Greg Biffle knew his car was "badass."
He just didn't want to talk about it -- until the No. 16 3M Ford reached Victory Lane on Sunday at Michigan International Speedway.
With 10 laps remaining in the Pure Michigan 400, it was uncertain whether Biffle, who was running third at the time, would get that chance. But the veteran was patient. And six laps later, Jimmie Johnson's engine expired.
"The motor's laying down on me," Johnson said on Lap 195. "You got to be kidding me."
For the third time at Michigan International Speedway, Johnson relinquished the lead in the closing laps of a race and fell short of notching his first career win at the 2-mile track.
On Sunday, he lost both the race and points lead to Biffle. Brad Keselowski, Kasey Kahne, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Marcos Ambrose rounded out the top five. Biffle desperately needed a win with three races remaining before the Chase for the Sprint Cup begins. While he led the point standings for 11 of the first 13 races of the season, the absence of a win since Texas on April 14 has enabled other competitors to gain on Biffle and his No. 16 team.
But with his third career win at Michigan, Biffle ended a 16-race losing streak and a seven-race winless drought at team owner Jack Roush's home track. Biffle also extended his points lead by 20 over second-place Matt Kenseth and improved his position for the Chase once the points are recalculated when the final field is set in three races. At that point, each win is worth an additional three bonus points for drivers who are in the top 10 in the standings.
"I know that a lot of people don't expect us to win the championship, don't expect us to compete for the title," Biffle said. "I don't care what they say or who they want to talk about or what they talk about. We will be a factor when it comes down to Homestead, I promise you that."