With second win, Biffle chases top spot

Roush Fenway takes top 3 places

GREG BIFFLE10 points from lead GREG BIFFLE10 points from lead (robert lesieur/Reuters)
By Dan Gelston
Associated Press / September 22, 2008
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DOVER, Del. - Greg Biffle finished a middling regular season as a driver who just couldn't win. Now, he's the one who simply can't lose.

Biffle traded a lengthy winless streak for a winning one when it mattered most. He made it a sparkling 2 for 2 in the Chase for the championship yesterday, using another late pass - this time with nine laps to go - to hold off Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards and bolster his bid for the Sprint Cup title.

"I feel like this has been coming for a while," Biffle said. "There's a lot of concentration right now. It doesn't get more important than this."

Up ahead for Biffle is a trip to Kansas City, a track where he won last season before starting a 33-race winless streak. That dismal skid seems as much behind him as his Roush Fenway Racing teammates Kenseth and Edwards were over the final thrilling laps at Dover International Speedway.

While Biffle has been able to drive that No. 16 Ford into Victory Lane, he still can't maneuver into first place in the Chase standings. Biffle and two-time defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson are both 10 points behind Edwards for the lead, but Johnson holds the tiebreaker.

Biffle knows the only way to catch Edwards is to keep winning races.

"We've got to beat the 99 car somehow," Biffle said. "We've got to start stretching it out."

That's exactly what he did with the lead once he caught Kenseth and put away Edwards. The trio engaged in a fantastic run over the final 20 laps that had to have tugged at owner Jack Roush's loyalties. Biffle, the winner last week at New Hampshire after passing Johnson with 12 laps left, made another textbook move to the outside past Kenseth to pull away.

"I thought I might be able to hang on, but I wasn't sure," Kenseth 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.

Kyle Busch, the regular-season points winner, had another miserable race and a blown engine knocked him out early. He finished 43d in the 400-mile race to drop to last in the Chase field.

"We're out of the title hunt, that's for sure," Busch said.

Jeff Burton finished ninth and moved up a spot to fourth in the standings. Kevin Harvick made the biggest jump, going from 10th to fifth.

"It's hard to tell [Busch] to keep his head up," said Tony Stewart, who finished 11th. "There's nobody who's going to make him feel better right now and rightfully so."

Edwards's crew gambled on his final pit spot and took two 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. Biffle 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.

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