Biffle Boffo At Daytona

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Greg Biffle scored a major upset victory Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway as the rookie driver won the 45th running of the Pepsi 400 to notch his first career NASCAR Winston Cup Series win.

Biffle won his first career race in his 23rd start behind the wheel of the Roush Racing Grainger Ford. He is the first first-time winner of 2003 and becomes the sixth driver to win his first career Cup event in the Pepsi 400.

Biffle and crew chief Randy Goss gambled on fuel strategy to put themselves in position to challenge for the victory. That startegy paid off as Biffle was able to stretch his final tank 41 laps and hold off a late race challenge from Bobby Labonte, who's Interstate Batteries Chevrolet ran out of fuel on the final lap. That paved the way for the victory over his Roush Racing teammate Jeff Burton and Ricky Rudd. Terry Labonte was fourth and Bobby Labonte coasted across the line for fifth.

"Just before it went back to green (on lap 79), I saw a bunch of guys going in and I told (crew chief Randy Goss) and he said, `Come on in.' That's what won us the race," Biffle said.

"I figured Bobby was going to get me there at the end," Biffle said. "He's got a lot of experience at these superspeedways. This is my first year in these cars and this thing was really loose. He just didn't have anybody to help him."

Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jeremy Mayfield, Kevin Harvick and Dale Jarrett completed the first ten.

The race was slowed only twice for caution which put the fuel strategy plan in play for many teams. The DEI team of Earhardt and Michael Waltrip, the pre-race favorites, were caught in the fuel strategy scenario and forced to make an extra stop. That eliminated their hopes for more restrictor plate success with Earnhardt finishing 7th and Waltrip 11th.

One of the two cautions came for a seven car crash on lap 74 which started when Kurt Busch, running third at the time, spun in front of the field in turn two. The ensuing melee swept up Robby Gordon, polesitter Steve Park, Jamie McMurray and Joe Nemechek among others. No one was injured in the incident.

The NASCAR Winston Cup Series now travels to Chicagoland Speedway next Sunday for the third running of the Tropicana 400.

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