Friday, October 8, 2010

Biffle Boffo: Ford Driver Wins Kansas' Price Chopper 400

Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/ Getty Images

Obtaining his 3rd pole for the 2010 season, Kasey Kahne led the 43-car NASCAR Sprint Cup field in the Price Chopper 400 held on the 1.5 mile Kansas Speedway oval. As Kahne placed his #9 Ford at the front in qualifying, teammate Paul Menard completed a front-row sweep for Richard Petty Motorsports with a marvelous 2nd fastest time in the #98 Ford. With only four of the twelve Chase eligible qualifying in the top-10 for the Sprint Cup event, some of the notable 2010 title contenders had a to climb the running order included Jimmie Johnson starting 21st and Kevin Harvick rolling off 26th.

Staying out front for the race's first 27 laps of the Price Chopper 400, Kahne's Ford stay at the front was brought to an as the #24 Chevrolet of Jeff Gordon launched himself into to the lead. Still winless since Texas of 2009, Gordon comes to Kansas as a two-time previous winner.

The first caution of the event flew on lap 43 when the #42 Chevrolet driven by Juan Pablo Montoya slid up into the turn 3 wall. Though the Kansas Speedway race is known for creating long green flag runs, the laps under race conditions were ever more plentiful this race. Recording the fewest cautions for any NASCAR Sprint Cup event run on the 1.5 mile Kansas Speedway, the Price Chopper 400 was slowed only 5 times for 24 of the event's total 267 laps.

Two of the race's cautions involved a situation between the Toyotas of David Reutimann and Kyle Busch. Shortly after the first yellow flag for Montoya, caution was thrown on the field once more on lap 53 when the #18 M and M Toyota of Busch raced behind the #00 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota of Reutimann into turn 3. With Kyle Busch maintaining a fast pace, Reutimann's car apparently bobbles traveling through the corner allowing the #18 to charge quickly on the #00 Toyota. Appearing to be attempting a low pass on David Reutimann, Busch's car surged quickly and taps the left rear of the #00 car's bumper. Sending the Michael Waltrip Racing car into the outside wall, Kyle Busch skated by undamaged. Regrettably for Kyle Busch, his #18 Toyota would not escape the Price Chopper 400 completely unscathed by the incident.

Part 2 of the Reutimann/Busch show occurred 103 laps after the initial incident. The #18 Joe Gibbs Racing car was was running within the top-10 flying up on the wounded #00 Toyota. Lapping the #00 on the 156th lap, Kyle Busch had almost completed a pass on the Reutimann's car when the slower Michael Waltrip Racing car shot up into the #18 Toyota's left rear quarter panel. Making contact, the incident was bizarre since David Reutimann was the one who went spinning down the backstretch while Kyle Busch received a hard shove against the outside wall. While the #00 car suffered noticable cosmetic damage with the contact, a visual analysis of the #18 car of Busch would have given the impression the Joe Gibbs Racing car again averted damage. However, as the car circulated the track under caution, the driver of the #18 Toyota reported handling problems. The appraisal of the Joe Gibbs Racing pit crew confirmed problems for their team's Toyota. Facing the option of fixing the problem for an extended stay behind the wall, the #18 crew chief Dave Rogers and associates chose to keep the car out on the race track. To the disgust of Kyle Busch, the #18 Toyota soldiered through the Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway in 21st place effectively minimizing the Chase points lose for the weekend.

Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR

With problems in the Toyota camp, the Ford contingency also suffered a blow in the Price Chopper 400. Caution flew on lap 166 when the pole-winning #9 Ford of Kasey Kahne blew a tire. Quickly heading to pit lane, the left front fender of Kahne's car was battered apart. Finishing 49 laps down, the Budweiser Ford race ended in 37th place.

As one Ford fell from contention, the blue oval brigade developed into a dominate force at the end of the Kansas race. Leading the field's final 78 laps after a fifth and last caution for fluid on the track, Roush-Fenway Racing-backed Ford Fusions driven by Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards as well as a Richard Petty Motorsports car of Paul Menard led as a strong collective effort for the manufacturer. The strongest of the three Fords was Greg Biffle who led the remaining 29 laps for the Price Chopper 400 win. Celebratory in victory lane with team and car owner Jack Roush for his two win of the 2010 season, Biffle gained one position in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup to 8th place. Greg Biffle rests 85 points behind the new Chase points leader leaving Kansas.

Emerging by front at the end, 4-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson took the checkered flag in second place. Possessing a thin 8 point lead, Johnson's important points day was left unfulfilled by missing an opportunity to claim 5 bonus points for leading a race lap.

Completing the top-5 running order of the Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway composes of Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon. All drivers finishing in the first five positions of this race were Chase contenders. Because of this, some drivers suffering even mediocre runs at Kansas were face with frustrating results in the point standings.

A 400 mile race, the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway ended up as feeling much longer for the Joe Gibbs Racing team. With Kyle Busch's problem already documented, the #11 FedEx Toyota of Denny Hamlin led a sub-par Joe Gibbs Racing effort at Kansas in 12th place. The Chase points-leading car heading into weekend, the #11 car's run measured against the runner-up finish by Hendrick Motorsports' Jimmie Johnson resulted with Hamlin losing top spot in the points standings.

2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup
Price Chopper 400
Kansas Speedway
Finishing Order 


  1. 16 Greg Biffle 3M Sherwin Williams Ford
  2. 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's/Johns Manville Chevrolet
  3. 29 Kevin Harvick Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet
  4. 14 Tony Stewart Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet
  5. 24 Jeff Gordon DuPont Chevrolet
  6. 99 Carl Edwards Aflac Ford
  7. 17 Matt Kenseth Crown Royal Black Ford
  8. 98 Paul Menard Zecol/Menard Ford
  9. 39 Ryan Newman U.S. Army Chevrolet
  10. 43 A J Allmendinger Insignia HDTV Ford

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