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Ford Wins One Thousand!
Biffle and Puccia Lift Ford to 1000 NASCAR Wins
It would be hard to come up with a better Hollywood script. Ford Motor Company gets win number 1000 on their 110th birthday in their own backyard, the rolling Irish Hills of the Michigan International Speedway.
Ford Motor Company was the first car company to score a NASCAR win with Jim Roper in a ‘49 Lincoln. Sixty four years later, Greg Biffle crossed the finish line first to lock his 2013 3M Ford Fusion in the record books as the winner of the Quicken Loans 400 at MIS. Henry had to be sitting on top of one of those fluffy Michigan clouds with a grin from ear-to-ear watching down on us.
Carl Edwards started on the pole in his Fastenal Ford and Fusions stayed near the top most of the day. Carl led 16 laps, but fell back near the end of the race to fix overheating issues due to a stray hotdog wrapper. Carl would finish the day in 8th place. Joel Logano, driving his Shell Pennzoil Fusion out of the Penske Racing stables, led 21 laps at Michigan. David Ragan, the Talladega winner, and Casey Mears, driving the Geico Insurance Fusion also led laps during the mid-part of the race. But in the end, nobody could hold off Greg Biffle.
Following Edwards and Logano after the Lap 136 restart, Biffle took the lead 14 laps later. “You know, we certainly didn't probably have the fastest car today at times and kept working on it, kept making slight adjustments on pit stops, and you know, track position is huge with our car,” said Biffle. “It looks like we're well on our way to getting some speed back in these cars, and continue to work on them and figure them out and get them to be just a little bit better yet.”
Matt Puccia, crew chief for Biffle and his 3M Pit Bulls, ordered 2 right side tires on a planned green flag stop, but the caution came out while the 3M Fusion was in the pits on lap 168. “When we pitted there, I knew with our lead that we had and the strategy I was going to play there with the two tires and how much fuel we were going to take, we could not have gone a lap down, even with the caution,” said Matt. “We played that card that we had enough of a lead on the only one that we could have risked that would have been the 99 car at that time.” When the leaders came in under caution, Biffle was able to regain clean air and the lead on the final restart. He led the remaining laps and went on to score Ford Motor Company their 1000th win in NASCAR competition.
Biffle and Edwards are firmly in the points chase and look good for a Top 12 spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup with Edwards in 2nd place and Biffle in 8th, both with one win each. Defending Sprint Cup Champion Brad Keselowski, driving the Miller Lite Fusion for Penske Racing, is currently 9th in the point standings. NASCAR will “Think Outside The Oval” as the Sprint Cup circuit heads to California wine country and the road course at Sonoma Raceway.