Biffle led 219 laps after starting in back
It took hardly any time at all for him to make the rest of the field feel bad in Sunday's Samsung/Radio Shack 500.
"I was sore when I went to bed, sore when I woke up and I'm still sore,'' said Biffle, who ran over debris on the track during a Nextel Cup practice on Saturday, cutting down the right front tire and slamming into the wall on the fast 1½-mile oval.
"It's been in the back of my head thinking about it ever since, but it hasn't slowed me down.''
After charging from the rear of the 43-car field in a backup car, the Roush Racing driver was overpowering Sunday, leading 219 of 334 laps to grab his second victory of the season and the fifth of his career.
"As soon as I caught my breath after the crash, I told the guys I was OK and to get the backup out,'' Biffle said. "They did an incredible job of getting that car ready. I want to thank all the guys from the other (Roush) teams. There were probably five or six different color uniforms over there working on getting that car ready.
"It was a good thing we still had some practice time left because I was a little nervous when I went back out there, a little intimidated thinking about that tire going down and hitting the fence. But I was confident we'd have a good car in the race.''
Fortunately for Biffle, his backup No. 16 Ford was the same car in which he won earlier this season in California, so he wasn't too concerned about being competitive.
He picked off cars two and three at a time early in the race, moving all the way to 15th by lap 26, slipping into the top a few laps later. He took the lead for the first time on lap 87.
Biffle kept pulling away from the rest of the pack, but the race was slowed by 11 caution flags, keeping him from turning it into a rout.
The leaders made their final pit stops on lap 298 after Tony Stewart's engine blew, setting his Chevrolet on fire and bringing out the yellow flag. Stewart sustained minor burns to his right leg and right arm and was treated and released at the infield medical center.
Casey Mears, who had been running a distant second to Biffle, took only two tires during his stop and beat Biffle out of the pits to grab the lead.
There was an aborted restart on lap 304 when Dave Blaney spun between the first and second turns, but the green flag was displayed for the final time on lap 309. It took Biffle just three laps to work to the inside of Mears' Dodge and regain the lead.
"We might have had something for him with four tires there at the end, but we were making the call to try to win the race, not finish second,'' said Mears, who was also in a backup after crashing on Friday in the opening practice. "I tried to run the bottom and we just couldn't run fast enough.''
After Biffle regained the lead, it was no contest. He pulled away to win by 3.244-seconds -- about 20 car lengths ahead of runner-up Jamie McMurray, Mear's teammate. Biffle is the ninth winner in as many Cup races at Texas. He had not finished better than 28th in two previous Cup races here.
Series points leader Jimmie Johnson was third, with Mears fading to fourth -- matching his career best. Johnson has finished in the top 10 in each of his seven starts this season. He came into Sunday leading runner-up Biffle by 160 points and will go into next Saturday's race at Phoenix 135 ahead of the race winner.
Kurt Busch, the defending series champion, ended a string of crashes in three straight Cup races by finishing seventh, while former Texas winner and fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. was ninth.
Jeff Gordon, who was coming off a victory the previous week at Martinsville and was trying to win for the first time at Texas, was never a factor, finishing 15th.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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