Greg Biffle gave Ford a milestone victory — right down the road from company headquarters.
The Vancouver, Wash., native raced to his second consecutive Sprint Cup win at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich., easily holding off Kevin Harvick after points leader Jimmie Johnson smacked the wall in the final laps Sunday.
It was the 1,000th victory for Ford Motor Company across NASCAR’s three national series — Cup, Nationwide and Truck.
“What a great moment this is,” said Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing. “We couldn’t be prouder to have this moment come here today at Michigan in front of so many of our Ford friends.”
It was Biffle’s first win since he overtook Johnson to win at MIS in August. Johnson’s engine faltered with six laps to go in that race. This time, he was about a second behind Biffle with three laps to go — but a tire gave way, and he dropped all the way to 28th.
“I don’t want to see anybody wreck,” Biffle said. “It makes you feel good when you push the guy over the edge. He made a mistake, and that’s what makes you feel good. You outsmarted him, or you beat him at his game.”
Harvick was second, 3 seconds behind Biffle. Martin Truex Jr. was next.
Johnson wasn’t the only big name who ran into trouble. Jeff Gordon was out of contention almost immediately when he hit a spinning Bobby Labonte less than 10 laps into the 200-lap, 400-mile race. Gordon finished 39th, one spot behind Enumclaw’s Kasey Kahne, who led at the halfway point but appeared to blow a tire and went sliding into the wall.
Kahne’s car caught fire, but he quickly climbed out.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., who won at MIS last June, was 37th on Sunday. He led for 34 laps, but his engine acted up about two-thirds of the way through the race.
There were eight cautions for 38 laps.
Biffle earned his 19th career victory and boosted his chances to reach the Chase for the Sprint Cup, moving from 10th to eighth in the standings.
FORCE ENDS LOSING STREAK
John Force ended a 31-event winless streak Sunday in the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn., beating Cruz Pedregon in the final round.
Force raced to his record 135th career victory and fourth at Bristol Dragway, powering his Ford Mustang to a 4.148-second run at 305.29 mph.
Steve Torrence won the Top Fuel event, and Rodger Brogdon topped the Pro Stock field.