NASCAR: Biffle wins Nationwide race
LAS VEGAS ó Greg Biffle was caught speeding on pit road, had another bad stop, and ran out of gas while leading ó twice.
He overcame all of the miscues Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to snap his 76-race winless streak, partly because almost every other driver had similar issues while leading.
“It was definitely not short of action,” said Biffle, who last won a Nationwide race at California in February of last year.
Biffle ran out of gas while leading with 54 laps to go, re-claimed the lead after other drivers had their own issues, and then lost his fuel pressure on the final restart. Carl Edwards, his teammate, surged into the lead for a two-lap overtime sprint to the finish, but Biffle was able to regain the gas pressure and snatch the lead back from Edwards.
Edwards, who nearly lost control of his car as Biffle passed him, finished second despite losing a tire earlier in the race and speeding off of pit road on a late pit stop.
“Man it was a wild day from the beginning,” Edwards said. “We had a great race car. There were a lot of wrecks. We had that tire go down and we had a speeding penalty, all sorts of things happened and luck was on our side and we had a chance to race up there for the win.”
Brian Vickers, who was penalized for a missing lug nut after a pit stop while he was leading, finished third.
“All the fast cars were having problems,” Vickers said. “You are out here on this track trying to run wide open, and that’s going to lead to problems. But it seemed like everybody that got in the lead had a problem.”
Jason Leffler, who ran out of gas on the final restart, finished fourth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. was fifth. He was followed by Michael McDowell, Brendan Gaughan and Justin Allgaier. Scott Lagasse and Jeff Burton rounded out the top 10.
It seemed for a stretch that nobody wanted to win the race, evidenced by a slew of problems to the top contending cars.
The first sign of trouble came early, when Denny Hamlin spun just nine laps into the race. Later, teammate Kyle Busch wrecked while racing Kevin Harvick for the lead. The accident also collected pole-sitter Scott Speed.
“It was just 100 percent my fault for racing for the lead that early in the race,” said Busch, a Las Vegas native who is seeking his first career win at his home track. “I shouldn’t have been doing that that early in the race. I should have just rode around in second place all day and waited to make the move on the last lap.”
Biffle ran out of gas as the leader, which put Hamlin out front. Then Hamlin was too fast exiting pit road, had to return for a pass-through penalty, and was too fast again.
Hamlin’s mistake gave Vickers the lead, but he coughed it up when he left his pit stop with a missing lug nut.
Gaughan inherited the lead, then he spun trying to enter pit road to give David Ragan the lead. Edwards, who had rallied to third from an earlier punctured tire, was penalized for driving too fast off pit road. But as he tried to argue his penalty, Ragan wrecked on the track to take NASCAR’s attention.
“The team was really good and I just screwed it up for them,” Ragan said.