Greg Biffle won his first race of the 2007 season in a wet and wild race at Sunday's Lifelock 400 at Kansas Speedway. Seven of the 12 Chase drivers placed 30th or worse, leaving the standings as hectic as the weather.
The race was shortened 85 miles due to two rain delays and impending darkness. At the finish, defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson reclaimed his points lead. When Johnson reached the finish line he was left scratching his head at the finishing order - and he wasn't alone.
The race ended under caution when Juan Pablo Montoya blew a tire with four laps to go. The caution should have set up an overtime finish, but NASCAR declined to restart the race because of nightfall. Biffle's car began to sputter on the last lap as he worked to conserve fuel and reach the finish line. Johnson and local star Clint Bowyer passed him before he reached the checkered flag. Johnson immediately said Kansas native Bowyer should be celebrating in Victory Lane, not Biffle. Bowyer agreed.
"It was definitely dark, and it was starting to be a concern, but it wasn't dark enough that I couldn't see Biffle having trouble," Bowyer said. "I just didn't know what to do. I knew it wasn't right, but I didn't think they expected us to pull down in the grass and follow him."
NASCAR ruled that with a caution on track, the field was frozen so no passing was allowed. NASCAR also stated that Biffle maintained a reasonable speed while crossing the finish line. Casey Mears finished in fourth and Jeff Gordon in fifth. Kevin Harvick, Reed Sorenson, Elliot Sadler, Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top ten.
When the race finally settled, the points standings had been blown open for a Chase field that entered the event with the top six drivers separated by just 28 points. Johnson now has a 6 point lead over Jeff Gordon, with Bowyer in third just 14 points out. After that, the Cup standings get a little messy.
Tony Stewart, who started the day just two points out of the lead, is in fourth trailing by 117 points and Kevin Harvick is in fifth, 126 point behind the leader. Kyle Busch (-136), Carl Edwards (-142), Martin Truex Jr. (-158), Kurt Busch (-177), Jeff Burton (-186), Matt Kenseth (-219) and Denny Hamlin (-249) round out the Chase field standings.