Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Sports

Greg Biffle wins NASCAR Sprint Cup's Samsung Mobile 500

FORT WORTH, Texas — Greg Biffle took the lead when he charged under Jimmie Johnson with 30 laps left Saturday night, then pulled away in the Samsung Mobile 500 to end his 49-race winless streak and give Jack Roush another NASCAR Sprint Cup victory in Texas.

Johnson led 156 of the 334 laps while going for owner Rick Hendrick's 200th career victory. But he never recovered, even scraping hard into the wall trying to catch up after Biffle drove under him in Turn 3 and completed the pass before the start-finish line.

Biffle, the season points leader, went on to win the fastest Cup race at the 1½-mile, high-banked track. His average speed of 160.577 mph put his Ford 3.235 seconds ahead of the Chevrolet driven by Johnson.

It was Roush's ninth win in 23 Cup races at Texas and Biffle's first win overall since Oct. 3, 2010, in Kansas.

After starting third, Biffle was among the lead pack the entire race, leading 91 laps. There were only two cautions for 10 slowed laps, both for debris, and the race finished with a track-record 234 laps of green-flag racing.

Mark Martin finished third in a Michael Waltrip-owned Toyota, followed by Jeff Gordon and Roush driver Matt Kenseth. Pole sitter Martin Truex, another Waltrip car, finished sixth after leading 68 laps.

Biffle started the race with a six-point lead over Dale Earnhardt Jr. and now leads Kenseth by 19. He earned his eighth consecutive top-10 finish at Texas, where he had a victory in 2005 even before that stretch.

From the moment he passed Truex for the lead on Lap 180, Johnson dominated.

Biffle chased the five-time series champion through three cycles of green-flag pit stops. He frequently gained ground when Johnson hit traffic, but the margin expanded when Johnson got to clean air. By the time the race hit Lap 300, Martin, in third at 7.8 seconds back, was the only other driver within 10 seconds of Johnson.

For Hendrick Motorsports, it was the second race in a row that Hendrick was close to getting his 200th victory. Johnson, Gordon and Earnhardt were running in the top three at Martinsville two weeks ago before a late restart. But Clint Bowyer's inside move took out Johnson and Gordon, and Earnhardt ended up third.

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