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NASCAR

Greg Biffle wins Quicken Loans 400

1,000th win for Ford racing company

A competitor’s late mishap was the big key to Greg Biffle’s milestone victory for Ford Motor Company on Sunday.

John Harrelson/Getty Images

A competitor’s late mishap was the big key to Greg Biffle’s milestone victory for Ford Motor Company on Sunday.

BROOKLYN, Mich. — Greg Biffle gave Ford a milestone victory — right down the road from company headquarters.

Biffle raced to a win in the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway, easily holding off Kevin Harvick after points leader Jimmie Johnson smacked the wall in the final laps Sunday. It was the 1,000th victory for Ford Motor Company across NASCAR’s three national series — Cup, Nationwide, and Truck.

Sunday was Ford Motor Company’s 110th birthday.

‘‘What a great moment this is,’’ said Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing. ‘‘We couldn’t be prouder to have this moment come here today at Michigan in front of so many of our Ford friends. What a great race and a great day for Ford.’’

It was Biffle’s first win since he overtook Johnson to win at MIS in August. Johnson’s engine faltered with six laps left in that race. This time, he was about a second behind Biffle with three laps to go — but a tire gave way, and he dropped all the way to 28th.

‘‘I don’t want to see anybody wreck,’’ Biffle said. ‘‘It makes you feel good when you push the guy over the edge. He made a mistake, and that’s what makes you feel good. You outsmarted him, or you beat him at his game.’’

Harvick was second, three seconds behind Biffle. Martin Truex Jr. was next, followed by Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart.

Johnson wasn’t the only big name who ran into trouble. Jeff Gordon was out of contention almost immediately when he hit a spinning Bobby Labonte less than 10 laps into the 200-lap, 400-mile race. Gordon finished 39th, one spot behind Kasey Kahne, who led at the halfway point but appeared to blow a tire and went sliding into the wall. Kahne’s car caught fire, but he was able to climb out quickly.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., who won at MIS last June, finished 37th Sunday. He led for 34 laps, but his engine acted up about two-thirds of the way through the race.

There were eight cautions for 38 laps. Biffle finished second to Johnson the previous weekend at Pocono, but this time there was nobody left to challenge him at the end.

It was Ford’s third Cup victory of the year — Carl Edwards and David Ragan won at Phoenix and Talladega. Sunday was Ford Motor Company’s 110th birthday.

Edwards finished eighth. Kurt Busch qualified second but went into an early spin and finished 35th.

Johnson had a chance at his fourth victory of the year before scraping the wall late. He still has never won a Cup race at MIS.

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