Sunday, September 30
Kansas City, Kansas
Greg Biffle (16) coasts across the finish line - just ahead of fifth-place finisher Jeff Gordon (24). Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson and
Casey Mears had already taken the checkered flag as they maintained speed behind the pace car after Biffle dropped to the apron.
See more on the controversial finish in the story below.
Biffle Wins Wild One With Controversial Finish
KANSAS CITY, KS. -- This one had it all.
Greg Biffle won it, a twice red-flagged, wreck-marred, rain-plagued event that was eventually shortened because of darkness.
Biffle was ahead at 210 laps when Juan Pablo Montoya blew a tire bringing out the day's final caution.
Unfortunately Biffle was not ahead when the field crossed the finish line - which has already, and will - cause HUGE controversy
as the week unfolds.
Biffle says the car started to sputter going through turns 3 and 4 on the last lap so he shut it down then pulled to the apron to unbuckle his belts for
post-race celebrations. Since Biffle's 16 car was not maintaining pace car speed the top runners behind him passed him and visually crossed the
finish line before Biffle. Bowyer (second), Jimmie Johnson (third) and Jeff Gordon (fifth) all spoke post-race about being
confused by Biffle being awarded the win under the circumstances.
"Their's your winner," according to Johnson and Gordon, as they pointed at Biffle in a post-race interview.
Biffle maintains he could have refired the car at any time and drove it to Victory Lane - to
which he walked while his car was pushed.
NASCAR issued a post-race statement in an effort to clear the confusion: “When the caution came out on Lap 207 the field
was frozen. At the time of the caution, the 16 was in the lead and maintained a reasonable speed and was declared the race
winner. There is no passing under caution.
“By rule, cars under caution need to maintain a reasonable speed, which the 16 did. If it hadn’t maintained a reasonable speed
or the car had come to a stop, then that car would not have won the race. In this instance the 16 maintained a reasonable speed,
crossed the finish and won the race.”
"Reasonable" appears to be the key word...
Six of the 12 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup championship contenders were sidelined by accidents in a wild and wooly event that started shortly after 1 p. m. and local time and ended after sundown at 7:10.
Trailing Biffle, who led the final 32 laps, was Clint Bowyer, a Kansas native and favorite son at this 1.5-mile speedway, and defending series champion Jimmie Johnson.
Johnson took over the points lead with Jeff Gordon, who finished fifth in the race, in second spot.
Casey Mears had another good run, finishing fourth.
It was a heart-breaking day for Chase contender Tony Stewart, who was leading when the race was red-flagged the second time. On the restart after a two-hour wait, a seven-car pileup included Stewart, who suffered front end damage.
Nursing an ill-handling car, Stewart had a flat, was waving to let the guys behind him know he was slowing down, and was punched from behind by Kurt Busch. The wreck ended Stewart's day.
Busch was running behind Tony Raines, who was right behind Stewart. When Raines swerved to miss Stewart, Busch had no time to react and drove into the rear of Stewart's car, sending him into the outside retaining wall.
Rounding out the top 10 were Kevin Harvick, Reed Sorensen, Elliott Sadler, Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
With the third-place finish, Johnson took the points lead, followed by Gordon (six points behind) and Bowyer (14 points behind).
Matt Kenseth streaked away at the start after pole winner Jimmie Johnson had to start from the rear. Johnson wrecked his pole-winning Chevrolet in the final practice session. NASCAR rules allow drivers to use backup cars but they forfeit their starting position in the process.
Kenseth led before rain stopped the race with 15 laps complete. NASCAR red-flagged the race with Dave Blaney out front. Kenseth and other leaders pitted when the caution came out for the rain.
The field had barely gotten underway after a 40-minute delay when Earnhardt bumped Kyle Busch from behind, sending Busch into the outside retaining wall.
On the restart, Kurt Busch took the point with Gordon, Kenseth and Stewart right behind. Kenny Wallace spun to bring out another caution at lap 60.
Kenseth went back in front after the caution and Johnson had charged through the field into sixth spot behind Kenseth, Gordon, Busch, Stewart and Hamlin.
Both Ryan Newman and Chase contender Jeff Burton had mechanical problems during this part of the race.
Stewart raced to the front and 11 of the top 12 drivers at this point in the race were in the running for the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup championship.
Busch went back in front a few laps later and you could have tossed a blanket over the top 10.
On this restart, with threatening weather once again moving towards the track, the drivers threw caution to the wind and raced as though there were 10 laps remaining.
Busch led with Kenseth, Johnson, Stewart, Hamlin, Truex, Harvick, Biffle, and Sorensen in hot pursuit.
A debris caution slowed the field again at 100 laps. Kyle Busch was back on track at this stage of the race, more than 40 laps behind after watching his team repair extensive damages from his earlier accident.
Race results and point standings in the Event Stats section following...
