By: Adam Niemeyer (FOX19 Sports)
With rain looming all day long in the Pocono Mountains, the race to beat the rain was almost as intense as the race between the 43 competitors in NASCAR's Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 on Sunday afternoon.
On Tuesday, team owner Jack Roush was in a plane accident while trying to land his small jet in Wisconsin. Today he got the best medicine of all as his driver Greg Biffle won the Pennsylvania 500 by almost five seconds over Tony Stewart.
"This one's for Jack, guys," Biffle radioed to his crew as he took the checkered flag.
Biffle's win was his first since 2008, snapping a 65-race winless streak. The win also marked the first time a Ford visited victory lane this season in the Sprint Cup Series. Biffle's Roush Fenway Racing teammate Carl Edwards finished third, and points leader Kevin Harvick ended up fourth.
The start of the race was delayed about 40 minutes due to rain in the area. And from the start, the race was pretty calm, until a rash of cautions just after the mid-way point of the 200 lap event.
A wreck involving the No. 2 car of Kurt Busch, the No. 33 of Clint Bowyer and the No. 19 of Elliott Sadler brought out a red flag with 35 laps remaining. Sadler was released from the infield care center after taking a few minutes to climb from his car. The engine was thrown from Sadler's car, which was completely destroyed from a hard, head-on impact.
Jimmie Johnson took responsibility for the accident. Busch bluntly said, "We got wrecked on the straightaway. Jimmie Johnson drove right through us." The red flag took almost 29 minutes and while NASCAR officials cleaned the track from the wreck, some rain started to fall, further delaying the race.
By the time the cars got rolling again, more rain started to fall and NASCAR re-issued the red flag. After the cars sat on pit road for almost 20 minutes, the race restarted with just over 20 laps remaining.
That's when Biffle set sail. The win let Biffle hold on to the 11th place spot in the points standings, nearly 100 points ahead of Clint Bowyer, who currently holds the final spot in NASCAR's Chase for the Cup. Mark Martin is in 13th, sitting 34 markers back of Bowyer.
Denny Hamlin, who has been stellar at Pocono since he began racing in the Sprint Cup Series in 2006, failed to win his third straight Pocono race. Hamlin finished 5th.
Also today, a source told the Associated Press that Kentucky Speedway will get a 2011 Sprint Cup Series race, most likely to be scheduled in July. NASCAR is expected to announce its 2011 schedule by Labor Day.