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Biffle takes delayed Dover

By Associated Press
Published June 8, 2004

DOVER, Del. - Greg Biffle took the lead for the first time with 21 miles to go and drove away from the field to win the rain-delayed NASCAR Busch series race Monday at Dover International Speedway.

It was Biffle's 14th career victory and second on the Monster Mile. The win also gave team owner Jack Roush a Dover sweep of NASCAR's top two series' events, after Mark Martin also used a late charge to prevail in Sunday's Nextel Cup race.

The MBNA America 200 began Saturday but was postponed after 28 of 200 laps - and a delay of 5 hours, 10 minutes - with Bobby Hamilton Jr. holding the lead.

When the race resumed Monday, a number of drivers took turns on the lead. Martin Truex Jr. led a race-high 75 laps, but he needed fresher tires to overtake David Green with just under 2 miles to go to finish second.

Biffle, who ran among the top 10 all day despite complaining that the handling on his No. 60 Charter Communications Ford was "loose," said crew chief Brad Parrott helped steer him through some rough stretches.

"Brad told me early on, 'Just take it easy, take it easy," Biffle said. "Then we made some adjustments to the car and it just took off."

Parrott thanked every member of the team, but gave most of the credit to his driver.

"When you see a performance like that, it shows us that we've just got to keep giving him good race cars to be in the hunt," Parrott said.

Biffle, the 2002 Busch Series champion, passed Green on the low side of the track on Lap 179 and then pulled away from the field to win by 1.772 seconds.

Green finished third, Hamilton was fourth and series leader Kyle Busch was fifth. Busch's edge over Truex in the driver standings was trimmed to 13 points, with Green 152 back in third. Despite failing to finish four races this season, Biffle climbed to seventh (317 points back) with his eighth top-10 finish.

"I felt like we had the best car out there until midway through the race," Truex said. "But overall it was a great day."

ANOTHER RAHAL: Bobby Rahal's 15-year-old son will drive in two Formula BMW support races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the U.S. Grand Prix.

Graham Rahal, a high school sophomore, previously drove go-karts and is in his first season of racing.

"I know that many people believe that things were given to me because of my dad," the younger Rahal said. "But I have had to maintain good grades in school and work at improving my abilities. Being the son of a racing star isn't easy, but I feel that I have the commitment and mind-set to be successful in the sport.

"Of course, having my dad help me is not bad, either."

MARTIN'S DOUBLE DIP: A day after winning the MBNA 400 at Dover International Speedway, Martin had reason to celebrate - twice. His 12-year-old son, Matt, won a race in Florida.

"That's a pretty good weekend for the Martin family," he said.

His reaction to winning at the track on Sunday was more subdued. Martin was excited, but not about to embarrass himself after ending a 72-race losing streak. So, he skipped what has become the rite of a NASCAR winner.

"I didn't do a burnout because I don't know how," Martin said. "I would either hit the wall or do something stupid."

He saw no reason to damage one of the few cars that finished a crash-filled race without a dent.

[Last modified June 8, 2004, 01:00:38]


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