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MOTOR RACING

Greg Biffle runs out of gas but not out of luck in Las Vegas

He ends his 76-race Nationwide Series winless streak.

March 01, 2009|Jim Peltz

LAS VEGAS — Greg Biffle rebounded from running out of gas to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series race Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, one riddled with crashes and driver mistakes on pit road.

Carl Edwards and Brian Vickers -- who, like Biffle, are mainly NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers who also compete on the second-tier Nationwide circuit -- finished second and third, respectively, in the Sam's Town 300.

Biffle's Ford ran out of gas about three-quarters through the race, seemingly knocking him out of contention.

But the spree of other incidents helped him get back to the front and end a 76-race Nationwide Series winless streak.

The wrecks included one three laps from the scheduled finish, when Mike Bliss slammed into the back of a spinning Denny Hamlin.

That brought out the 12th caution period of the race and set up a two-lap overtime shootout, with Biffle holding off a charging Edwards, his teammate at Roush Fenway Racing.

"It feels great to get back in Victory Lane," Biffle said. "The fans got to see a great race today."

Edwards himself had to overcome a cut tire earlier in the race. "That was a wild day," Edwards said. "All the fast cars were having trouble."

Indeed, Jeff Burton spun in front of Kevin Harvick, sending both into the wall and triggering a multi-car crash behind them.

In the opening laps, Hamlin spun out and Bliss and Brad Keselowski collided behind him as they hit the brakes.

And Kyle Busch spun and crashed into oncoming Scott Speed, the former Formula One racer and now NASCAR racer who had started on the pole in his Nationwide debut.

Busch said the wreck was "100% my fault [for] trying to race for the lead" so early in the race.

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james.peltz@latimes.com

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