(Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images/NASCAR)
You'd have thought Roush Fenway Racing's top three teams were pulling for Jeff Gordon to break his 47-race losing streak.
That, or they'd better check their lug-nut glue.
But the Roush drivers weren't exactly cheering afterward.
"It burns me up," Biffle unabashedly told Fox TV reporters on pit road after battling back to a third-place finish. "This is the second time we should have won the race" this season, but for pit foul-ups. At Fontana, Calif., in February, Biffle stopped on his air hose and lost a solid shot at winning.
This time, "We had some lug nuts fall off or something," Biffle told reporters at a postrace news conference. "We lost a lot of track position. It was really, really hard here to fight your way back on track position.
"Just ran out of time," Biffle concluded resignedly after leading the most laps of the Samsung 500 before falling back. "Fifteen more laps, would have passed the 24 [Gordon] or 48 [Jimmie Johnson, Gordon's Hendrick Motorsports teammate, who finished second].
"Had the fastest car today, looked like. Not always the fastest car wins."
Just before the final caution, Edwards appeared to have the fastest car on the track, and he took the lead with 38 laps to go after a duel with Gordon. But yet another disastrous Roush pit stop dropped Edwards all the way back to 11th for the final restart, and he couldn't recover.
Tony Stewart had pushed Gordon back to third before that last caution, but Gordon's crew performed flawlessly and got him out of the pits first.
In fact, said Gordon's crew chief, Steve Letarte, "Without that last pit stop, I don't think we'd have had the opportunity to win today."
Before the previous caution, with 85 laps to go, Kenseth was running second to Gordon. Then, under that caution, Kenseth had a bad stop because of a dropped lug nut.
That dropped him back to midpack, "and it was extremely tough to pass," Kenseth said. "Then the last stop, we had a good pit stop, and the guys redeemed themselves and picked me up three or four spots -- I think got us up to sixth -- and we were able to move our way to fifth [where he finished]."
Later, Biffle softened on his crew's performance.
"The stops were really good," he said of the overall race. "It's just that on the two stops, the lug nuts fell off. It's kind of contradictory, but the other stops were very good. The other pit stops were excellent.
"It's not really the jack man or the tire-changer, it's not actually the guys doing the physical work," Biffle said. "It's the prep of the guy who glued it up."
He meant the man responsible for gluing lug nuts to wheels before the race to facilitate the tire-changers' tightening the nuts lightning-fast with their air guns.
"Either it got glued up too early, too late," Biffle said, referring to the viscosity of the glue changing in the heat of a sunny day. "There's some technique to it, which I know nothing about."
Maybe the whole Roush Fenway organization ought to focus on glue during its off week heading into Easter.
Nationwide Series: Growing pains for Logano
Several de facto classes exist within the Nationwide Series. There are the Cup drivers dropping down to cherry-pick, such as Logano.
There are the "haves" among regular Nationwide drivers, such as Keselowski. Then there are various levels of have-nots.
Logano finished 12th after challenging Keselowski for second on a restart with seven laps to go, then falling back to get himself into more and more trouble.
After his rough finish, Logano, 18, said something interesting -- almost frightening -- when questioned by ESPN's Jamie Little about the pressure of his rookie Cup season and his spotty Nationwide performance with Joe Gibbs Racing.
"We're in a pressure business," said the most heralded Cup rookie since Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2000. "If I haven't got used to that yet, I never am."
Scary, because Logano's finish Saturday made you wonder, beginning with his duel with Keselowski.
On the restart, Keselowski appeared to spin his tires, allowing Logano to bump him and pull alongside. Keselowski saw it a bit differently.
"The 20 [Logano] got a good run on me, got in the back of me a little bit, and we got side by side."
That allowed Busch to get away, but Keselowski won the duel with Logano.
From there, Logano drifted up in front of Carl Edwards, clipped him and put him in the wall.
Trying to clear Keselowski, "I drove into [Turn] 1 too hard and scraped the left a little bit and went up the track," Logano told Little. "At that point, the 60 [Edwards] was looking outside, and the 33 [Stewart] was looking inside.
"I was hoping to keep my foot in it and clear the 60. If I'd checked up, the 33 was right there. I didn't know what to do to get out of that hole. It's my fault."
Not the greatest exhibition of dealing with pressure.
If Keselowski spins his tires on the restart while sandwiched between two Cup drivers, it's the kind of mistake a Nationwide regular is allowed to make while still in the upper developmental stages. And he later gave up second place to Stewart because Stewart was on fresher tires.
For Logano, dealing with Edwards outside and Stewart inside is the sort of thing he'll have to face his entire Cup career.
So you have to hope, for his sake, that he was wrong about being as accustomed to pressure as he'll ever be.
