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The Biff! Ford's Greg Biffle finally gets the Blue Oval guys back into victory lane, winning Pocon's Pennsylvania 500.

  Greg Biffle does victory donuts. Beaten at Indy a week ago by rivals taking just two tires on the final pit stop, Biffle and crew chief Greg Erwin used that two-tire tactic themselves successfully here Sunday. "Monkey see, monkey do," Biffle said jubilantly. (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern

   POCONO, Pa.
   "This one's for Jack," Ford's Greg Biffle said as he crossed the finish line victoriously in the Pennsylvania 500, breaking his own 65-race dry spell stretching back to late 2008 and giving car owner Jack Roush – recovering from Tuesday's plane crash in a Minnesota hospital – something to cheer about.
  "This was just made to be, because of Jack," Biffle said.
  Ford's first win of the season was as much relief as joy, coming so deep into the NASCAR season. This was race 21 of the 36 on the Sprint Cup tour, and for much of the season Ford teams have generally seemed lost, amid the battling against Chevrolets, Toyotas and Dodges.
   However in the past few weeks Ford teams finally appear to have their mojo back, and Biffle clearly had one of the top two cars last weekend at Indianapolis, which is why crew chief Greg Erwin decided to bring that Brickyard 400 machine to this flat but high-speed 2-1/2-mile triangular track.
   But it took a bit of luck, some good pit work, some gambling pit road calls, and some confusion among their rivals before they could pull this one off...on a rain-marred afternoon where the constantly changing weather kept everyone guessing.
   Jimmie Johnson dominated the first half of the race, dueling with teammate Jeff Gordon in a battle that got quite testy at times, with Johnson once warning his rival, via radio 'to stay away from me,' after a couple of tight passes.
   But not until the final 100 miles did things really heat up.
   Then Johnson and Kurt Busch got into it again, Johnson trying to bump-draft a little too vigorously and sending Busch hard into the outside then inside wall in a savage crash. Johnson managed to escape.
   But just behind them, Elliott Sadler became an innocent victim when, while slowing for the accident scene, Sadler got clobbered from behind and skidded wildly into the inside guard-rail/dirt-bank wall nose-first.
   Amazing Sadler was able to crawl out of his mangled car, though in intense pain. The impact ripped the engine completely out of the car and left it in tatters, strewn across the track and grass.
   NASCAR used a 30-minute red flag to clean up the mess.

  Greg Biffle and crew chief Greg Erwin could have opened the season with a win in the Daytona 500....they dominated Chicago three weeks ago, only to lose an engine...they dominated the Brickyard 400 last weekend but got beat by pit road strategy. But here Sunday Biffle and Erwin played all their cards perfectly and got Ford's first win of the year, in a sprint-away down the stretch (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

  Tthroughout the pleasant afternoon a nagging light mist kept drivers and crew chiefs on edge as to how to play strategy. Much of the day it did not appear the race would really go the full 500 miles.
   The Busch-Johnson-Sadler crash occurred on lap 166 of the 200-lapper, and after the engines were restarted, teams began a round of pit stops which proved key.
   At that point of the day the race belonged to Gordon, who held a solid lead. However everyone had to stop for gas to make it to the finish. The issue then was whether to go for four tires, the standard move, or gamble on just two tires. Complicating things – Sam Hornish opted not to pit at all but to try to gamble on making the distance on what fuel he had (he did).
   Gordon took four tires and had the fastest pit stop among those who also did – Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and Juan Pablo Montoya.
   But nine others, including Biffle decided on just two tires, in order to gain track position. Earlier in the race Biffle's two-tire tactic failed, so many were surprised that Erwin tried it again. But the second time proved the charm.
   Biffle quickly got around Hornish at the restart, on lap 180, with 50 miles to go, and he used clear air to sprint out to a five-second lead, while those behind him all banged and battled each other.
   The race went green the rest of the way, and with five laps to go Biffle eased back and cruised to the finish, getting his first tour win since September 2008 at Dover.
                      The results of Sunday's Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway

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  Deja voodoo? Jeff Gordon's four-tire stop the final round of pit stops Sunday at Pocono proved costly....ironically just as Greg Biffle's four-tire stop late at Indianapolis also proved costly. Biffle and crew chief Greg Erwin lost Indy by taking four tires...and they won Sunday's Pocono 500 with a two-tire stop (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


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