strategy was the name of the game throughout the Quicken Loans 400 and Biffle and his Matt Puccia-led crew played the strategy the best. Biffle took the lead from teammate Carl Edwards with 50 laps left in the 200-lap event and about 17 laps later Biffle came down pit road for a green-flag pit stop.
At almost the same time Biffle was on pit road, Jamie McMurray blew a tire and slammed the wall to bring out a caution flag. Biffle’s crew opted for two tires during the pit stop and that call allowed him to stay on the lead lap when the caution flag waved.
The rest of the field came down pit road to make their pit stops under caution, with most of the leaders taking two tires. Biffle restarted in the race lead on lap 173 and quickly got away from the pack on the restart. Biffle got an even bigger lead when Matt Kenseth nearly spun coming out of turn two on the restart, stacking up most of the field.
Biffle settled into the lead and the laps began to wind down, but Jimmie Johnson was charging through the field with a faster car. Johnson, who restarted 10th at lap 173, was up to third with 19 laps left. He passed second-place Kevin Harvick with nine laps left and continued to close on Johnson.
Johnson got to within one second of Biffle with four laps left, but one lap later Johnson’s Chevrolet blew a tire in turn one and Johnson slammed the wall. Johnson was able to limp his car to pit road and the race stayed green.