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That was for "The Cat": Biffle wins at Pocono

Greg Biffle performs a burnout after breaking his 64-race winless streak with a victory at Pocono by 3.598 seconds.

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Greg Biffle performs a burnout after breaking his 64-race winless streak with a victory at Pocono by 3.598 seconds.

LONG POND, Pa. — As he closed in on the finish, Greg Biffle knew the only person worthy of dedicating this victory to at Pocono Raceway.

"This one's for Jack!" he said over the radio.

Was it ever.

With Jack Roush recovering from injuries sustained Tuesday in a plane crash in Wisconsin, Biffle earned victory in Sunday's often-delayed Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway.

Biffle led the final 21 laps of the Pennsylvania 500 to snap a 64-race winless streak. It was the first victory this year for Roush Fenway Racing, and for Ford.

"I have to tell you, when it got to be five (laps) to go," Biffle said, "…I started thinking, this race is meant to be."

Biffle never doubted he would win again even as his oh-fer hit nearly two years. He hadn't won since the first two races in the 2008 Chase for the Cup championship. But with Roush in the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, motivation was easy to find.

"We know he's watching," Biffle said. "It's been really tough. We worked so hard."

Tony Stewart was second and Roush driver Carl Edwards was third. Kevin Harvick was fourth and Denny Hamlin, who won the previous two Pocono races, rounded out the top five.

Edwards spoke Sunday morning with Roush, known as "The Cat in the Hat" for the straw hat he wears on pit road, and said his boss sounded in good spirits.

"He was Jack," Edwards said. "(He said) don't mess anything up. Don't wreck. He's been through a lot this last week. He really needed that victory. That's pretty cool. I'm sure he's really hard to handle for all those nurses in the hospital."

Roush released a statement calling it a "proud day" for the entire organization.

"They've done a wonderful job and this is just the beginning of the rewards that have resulted from all of their hard work," he said.

Biffle said Roush called him in Victory Lane and the owner said, "he never met somebody that had the will to win like I do."

Biffle's crew kept the same No. 16 car which earned a season-high third-place finish last week at Indianapolis.

"The whole company needed it," said Biffle's crew chief, Greg Erwin. "I can't really explain what this means."

Sunday's start was delayed by rain, then two long red flag stops totaled nearly 50 minutes.

Elliott Sadler and Kurt Busch walked away from scary wrecks that knocked them out and drew the first red flag.

Sadler laid down on the 2.5-mile triangle track, suffering a sore chest and stomach after smacking the inside wall. The engine on his No. 19 Ford was ripped from the body and smoldered nearby.

Busch's No. 2 Dodge was hit from behind by four-time defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson. Busch slammed into the wall, skidded along the grass, and nailed an infield barrier.

Rain brought out the last, brief red flag. Sam Hornish led at that point, but shortly after the restart Biffle took the lead and pulled away.

KENTUCKY TIME: The Associated Press reported that Kentucky Speedway will get a Sprint Cup race in 2011. The 1.5-mile tri-oval in Sparta, halfway between Louisville and Cincinnati, will host NASCAR's top series in early July. A news conference is scheduled Aug. 10 at the track. In 2008, Speedway Motorsports Inc. bought the track from the original ownership group, which sued NASCAR and International Speedway Corp. in 2005, contending they tried to exclude the track from the Cup series.

That was for "The Cat": Biffle wins at Pocono 08/01/10 [Last modified: Sunday, August 1, 2010 11:55pm]
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