Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Greg Biffle wins at Kansas, Jimmie Johnson takes Sprint Cup lead

Greg Biffle earned his second victory of the season and second for Roush Fenway Racing.

Getty Images

Greg Biffle earned his second victory of the season and second for Roush Fenway Racing.

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Greg Biffle is back in the title hunt, and Jimmie Johnson has resumed his normal spot atop the NASCAR leaderboard.

Kansas Speedway again played a major role in the Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship, which got a whole lot tighter after a fast-paced race dominated by the title contenders.

Biffle won Sunday's Price Chopper 400, pulling himself out of a deep hole with seven races remaining to determine the title, and Chase drivers took the top seven spots.

"Everybody asked us if we're out of the Chase, have we given up?" the Roush Fenway Racing driver said. "The (No.) 16 team will never give up. A win here propelled us up there. Maybe we'll go do the same next week."

That had to be the widespread thinking as nine drivers are separated by 101 points. It's the closest the Chase field has been after three races since NASCAR started the format in 2004.

But another telling stat could mean trouble for everyone besides Johnson and Denny Hamlin: Only once in the Chase has the eventual champion been ranked lower than second after Kansas. Who was that? Johnson, who rallied from eighth in points after Kansas in 2006 to win the first of his four consecutive titles.

And here he is again after rallying from as low as 21st midway through Sunday's race to finish second. He leads Hamlin by eight points headed into next weekend's race in California.

Still, Johnson said a fifth consecutive title isn't in the bag.

"It's early. I'm not worried about who is leading the championship right now," he said.

Hamlin, like Johnson, he struggled mightily early. But his adjustments were good enough for only a 12th-place finish, and Hamlin's 35-point lead before the race began turned into a deficit.

"I knew right away we were going to have a long day," Hamlin said. "You've got to make the most of your bad days and, if this is a bad day for us, then we're going to rebound next weekend."

So will Kyle Busch, Hamlin's teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing.

Busch had early contact with David Reutimann that caused Reutimann to spin, and when they crossed paths later, Reutimann appeared to intentionally knock him into the wall.

Busch was seventh at the time of the accident, fell to 22nd and demanded over his radio that NASCAR take action against Reutimann, of Zephyrhills. Crew chief Dave Rogers heightened the drama by telling Busch that Reutimann's team demanded he retaliate against Busch.

Busch finished 21st, worst among Chasers, and took time to change out of his firesuit before speaking to reporters.

He was much calmer about the incident afterward.

"Whatever. It's just really unfortunate," Busch said. "The guy was loose, said it on the radio, he slid up off the bottom and I got into him unintentionally and just spun him out. My fault, 100 percent. But then the retaliation? For a guy that's in the Chase, that's racing for something … he'll be here next year. He could have wrecked me in any of the first 26 races next year. That would have been fine."

Reutimann didn't admit that he intentionally wrecked Busch, but had no guilt for tangling with a championship contender.

"You guys can sugarcoat it all the time, but he wrecked me," Reutimann said.

The Busch-Reutimann incident was the extent of the on-track drama. Everything else was relegated to decent racing in an event that finished in a record 2 hours, 54 minutes, with five cautions, fewest in track history.

Greg Biffle wins at Kansas, Jimmie Johnson takes Sprint Cup lead 10/03/10 [Last modified: Monday, October 4, 2010 7:41am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays pitchers rave about Twins pitching coach, ex-mentor Neil Allen

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — There have been a lot of coaches who have had a hand in helping Chris Archer get to the big leagues and to the front of the Rays rotation, and as he took the mound Friday night at Target Field, he had reason to nod appreciatively toward the home dugout.

    Minnesota Twins pitching coach Neil Allen jogs back to the dugout after paying starting pitcher Tyler Duffey a visit on the mound in the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers on Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  2. State baseball: Bishop McLaughlin bows out in Class 3A semifinals

    Baseballpreps

    FORT MYERS — One inning into Bishop McLaughlin's Class 3A state semifinal against Fort Myers Canterbury, things could not have gone much better for the Hurricanes. They grabbed a quick one-run lead and Canterbury ace Sam Keating was forced out of the game with a nagging neck injury.

     Chris Berglund (18) of Bishop McLaughlin, at bat during second inning of the FHSAA class 3A semi-final on Friday May 26, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Canterbury, Fort Myers, defeated Bishop 7 to 4. Canterbury will play in the 3A championship tomorrow.
  3. Bucs WR DeSean Jackson knows only one direction: full speed ahead

    Sports

    TAMPA — DeSean Jackson is the "1."

    Actually, Jackson, the Bucs' latest weapon for quarterback Jameis Winston, with his blazing speed and game-changing splash plays, wears No. 11 in games.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  4. Video preview: Rays open tough road trip facing Twins tonight

    Blogs

    After splitting a four-game series against the Angels to wrap up a winning homestand, the Rays tonight open a nine-game, 10-day roadtrip with the first game of the weekend series with the Twins:

  5. For starters: Rays, Archer take on surprising Twins to open road trip

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 6:37: Cash said it was a combination of wanting to keep Dickerson, who is a team-best . 358 against lefties, in the lineup and Santiago's splits. ... Cash said there was nothing new on the injured players back at the Trop, with Brad Boxberger still slated to throw live BP on Monday in Port Charlotte, …