But the race goes on: Biffle wins at Michigan

“Is …is it over yet?”

There I was, with twenty laps to go, glancing through my fingers with my knees up against my chest. Heart trembling. Fear lurking.

The whole race had been an uncharacteristic melee on the two-miler that is Michigan International Speedway. Tires letting go, engines blowing, carnage. Many think of this track as calm, subtle, under the radar.

Today, it became everything but.

The first caution was after Bobby Labonte spun and Jeff Gordon got caught up in it. The first Hendrick car down, Gordon wasn’t angry, just disappointed. Oh, just wait, Jeff. Just wait.

Things settled. Well, until Kurt Busch spun out. After qualifying second and leading 21 laps, it was sad to see. The no. 78 team has been on it the past few weeks, yet no results to show it.

But the race goes on.

Here we go, racing along, la la la la la … BOOM DALE EARNHARDT JR. TAKES THE LEAD. The crowd goes wild. Heavenly melodies are sung by angels. The Capulets and Montagues mend fences. According to Adam Alexander, all is right with the world.

Until Kasey Kahne stole the lead, dubbed a ‘villain’ by Junior fans in reference to the Superman paint scheme on the no. 88.

Gee, I hate when a driver goes for the lead, like he’s supposed to do. Boo, hiss.

Kahne was flying. Many chose him to win this weekend, impressing in practice and qualifying. He was also racing for Jason Leffler, a very close friend. That entire no. 5 crew was doing it for Jason.

With a sizable lead, a right front tire let go. In the blink of an eye, the entire race changed as Kahne smacked the wall, and flames began to rise, fueled by leaking gas. Not only has he been the victim of terrible luck, but the fact that he was running for his friend made it even more saddening.

But the race goes on.

So, after the restart, Junior retook the lead. The angels picked up right where they left off, singing and harmonizing, until smoke filled the air. As they cough, the no. 88 limped around the apron, nursing his car onto pit road and, ultimately, back to the garage.

This leaves only one bullet left in Hendrick’s chamber, and that slug had a ‘48’ on the side. That slug was also mired back in seventeenth after a pit stop.

So, with twenty laps to go, pit strategy was playing out. Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards were both out front, the latter being closer on fuel, and Jimmie Johnson was dicing through the field. After leading throughout the race, Johnson was trying to make up lost time, trying to make Mr. Hendrick proud.

Edwards, our polesitter, had to pit, so it was just Biffle out there. Kevin Harvick was second, and Johnson ended up in third. Charging past the no. 29, it seemed like The Biff was getting held up by lapped traffic.

The gap kept closing, and closing, and closing . . .

You know, tires weren’t good all day. Kahne had an issue, yes, but David Gilliland and Jamie McMurray did, too. Sticker tires disintegrated.

Guess who had stickers? Johnson. Guess who caught Biffle? Not Johnson. A right side let go, and he scrapped the wall with three to go. Harvick flashed by, then Truex Jr. The wounded no. 48 went to pit road.

But the race goes on.

Greg Biffle got the champagne shower at the end of the day, the 1000th win for Ford.

Points were shaken up, drivers didn’t finish, and the show was anything but ordinary. Yet, at the end of the day, the teams load up, go back to their headquarters, and focus on the next race.

It may be difficult to, but the race goes on.

Point Standings after Michigan

1. Jimmie Johnson (–)
2. Carl Edwards (-31)
3. Clint Bowyer (-49)
4. Kevin Harvick (-62)
5. Matt Kenseth (-82)
6. Kyle Busch (-86)
7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (-91)
8. Greg Biffle (-95)
9. Brad Keselowski (-108)
10. Tony Stewart (-121)
11. Paul Menard (-123)
12. Kasey Kahne (-131)

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One thought on “But the race goes on: Biffle wins at Michigan”

  1. I didn’t get to see the race today….fathers day family get together. And stupidly I didn’t set DVR…DUH!! Thanks for the synopsis, I usually don’t miss not seeing this particular race but will try to catch this one on Speed this week. You do have a way with words little girl!

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