Camping World Truck Series: Bring on Kansas
The Trucks were off this past weekend. Their next race is at Kansas on April 25.
Ed Hinton is a senior writer for ESPN.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday's SportsNation chat
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Racing Resources SaysSprint Cup Series
- Jeff Gordon won the Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. This was his 82nd career victory. He remained sixth on NASCAR's all-time wins list, just one behind fifth-place Cale Yarborough.
- Gordon ended a 47-race winless streak, the longest of his career. The last time he had won was at Lowe's Motor Speedway in October 2007. He has won at 21 of the 22 tracks on the current schedule. He has not won at Homestead.
- Gordon won his first race at Texas in his 17th start there, tying Phoenix with the most starts at a track before winning.
- This was Gordon's 10th victory with crew chief Steve Letarte.
- Gordon is the only driver to score top-15 finishes in all seven races in 2009. He has finished sixth or better in his past six races and is the only driver to score six top-10 finishes in the first seven races. He has scored top-10 finishes in five of his past six races at Texas.
- Jimmie Johnson finished second to Gordon, the ninth time they have finished 1-2. Gordon has won six times, Johnson has won three times.
- This was the 24th 1-2 finish for Hendrick Motorsports. This was the 177th victory for HMS, its second in 2009 and second straight. (Johnson won March 29 at Martinsville.)
- Gordon became the fifth different race winner in seven races this season. He tied Dale Earnhardt with 14 wins on the seven 1.5-mile tracks, the most by any driver. Gordon has scored 55 top-5s and 74 top-10s in his 121 races on the 1.5-mile track, the most by any driver.
- Gordon led six times for 105 laps, including the final 28 laps, for the most laps led at Texas. He had failed to win the previous four times he had led the most laps.
- This was the second victory for Chevrolet in 2009, both in the past two races.
- Gordon leads the Sprint Cup point standings by 162 points over second-place Johnson.
- Johnson scored his fifth top-10 of 2009 and third consecutive top-three finish.
- Greg Biffle (third) broke a three-race streak of finishing 28th or worse.
- Tony Stewart (fourth) scored his fifth top-10 of 2009.
- Matt Kenseth (fifth) scored his first top-10 since winning the first two races of the season.
- Juan Pablo Montoya (seventh) scored his best finish of 2009.
- Clint Bowyer (22nd) extended an 80-race streak of running at the finish that began at Homestead in November 2006. Bowyer's last DNF came at Phoenix on Nov. 12, 2006, when he finished 33rd because of an oil-pump failure.
- Joey Logano (30th) was the only rookie contender in the race. Scott Speed failed to qualify.
- The top 10 consisted of six Chevrolets, three Fords and one Dodge. The highest-finishing Toyota was David Reutimann (11th).
- Kyle Busch won the O'Reilly 300 at the Texas Motor Speedway. Busch scored his 23rd Nationwide victory in his 143rd start. His 23 career wins rank seventh all time, one better than Dale Earnhardt Jr., Sam Ard and Tommy Ellis.
- Busch scored his third Nationwide victory at Texas Motor Speedway, all in his past three starts there. The previous driver to win three consecutive races at a track was Carl Edwards at Nashville (2006-07).
- Busch has won 12 of his past 29 Nationwide races.
- Busch has six NASCAR wins in the 15 NASCAR races this season (two Cup, two Nationwide, two Trucks). He has won six of the past 11 races on 1.5-mile tracks in the Nationwide Series.
- Busch led 178 of the 200 laps, including the final 95. The 178 laps are the most led by a race winner at Texas. He has led more than 100 laps five times at Texas, including four of the past five races. He also has led the most laps in three of the five races this season.
- Busch scored his sixth Nationwide victory with crew chief Jason Ratcliff.
- Joe Gibbs Racing has led 491 of the 600 laps raced at Texas Motor Speedway in the past three Nationwide races. JGR scored its 30th series victory and its third (all consecutive) at Texas.
- Toyota posted its 24th series victory and third (all consecutive) at Texas.
- This is the first Texas race won from the pole.
- Carl Edwards (18th) ended a streak of 13 races of finishing in the top 10.
- The top nine drivers all competed in the Cup race Sunday.
- This was the first event when a sealed engine was required.
- Brad Keselowski (third) scored his first top-10 of 2009. He started in the rear of the field in a backup car after a crash in qualifying. He gained eight spots in the points standings and now sits seventh.
- Justin Allgaier (10th) was the highest-finishing rookie contender among the seven in the race. It was Allgaier's third consecutive top-10 finish.
- The top 10 consisted of two Toyotas, four Chevrolets, three Fords and one Dodge.