Biffle Wins Rain Delayed Truck Race

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    FORT WORTH, Texas -- Pole-sitter Greg Biffle knew he had a chance to gain some ground in the NASCAR Trucks points standings. Then he realized he could take over the lead.

    With NASCAR Trucks series points leader Jack Sprague out of the Pronto Auto Parts 400 on Friday night, Biffle took over the race lead for good on lap 131 and then took over the points lead from Sprague when he crossed the finish line.

    "When they told me (Sprague) was in the pits out of the race, it put a lot of pressure on me," Biffle said. "That's your opportunity to gain all of it or lose it all."

    Biffle led six times for 119 of the 167 laps in the rain-delayed race. He finished 2.642 seconds ahead of Mike Wallace with an average speed of 174.989 mph.

    On the restart after the last caution, on lap 160, rookie Kurt Busch tried to pass Roush teammate Biffle on the outside going into turn three. Biffle made a quick move to close the door and kept the lead.

    "That's a hairy spot to make contact, but give the kid credit, he was fighting for his first win," Biffle said. "Once I got them off my spoiler, I went flat out around the corner and put it to them."

    Sprague, who had nine straight top-5 finishes, began the race with a 92-point lead over Biffle, but after his 28th-place finish dropped 14 points behind him.

    Biffle, who won for the 11th time in NASCAR trucks and had his fifth straight top-5 finish, was the runner-up to Sprague for the 1999 points total by just eight points.

    Sprague was knocked out of the race after losing control of his truck and being hit when he went sideways on the backstretch on lap 122.

    "The truck certainly wasn't perfect tonight. I was just having a hard time getting a hold of anything," Sprague said. "It got away from me."

    Busch, the runner-up to Biffle at Pikes Peak last month, finished sixth. He lost ground after he went high and hit the wall on the backstretch on lap 161.

    Randy Tolsma finished third, followed by Andy Houston and Bryan Reffner.

    The start of the race was delayed 2 hours, 15 minutes after heavy rains late in the afternoon. There were still some obvious wet spots on the track right after the race started, but they didn't seem to affect the race.

    Biffle, with his third pole of the season, needed only 10 laps to catch up with the back end of the field. He was still in the lead as the first caution flag came out on lap 30 when Jay Stewart rear-ended fellow Texan Patrick Lawyer, sustaining heavy damage to his front end that knocked him out of the race.

    But on the first lap after the opening caution, lap 36, Wallace took over the lead going inside on turn three to overtake Biffle.

    "My performance was extremely good. Greg was just better all weekend than us," Wallace said. "If you can't win, you try to finish the best you can."

    Sprague took advantage of the first caution to move up two spots to third after making a pit stop of less than 10 seconds. But with 45 laps to go he spun sideways in the center of the track and was hit by Rob Morgan, who started on the front row with Biffle. Morgan also left the race.

    Defending Pronto Auto Parts champion Dennis Setzer, a Texas native who started third, was still on the lead lap in 21st place when his engine blew on lap 57. He ended his night in 33rd place in the 37-car field.
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