Greg Biffle survived the fastest track of the year by taking the checkered flag at the Michigan International Speedway to win the Quicken Loans 400.
The win was the 1,000th NASCAR victory for Ford.
NASCAR provided us a look at Biffle’s burnout celebration after winning his second consecutive MIS race:
Kevin Harvick wasn’t far behind and came in second place, but he never challenged the leader. He slid into that second spot after Jimmie Johnson skirted along a wall with three laps to go.
Here are the full results from the race:
Full 2013 Quicken Loans 400 Results
|3||Martin Truex Jr.||0|
|16||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||0|
|20||Juan Pablo Montoya||0|
|37||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||34|
*Visit NASCAR.com for results and race times.
It didn’t take long for the day’s first caution. On Lap 6, Bobby Labonte spun out of control and wrecked with Jeff Gordon, ending both of their races in the process.
Betsy Kling of WKYC in Cleveland, Ohio, snapped a shot of Gordon talking to his son moments after the crash:
That wasn’t the end to the cautions, either. From Laps 77 to 80 there were four more stops. At that time, Jimmie Johnson was in the lead, with Kasey Kahne, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano trailing him in that order.
That fifth caution was caused by debris in Turn 1 and resulted in a large amount of cautionary racing until that point, according to NASCAR Stats on Twitter:
Caution 5: Debris in Turn 1. Laps 77-80 for 4 laps; race total of 20 caution laps. Stremme was beneficiary #NASCAR— NASCAR Stats (@NASCARStats) June 16, 2013
NASCAR asked if fans thought Kahne would win after pulling in front at the midway point of the race. It seems NASCAR jinxed him, though, as he crashed into the wall on Turn 2 moments later, ending his race:
With two Hendrick cars out of the race, the door was opened for Dale Earnhardt Jr. to steal the Father’s Day event. However, bad luck for the race leader continued after Junior’s engine failed him. It slowly sputtered and gradually knocked him out of the action.
ESPN’s David Newton mused about that unfortunate exit:
Man of Steel car turns to Man of Smoke. #nascar— David Newton (@DNewtonespn) June 16, 2013
Jimmie Johnson momentarily took the lead as Earnhardt Jr. dropped from the race, but he was eventually surpassed by Carl Edwards. Edwards didn’t lead long, either. Ford teammate Greg Biffle overtook him to gain the lead with 50 laps to go.
Then, Jamie McMurray blew a tire, causing a long caution—the sixth of the race. There were just 27 laps to go once they returned to green.
A stop on pit road during that caution led to a shakeup on the leaderboard. Several cars took just two tires in order to get out as quickly as possible.
Jimmie Johnson, specifically, took a significant amount of time longer during that pit stop after taking two cans of fuel. He wasn’t done challenging for the lead, though, reaching third place behind Biffle and Kevin Harvick with less than 20 laps to race.
Johnson took a while, but he finally passed Harvick to the inside with nine to go. Biffle maintained a 1.8-second lead over the surging No. 48 car with eight laps remaining.
What could have been a thrilling finish ended in an easy win for Biffle. He secured the win after Johnson laid up on the wall after starting the third-to-final lap. Harvick easily scooted past the shaken Johnson but never challenged Biffle for the win.
Here's a video from NASCAR of Johnson's hopes for a win being spoiled:
The win was impressive, but we'll never know if Johnson could have caught Bifle during the final three laps.
Notably, no Hendrick car finished in the top 25 of the field due to the amount of cars beat up throughout the day. That includes Johnson's late stumble, resulting in a 28th-place finish for the driver.
Here's a look at the updated Sprint Cup standings following the action in Michigan:
Updated 2013 Sprint Cup Standings
|7||-3||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||447||91|
|13||+4||Martin Truex Jr.||405||133|
*Complete standings found at NASCAR.com.