Greg Biffle clinched his third victory at Michigan International Speedway, his second this season and the 18th of his career this past weekend, at the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. With the win, Biffle also took the overall points lead from Jimmie Johnson, who came in 27th after having to hit the brakes when his engine failed with six laps remaining.
Biffle took the lead for a third and final time after beating Brad Keselowski in the restart; Keselowski came in second, Kasey Kahne came in third, Dale Earnhardt Jr. came in fourth after leading for 25 laps, and Marcos Ambrose came in fifth after winning at Watkins Glen a week ago.
"I know that a lot of people don't expect us to win the championship, and don't expect us to compete for the title," Biffle said. "I don't care what they say or who they want to talk about, but we will be a factor when it comes down to Homestead. I promise you that."
After all was said and done, Biffle is leading his teammate Matt Kenseth by 20 points with three races left before the Chase for the Sprint Cup field is finalized at Richmond, Virginia, Earnhardt is in third and Johnson fell to fourth, now 28 points behind Biffle.
Sunday was not smooth driving for every racer. Mark Martin received contact from Kahne's car and was sent spinning and eventually slammed into the entrance of the pit road. Martin and Kahne's pit crew, who were ironically the closest to the crash, were all left uninjured.
The incident has caused NASCAR officials to consider changes to the portion of the track where Martin hit. Only a few more feet difference of impact could have shot Martin's car over the pit wall, causing detrimental damages.
"That was a pretty freak angle that I got at that," said Martin. "It could have been really bad if I would have gotten in that hole a little deeper where it caught me in the door instead of the crush area back there. I was hoping I was going to miss the pit wall completely and not tear the car up."
Although the crash is unlikely, it has happened before and could happen again. NASCAR should be working with racetracks to avoid incidents like these that not only place a driver in harm's way but the pit crews as well.