Biffle Leads Roush Romp
June 19, 2005 | 4:29 P.M. EST
Biffle scored his NEXTEL Cup Series-leading fifth win of the season on Sunday afternoon driving to victory in the Batman Begins 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
Biffle's National Guard Ford led the way on a stellar day for Roush Racing, which saw car owner Jack Roush's cars take four of the Top 5 finishing positions.
Biffle notched the eighth win of the season for Roush and pulled closer to Jimmie Johnson in the race for the series point lead. It was the second consecutive win at Michigan for Biffle, who took the checkered flag in August's GFS Marketplace 400 here. It was his sixth win in 16 events dating back to last season's finale at Homestead.
The winning move came when Biffle decided to stay out with 31 laps to go rather than pitting for fresh tires like the rest of the frontrunners, including Tony Stewart, decided to do.
"It was my decision," Biffle said, who has seen tire strategy cost him a chance at winning other times this season. "It's just so hard to pass here. I was hoping that six or eight guys would stay with us and give Tony some people to have to burn his tires off to try to catch us."
Stewart wound up leading the most laps on Sunday keeping his Home Dept Chevrolet in front for 97 laps. But in the end it was the decision to come in for fresh rubber that cost Stewart a chance at his first win since Watkins Glen last August.
"I never would have imagined that we wouldn't have got to the front with 12 laps fresher tires," Stewart said.
Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards rounded out the Top 5.
Joe Nemechek, Michael Waltrip, Elliott Sadler, Kyle Busch and Rusty Wallace completed the first ten finishers.
While Stewart wound up short of his bid to return to victory lane, he felt good about his day.
"They may have got us at the end, but we held our own today," he said. "We had fresher tires at the end but, for some reason, they didn't take off the way they had all day. I probably overdrove the car to try to get to the lead again."
Thirty-nine of the 43 starters were running at the finish in a relatively incident-free race. Brian Vickers hit the pit road water barriers during the first round of green flag pit stops. It knocked him from contention after a seventh starting spot.
Sterling Marlin's day ended early in a fiery incident on lap 167 when the engine in his Coors Light Dodge exploded.
Biffle moved to 49 points behind Johnson in the point standings. Sadler, Edwards and Martin round out the Top 5.
The NEXTEL Cup Series travels to Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California next Sunday.