Checkered Flag Fast Facts
Qualifying: Friday, September 28 (ESPN2 & TSN-alt at 5 p.m./AT)
Practice: Saturday, September 29 (ESPN2 at aa p.m./AT)
Final Practice: Saturday, September 29 (ESPN2 at 7:30 p.m./AT)
RaceDay: Sunday, September 30 (SPEED at 1 p.m./AT)
Countdown to Green: Sunday, September 30 (ABC & TSN-alt at 3 p.m./AT)
Race: Sunday, September 30 (ABC & TSN-alt at 3 p.m./AT)
- Greg Biffle won the LifeLock 400, his 12th victory in 179 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races.
- This is his first victory and ninth top-10 finish in 2007.
- This is his first victory and third top-10 finish in six races at Kansas Speedway.
- Only one Kansas race has been won by a Chase driver since the inception of the Chase for the NASCAR
NEXTEL Cup in 2004: 2005 - Mark Martin.
- Clint Bowyer (second) posted his 14th top-10 finish of the season and his second top-10 finish in as many
races at Kansas Speedway.
- Jimmie Johnson (third) posted his fourth top-10 finish in six races at Kansas Speedway and his 18th of
- Johnson leads the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup by six point over Bowyer.
- David Ragan (16th) was the highest finishing rookie.
*AT is one hour ahead of ET, i.e. if it's 2 p.m./AT - it's 1 p.m./ET...
Event Stats PDF files unless otherwise noted
Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson (left) and Jeff Gordon, both Chase contenders, will start first and fourth
respectively in Sunday's LifeLock 400. Matt Kenseth will start second and Scott Riggs third. The complete starting lineup is available
in the Event Stats section below...
Green Flag Fast Facts
- Jimmie Johnson won the Bud Pole for the LifeLock 400 with a lap of 30.846 seconds, 175.063 mph.
- This is his 12th Bud Pole in 212 career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races.
- This is his third Bud Pole and 20th top-10 start in 2007. He is tied with Denny Hamlin (seventh) for the most top-10
starts this season.
- This is Johnson’s second Bud Pole in six races at Kansas Speedway. He became the first repeat Bud Pole winner
in seven races here.
- Matt Kenseth (second) posted his eighth top-10 start of 2007, posting his season-best starting position for the
third time. It is his third top-10 start in seven Kansas races – all in the past three.
- Scott Riggs (third) was the fastest of the drivers required to make the field on time. It is his eighth top-10 start in
the 23 races that he has qualified for this season. It is his second top-10 start in four races at Kansas. He started
second here in 2006.
- David Ragan (19th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
- Ryan Newman’s qualifying time was disallowed following post-qualifying inspection
- Drivers that failed to qualify this week include AJ Allmendinger, Ward Burton, Brian Vickers and Jon Wood.
- The complete starting lineup is available in the Event Stats section below...
The Race: LifeLock 400
The Place: Kansas Speedway
The Date: Sunday, Sept. 30
The Track: 1.5-mile oval
The Distance: 400 miles, 267 laps
The Purse: $6,056,938
2006 Winner: Tony Stewart
2006 Pole: Kasey Kahne
Pre-Race Schedule (local/CT time): Friday—Practice, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Qualifying, 3:10 p.m. Saturday—Practice, 9-9:50 a.m. and 12:50-1:50 p.m.
Season To-Date Results & Point Standings: click here DO NOT REFLECT THIS WEEKS 25 PT PENALTY TO 99 CAR
Keys to Winning...
Green Flag Notes...
- Expect multiple grooves; As track surfaces mature, racing grooves widen, giving drivers more lane choices.
- More grooves equal more options; Fuel mileage factored in last year’s race, but no one can predict the final caution. That’s why crew chiefs get gray hair.
- Plan ahead for green-flag runs; A mature track means more racing and tougher decisions, such as when to pit, whether to short pit or gamble on two tires.
- The defending champion of Sunday’s LifeLock 400 seeks to become the second driver with consecutive victories at Kansas Speedway, a still-youthful 1.5-mile track that debuted in 2001.
Tony Stewart didn’t qualify for the ’06 Chase; he finished 11th in the final series standings. But his first victory at Kansas last September also was the first of three in 10 Chase events. It also came dramatically – coasting to the checkered flag on fumes.
- Jeff Gordon is the only driver with multiple Kansas wins (’01 and ’02). Stewart leads one significant pre-race NASCAR Loop Data statistic for Kansas – Average Running Position (5.697).
- Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge) held his ground in the Rookie of the Year race following last week’s event at Dover. Second-place rookie candidate David Ragan (No. 6 AAA Insurance Ford) had crept to within 13 points of the leader.
But Montoya’s 10th-place Dover finish – his first top 10 since late July – helped him regain two points. He leads Ragan by 15 heading to Kansas.
Rookie points are calculated based on a rookie driver’s finish compared to other rookies. The highest finishing rookie gets 10 points, second finishing rookie gets nine points, etc.
Each driver’s top-17 races count towards the Rookie of the Year standings.
IMPORTANT: All information, schedules and/or scheduled events is/are subject to change without notice. Please
check with the source to confirm.
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