Racingone Rewind: Darlington

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Complete Results | Box Score | Lap Summary | Driver Ratings

DARLINGTON, S.C. - A look back at Greg Biffle's 10th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win in Saturday's Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway including news, notes and observations by RacingOne's own Pete Pistone and Jeff Wackerlin.

Inside Line
Greg Biffle held off Jeff Gordon to score his first NEXTEL Cup win of the season and second straight victory in the Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway.

Keys to Victory Lane
Biffle pitted a lap earlier than leaders Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Gordon on the race's final pit stop at lap 315 and came out ahead of the field to take the top spot and drove to the checkered flag.

Zero to Hero
Kenseth started back in the 31st position but was quickly in the middle of the leaders and challenged for the win before fading late and settling for a third-place finish.

Hero to Zero
Carl Edwards was working his way to the lead but a broken oil pump belt sidelined the No. 99 Office Depot Ford and Edwards finished 39th. Ironically his Roush racing teammate Jamie McMurray was sidelined with the exact mechanical problem.

Notables
Kyle Busch came from the 29th starting spot to post a seventh-place finish. Jeff Burton notched a ninth place for his sixth top 10 of the season. And Martin Truex, Jr. came all the way from 39th position to finish 14th.

Rookie of the Race
Denny Hamlin followed his Busch Series win at Darlington Friday night with an impressive 10th-place finish. Reed Sorenson was also impressive coming home 11th.

What's the Points?
Johnson stretched his lead in the standings to 93 over Tony Stewart with Kenseth, Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. rounding out the first five.

Pit Stops
  • Greg Biffle captured his 10th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win in his 125th start and second consecutive at Darlington Raceway. The win was also his third top 10 in five starts at LVMS.
  • Biffle won the 91st race - fifth at Darlington - for car owner Jack Roush.
  • Biffle became the 42nd driver overall to win a race from the ninth starting position.
  • Biffle led seven times for 170 laps. Lap Summary
  • Biffle won the 572 overall race for Ford.
  • Jeff Gordon (second) captured his 14th top five at Darlington in his 26th start.
  • Matt Kenseth (third) led three times for 64 laps en route to his first top five at Darlington in 13 starts.
  • Jimmie Johnson's fourth-place finish was his fifth consecutive Darlington finish of seventh or better.
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. scored his fifth top-10 Darlington finish in 12 starts.
  • Ryan Newman (sixth) has now finished in the top 10 in the last three races of the season.
  • Kyle Busch's seventh-place finish was his first top 20 in two Darlington starts.
  • Mark Martin captured his 25th top 10 at Darlington with an eighth-place finish.
  • Jeff Burton's ninth-place finish was his 13th top 10 at Darlington.
  • Denny Hamlin was the highest finishing rookie, finishing 10th.
  • The 367-lap race saw 25 lead changes among 10 drivers and an average speed of 135.127 mph.
  • Six caution flags were thrown for 24 laps.
  • Saturday's Dodge Charger 500 lasted 3 hours, 42 minutes, 36 seconds.

    Lug Nuts
  • Nice idea to have drivers' moms give the command to start engines. Poor execution, but great idea.
  • FOX-TV's Chris Myers referred to Brian Vickers' early race crash as looking "like Patrick Kennedy was driving." Let the letters to the editor begin.
  • Roush Racing has two cars retire with broken oil pump belts?
  • Kevin Harvick's luck has changed since he signed that contract extension at RCR. Bet Richard Childress will be going on another safari real soon.
  • Sure is a good thing Michael Waltrip can talk because he's not going to support his family with his driving ability this year.
  • Robert Yates had a great day. First he loses Dale Jarrett to Toyota, then both Jarrett and Elliott Sadler finished 24th and 29th, respectively.
  • Honorary starter Luke Perry was far away from Beverly Hills 90210, tonight it was Darlington 29540. Sitting next to Erin Crocker, Perry watched the beginning of the race from Kasey Kahne's war wagon. Perry was also reunited with Stanton Barrett who did a motorcycle stunt for him on 90210.
  • American Idol contestant Bucky Covington can't see a race in is hometown of Rockingham, N.C. so he did the next best thing by making the trip to see tonight's Dodge Charger 500.
  • Picture perfect weather this weekend at Darlington. Wish the same could be said for the World of Outlaws who can't catch a break when it comes to the weather.
  • Some lucky fans on souvenir row had the chance to go for a thrill ride today, as Dodge has a mini test track set up. Fans were able to ride for two laps in a Dodge Viper or Charger SRT in a high speed drift type ride for two laps. It looked like a lot of fun!
  • Anyone thinking about going to Darlington next season (and the Mother's Day weekend date is set again in 2007), the new Turn 1 grandstands are top notch. Get your request in now because Darlington is sure to sell out next season.

    Media Center
    Video: Biffle Post Race Comments

    Garage Talk
    "I believe that a lot of these races are too long. I'd like them to go with a multi-race format in one day, race two heats and have 10 cars in the finals. I'm glad I finally got to say that." - Luke Perry

    "We're disappointed with tenth, which is a hard thing to say this early in our team's career." - Denny Hamlin

    "This is huge. We needed a boost, we needed some momentum, we needed points, we needed a lot of things." - Jeff Gordon

    "That seems like 110 races ago, not 11. I can't believe that statistic." - Greg Biffle, who hadn't won for 11 races since the 2005 season finale at Homestead.

    RacingOne Rating
    On a scale of one to ten Darlington stripes, we'll give Saturday night's Dodge Charger 500 a solid eight. "Old School" never looked better as NASCAR's original superspeedway hosted an SRO crowd under the lights with lots of side-by-side racing. Drama at the end with Biffle's leap into the lead on pit stop strategy and a good old fashioned run to the checkered flag between the eventual winner and Gordon. The only thing that might have made this trip to Darlington better would be a return trip on the schedule this Labor Day, which hopefully will be a reality in the not-too-distant future if the rumors we're hearing come true. Next week, it's wreckers or checkers for $1 million as the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge is set for Lowe's Motor Speedway.
    
            
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