LONG POND, PA. (AP) - As he closed in on the finish line, Greg Biffle knew the only person worthy of dedicating this victory to at Pocono Raceway.
“This one’s for Jack!” he said over the radio.
Was it ever.
With Jack Roush recovering in the Mayo Clinic, Biffle raced to victory in an often-delayed Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway on Sunday to snap a 64-race winless streak and take the checkered flag for his injured team owner.
“I have to tell you, when it got to be five to go, I started thinking about,” Biffle said. “I started thinking, this race is meant to be.”
Biffle never doubted he would win a Cup race again even as his oh-fer reached nearly two years. He hadn’t won since the first two races in the 2008 Chase for the Cup championship. But with Roush in the Mayo Clinic for injuries sustained in a plane crash in Wisconsin, Biffle found Victory Lane.
“We know he’s watching,” Biffle said. “It’s been really tough. We worked so hard.”
It was also the first win of the season for both a Ford and Roush Fenway Racing.
Tony Stewart was second and Roush driver Carl Edwards was third. Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin, who won the last two Pocono races, rounded out the top five.
Edwards spoke with Roush on Sunday morning and said his boss sounded in good spirits.
“He was Jack,” Edwards said. “Don’t mess anything up. Don’t wreck. He’s been through a lot this last week. He really needed that victory. That’s pretty cool. I’m sure he’s really hard to handle for all those nurses in the hospital.”
Roush released a statement calling it a “proud day” for the entire organization.
“They’ve done a wonderful job and this is just the beginning of the rewards that have resulted from all of their hard work,” he said.
“I’m glad he thinks of me like that,” Biffle said. “No matter how grim the outcome can be, I’ll still be digging.”