Originally created 02/28/05

Biffle predicts his latest win



FONTANA, Calif. -- Greg Biffle predicted his victory in Sunday's Auto Club 500 a month ago.

"Before I went to Daytona... I had a pretty strong feeling we could win out here, or had a chance to win," Biffle said. "Ninety percent of the time the fastest car doesn't win. Today, the fastest car won."

Biffle said the only thing that can keep him from being a contender in the Chase for the Nextel Cup are tracks like New Hampshire and Martinsville, Va. If he can figure out a way to get solid top-15 finishes there, he knows his success on the intermediate tracks ñ speedways between a mile and two miles in length ñ should put him solidly in the top 10 when the Chase starts.

Biffle has three victories in the past 16 races. Two have been on two-mile tracks (California and Michigan); one came on a 1.5-mile track (Homestead, Fla.).

He had the fastest car in testing at California last month, and he easily transferred that to Sunday's main event.

The win helped Biffle move up to fifth in the Nextel Cup Series point standings. His 273 points is 67 behind leader Kurt Busch.

Jimmie Johnson is second in the rankings, five points behind, while Mark Martin is third (39 behind), Carl Edwards is fourth (53), Biffle is fifth, Elliott Sadler is sixth (68), Tony Stewart and Rusty Wallace are seventh (72), Sterling Marlin in ninth (80) and Jeff Gordon, the Daytona 500 winner, dropped to 10th (82) after blowing an engine and finishing 30th.

ENGINE PROBLEMS: The engine shop at Hendrick Motorsports is glad there's no race next weekend.

After having four cars suffer through engine problems in Sunday's Auto Club 500 at California Speedway, it was clear there's a problem.

Jeff Gordon, Joe Nemechek and Terry Labonte all lost engines, while Scott Riggs ran the final 200 miles on seven cylinders.

Gordon and Labonte drive for Hendrick; Nemechek and Riggs buy their engines from Hendrick. CutlineWayne Clemons Jr./Associated Press

NASCAR driver Greg Biffle burns rubber after winning the Auto Club 500 on Sunday at California Speedway in Fontana, Calif.