Jimmie Johnson came away from the Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway with the points lead after posting a strong second-place finish.
But the big winner, from a manufacturers’ standpoint was Ford Motor Company, which dominated qualifying as Kasey Kahne and Paul Menard swept the front row and the race. Greg Biffle won for the second time this season, the second time at Kansas and the 16th time in his career.
It was just the second win of the season for Ford, and it came largely as a result of some information sharing among the Ford teams, Jamie Allison, director of Ford North American Motorsports, said.
“What a great feeling for everyone at Ford,” Allison said, pointing out the Fords of Matt Kenseth, Paul Menard and Carl Edwards also were in the lead pack for most of the race proves that the Ford team isn’t just a one-car wonder.
“Running one, two, three Ford with 50 laps to go shows you that it is deeper than just one team,” he said. “I am very proud of everybody at Roush, [Richard Petty Motorsports] and Wood Brothers. It is a ‘One Ford’ effort.”
Biffle agreed that his victory was more than a one-team effort.
“I am so glad, not only for [team owner Jack Roush] but for all the Ford guys and Roush Fenway guys,” he said. “Everybody has worked so dang hard, and it makes it even more rewarding and exciting for us.”
Roush said it was one of those races where Ford had several chances to win, unlike many events earlier this year where Fords were outclassed by the Chevrolets, Toyotas and Dodges.
“We had a whole bunch of cars that could have won the race,” Roush said. “All of our Fords were good out there today.”
The Kansas win will be even more special than usual for Biffle’s crew, teammate Carl Edwards said.
“Ford told us right before the race that they were giving us an extra incentive to win with the race,” Edwards said of the $100,000 bonus -- to be split among driver and team -- that was put up by Ford for a race-winning effort. “They had some extra money in a fund that they weren’t using, so Greg is going to be handing out checks to his pit crew. That is really cool. Ford wanted us to step it up, and Greg did that.”
Edwards didn’t do so badly himself. He finished sixth and gained some ground in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
“I was frustrated with sixth but I found out we are only 53 points out of the lead, so that is huge,” he said.
While Edwards is fourth in the standings, Biffle is eighth, 85 behind Johnson. The other Ford driver in the Chase, Matt Kenseth, is mired in 11th, 149 points out of the lead despite a seventh-place finish at Kansas.
Biffle said he’s still looking at the Chase like he can win it, and he said the best way to do that is to do what he did at Kansas.
“We want to win these races,” he said. “We want to have the trophies. They've been talking about all the other guys, so we'll give them something to talk about for the next couple weeks.
“Hopefully in California and Charlotte we can run decent and make our way up there into the points, maybe get up in the top five.”