Greg Biffle made history for Ford on Sunday, taking the win in the Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. The win was Biffle’s first of the season and the 13th victory at MIS for Roush Fenway Racing, but the big milestone achieved by Biffle’s win was the 1,000th NASCAR national level win for Ford.
“It is a hard-fought battle,” Biffle said. “It wasn’t easy. “I kept working on this car and working on this car. The guys did a great job. The pit stops were flawless.”
Kevin Harvick finished second, inheriting the position with three laps to go when then-second-place driver Jimmie Johnson had a tire go down and made contact with the wall.
Martin Truex Jr. finished third, Kyle Busch was fourth, and Tony Stewart rounded out the top-five.
Johnson wasn’t the only Hendrick driver to have trouble while running up front. All four Hendrick cars had some kind of trouble. Jeff Gordon was part of the first caution of the race on lap five when he was unable to avoid a spinning Bobby Labonte.
The other two Hendrick drivers, Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr., like Johnson, also had trouble while leading. Kahne was up front, having taken the lead from Earnhardt on lap 90, when Kahne made hard contact with the while after either a tire issue or a part failure.
Kahne’s problem handed the lead back over the Earnhardt, who pulled out to a four-second lead by lap 123. But a few laps later his engine failed, and Johnson moved into the lead.
After the caution for Earnhardt’s engine, Carl Edwards restarted first and Joey Logano second. Soon after the restart, Biffle took the second spot from Logano and then, several laps later, took the lead from Edwards.
Both Biffle and Edwards hit pit road under green around lap 164. The yellow flag waved a lap later, allowing those who didn’t pit under green to make their final stops of the race under caution. Biffle stayed on the lead lap after his green-flag stop and moved into the lead when drivers who pitted under caution headed down pit road.
“I was nervous I wasn’t going to be the leader, but I was excited when they told me I was the leader, still, and the 48 (Johnson) was in 10th. I knew he had his work cut out for him, and we were able to beat him that way.”
Edwards, though, wasn’t able to stay on the lead lap, and took the wave around to get back on the lead lap under the yellow. As a result, he wound up restarting outside the top-20. By the end of the race, though, Edwards was able to work his way back into the top-10 to finish eighth.
With Biffle leading, Harvick moved up to second on the restart. But with 10 laps to go, Harvick gave up second to Johnson. Johnson was gaining on Biffle in the closing laps before his tire issue. But with the tire and contact with the wall, Johnson fell back, and Harvick reclaimed second.
Matt Kenseth finished sixth, Clint Bowyer was seventh, Edwards eighth, Logano ninth, and Jeff Burton 10th.
– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR