Jack Roush, co-owner of the Roush-Fenway Racing team, has historically had great success at Texas Motor Speedway, and Saturday's Samsung Mobile 500 Sprint Cup race followed form. Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 Ford for the Roush team, took over the lead on lap 304 of what appeared to be a sure race win for five-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and outdueled the No, 48 Lowe's Chevrolet to the checkered flag for his first Sprint Cup win in 49 races.
With 156 laps led, Johnson appeared, for a good part of the race, to be in the driver's seat to bring home milestone victory number 200 for the owner Rick Hendrick and the Hendrick Motorsports team. Hendrick did, however, place four cars in the top-10 at Texas, one more than the Roush-Fenway team.
Biffle, who led 90 laps, recorded his second Sprint Cup win at Texas Motor Speedway and his 17th career victory. It was his first trip to Victory Lane since a win at Kansas Speedway, site of next week's STP 400 Sprint Cup race, in October 2010. Biffle increased his lead atop the drivers' standing to a 19-point margin over teammate Matt Kenseth, who is tied with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. for second place in points and finished fifth Saturday night at Texas.
"A win like this puts a lot of ground ahead of the cars behind us and makes a statement for people wondering if my leading the points was a fluke," Biffle said.
"I could say it's about time," he said, "but I'm just thankful to be able to drive these cars, as fast as they are. We knew it was just a matter of time that we were going to win one soon - we've been running so good."
And Texas has been one of Biffle's better stops on the Sprint Cup circuit. He has finished in the top 10 there for eight consecutive races over four years. Michael Waltrip Racing's Mark Martin, who started Saturday's Samsung Mobile 500 in the fourth position, came in third, followed by former Hendrick teammate Jeff Gordon in fourth and Kenseth.
Columbia, Mo. native Carl Edwards was the third Roush-Fenway driver to finish in the top 10 at Texas. The driver of the No. 99 Ford owned by Roush started back in 20th place, and at one point Saturday night, Edwards dropped all the way back to 30th because of a loose lug nut on the restart following the second and final caution of the race on lap 93. The race ran uninterrupted under green for the final 234 laps, setting a track record for fewest cautions. Edwards is a three-time winner at Texas Motor Speedway, the most of any active driver.
In addition to Johnson and Gordon, Hendrick places two other drivers in the top 10 in Saturday's race. Kasey Kahne finished seventh, and Earnhardt came in tenth, Dale Jr.'s fifth top-10 finish in seven starts this season.
Johnson was definitely disappointed after the race. "Man, second sucks. I wish we could have won," he said. "We had a very, very fast race car, and a little more respect through some lapped traffic...it could have been a little different.
"I just got tangled up in some lapped traffic, and (Biffle) made a great move...and got by me," Johnson said.
This is the 127th Sprint Cup victory for the Roush race team and the team's ninth at Texas Motor Speedway, the most of any team.
Polesitter Martin Truex, Jr., of Michael Waltrip Racing, finished behind Kenseth in sixth place. His teammate, Clint Bowyer, from Emporia, Kan., started 18th and finished one spot better. Bowyer has only one top-five and three top-10s in the first seven Cup races of 2012, one fewer than Carl Edwards in both categories, but is 10th in the points standings, four points better and one spot ahead of Edwards.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas Speedway for the STP 400 on Sunday. It will be the first of two Cup races to be held at Kansas this season. The second Kansas race will be Oct. 26, race No. 6 in Chase for the Cup Championship.
Keep up with all the NASCAR news and race stats for both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series.