Biffle Wins First Race in NASCAR Chase

Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 Fusion, won Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Loudon, N.H. Biffle moved up six spots in the Chase standings to third place, 30 points behind co-leaders Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson. Travis Kvapil was the top Ford driver in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck race in Loudon, N.H., finishing third in the No. 09 F-150. Robert Hight, driver of the AAA of So. Cal. Mustang, made it all the way to the semifinal in the NHRA race in Concord, N.C., before losing to Jack Beckman. Hight is fourth in the standings after the first event of the Countdown to 1. Eric de Doncker won two of the three GT4 European Cup races at Brno in the Czech Republic. De Doncker finished third in the other race. Ian Kahn and Thomas Mutsch won one of the FIA GT3 European Championship races in Brno, Czech Republic, and placed ninth in the other. DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 14, 2008 – Greg Biffle could not have started this season’s NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup in a better scenario after capturing victory in Loudon, N.H., Sunday afternoon, leading a 1-3 Ford finish to highlight a strong Ford Racing weekend.

Ford drivers also made it to the winner’s circle in Brno, Czech Republic, as Eric de Doncker won two of the three GT4 European Cup and the duo of Ian Kahn and Thomas Mutsch crossed the line first in one of the FIA GT3 European Championship races.

Biffle, who led the NASCAR Sprint Cup race three times for a total of 58 laps, passed Jimmie Johnson for the lead with just 11 laps remaining and was able to hang on for the win. The victory moves Biffle up six spots in the standings to third place, just 30 points out of first place.

“I can’t describe it,” said Biffle about his first victory of the season. “I needed a lot of help to get here and all these guys behind me and the engine department, everybody has just given me so much help and support. All of my friends and family at home just keep telling us we can do it.”

Carl Edwards also got off to a strong start in the Chase, finishing third after running near the front all day. Edwards, who led twice for a total of 61 laps, jumped into a tie for first place in the Chase standings with Johnson. Edwards holds the tiebreaker because of his six victories this season.

“It’s cool to be leading the points,” said Edwards. “It’s awesome for Greg Biffle, and great for Office Depot, Ford, Aflac, everybody.”

Matt Kenseth, caught up in a late five-car accident, finished 40th and is 12th in the Chase standings, 177 points out of first place.

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck series was also in action in Loudon, where three Ford drivers landed top-five finishes. Travis Kvapil led the way for the Ford drivers with a third-place finish. Erik Darnell was the next to finish, taking fourth place, while Rick Crawford was right behind in fifth. Crawford moved up two spots in the standings to fourth place, 309 points behind leader Johnny Benson, while Darnell moved up one spot to sixth place in the standings.

The NHRA also began their playoff as the Countdown to 1 started this weekend in Concord, N.C. Robert Hight made it all the way to the semifinal round before being eliminated by the eventual winner, Jack Beckman. Hight, who defeated Jeff Arend in the first round and Ron Capps in the second round, is fourth in standings, just seven points behind leader Cruz Pedregon.

“We out-qualified everybody in the Countdown this race,” said Hight. “We gained some points. We are actually leaving here 33 points closer than when we came in. We have a lot of confidence the way this Mustang ran in the heat.”

Hight’s teammates Ashley Force and Mike Neff, who are also in the Countdown, each made it out of the first round before losing in the second round. Force sits sixth in the standings, 49 points out of first, while Neff is 99 points out of first in ninth place.

John Force failed to qualify for the event and is in 10th place, 124 points behind Pedregon.

De Doncker continued the defense of his GT4 European Cup title with two wins in three races this weekend in Brno, Czech Republic. He also landed a third-place finish in his No. 1 Mustang FR500GT4 in the final race of the weekend. De Doncker remains first in the standings, building a 28-point lead with only one event left.

The Ford GT continues to dominate the FIA GT3 European Championship after gathering its sixth win through eight races this season. The GT3 races were also in Brno, and the duo of Ian Kahn and Thomas Mutsch were the top Ford drivers in both races, finishing ninth in the first race and winning the second. Kahn and Mutsch are first in the standings.

Next weekend, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series will be in Dover, Del., while the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will head to Las Vegas. The NHRA competitors will head to Dallas. Miller Motorsports Park, in Tooele, Utah, will host the Grand-Am Rolex Series, The Grand-Am KONI Challenge and the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup.