Just one day after Ricky Stenhouse Jr. claimed victory in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 Nationwide race at Texas Motor Speedway, Roush Fenway Racing once again found themselves in victory lane when driver Greg Biffle triumphed in the Samsung Mobile 500 Sprint Cup Race.
Biffle went into the race atop the Sprint Cup point standings, but had attracted some criticism as he had not actually won a race yet this season. In fact, Biffle hadn't triumphed going back 49 straight races, a long streak for a big-name driver.
"To win like this and put a bunch of ground on the guys behind us certainly makes a statement for all the people that were wondering if it was kind of a fluke that were still leading in points this far in (to the season)," Biffle told USA Today. "We knew it was a matter of time and we were going to win one of these things. We have been running so good. We've had good pit stops and good cars."
The Samsung Mobile 500 was a somewhat unusual race. Biffle worked his way to the front once it passed the halfway mark, but nobody could have predicted what would happen next. The drivers went the final 234 laps without triggering one caution - a rarity in modern NASCAR.
In fact, the last time that happened was nearly 15 years ago, when a race in Dover went more than 300 laps without stopping due to an accident or other issue. Making the occurrence even odder was the fact that track conditions were not ideal - winds whipped the cars at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, which almost always causes an accident. In fact, after the race Biffle said that his hands hurt from gripping the steering wheel so hard to keep his car stable against the high winds. However, Biffle also mentioned that he left extra space between himself and the other cars, and other drivers may have been more cautious as well.
As the race continued, Biffle worked his way through the pack toward leader Jimmie Johnson. With approximately 30 laps to go, Biffle had Johnson in his sights - and knew it was his chance to snap his long losing streak.
"I was foaming at the mouth," Biffle told the news source. "When you haven't won in a long time and you've got a guy [you're chasing] - it doesn't even matter if it was the five-time champion - I was driving my heart out."
Biffle passed Johnson successfully and hung on to the lead for the remaining laps without having to worry about losing his position on a caution. Johnson, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top five. Kenseth is now second in the overall point standings, behind Biffle, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. is in third.
Defending champion Tony Stewart had a rough afternoon after being forced to switch to his backup car when he got in a minor crash during practice. Stewart finished 24th and dropped back to 7th overall in the point standings.
Danica Patrick got some more good news after her first ever top-10 finish in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 last Friday night. David Reutimann finished 26th overall, which put his car back in the top 35 in overall points. Since Reutimann and Patrick share the car, that means she is automatically qualified for her next Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway.