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Biffle leads Coca-Coca Family at Texas

April 16, 2012, Andrew Shain, Special to NASCAR.COM,

No. 16 gives Coca-Cola Family five wins this season in seven races

The Coca-Cola Family driver who has led the series points standings for much of the season finally got to win a race as he added to his dominant season with a victory at Texas.

The Coca-Cola gang now has five wins in seven points races this season.

Three other members of the red-and-white posse managed top-20 finishes in Fort Worth, but a few strayed off the mark with poor-handling cars and are looking for better results in Kansas.

Greg Biffle

Texas finish: First

Season standings: First

Biffle ended his six-race streak of finishes with ties to the number three. That's what happens when you head to Victory Lane. He was never lower than eighth place in the race before passing Jimmie Johnson with 30 laps remaining for his second win at Texas and his first series victory in 18 months. Biffle has eight consecutive top-10 finishes in the Lone Star State. He widened his series lead to 19 points.

What he said: "I tell you what; these guys did a great job in the pits and adjusting on the car all day. I can't thank everybody enough for sticking behind the No. 16 car. ... I just dug deep [to pass Johnson]. I knew I had to do it and I kept trying and trying and trying. I knew the team would forgive me if I wrecked it trying to beat him so I just gave it all I had."

Denny Hamlin

Texas finish: 12th

Season standings: Sixth

Hamlin started 13th but sank as low as 29th, the last car on the lead lap, with a tight car before rallying into the top 10. Hamlin's finish was his best at Texas since sweeping the races in 2010. Hamlin's three consecutive results in the top 12 has kept him entrenched in the Chase race.

What he tweeted: "We fought hard [Saturday]. Making a little progress on our program. Still have a ways to go but we will get it."

Jamie McMurray

Texas finish: 14th

Season standings: 23rd

McMurray qualified a season-best ninth and was running in the top 10 before his car became loose. He battled back in the final 100 laps for his best finish in Texas in almost four seasons. McMurray moved up a spot in the standings with his third top-15 finish in the past five races.

What he said: "Our car was very inconsistent [Saturday] but glad to come home with a top-15 finish."

Joey Logano

Texas finish: 19th

Season standings: 13th

Logano's car started off tight, sending him back in the pack into 32nd. Then his car became loose and crews finally got his car adjusted right for a 19th -- his best finish in nearly a month and in his past four races at Texas. The result did not hurt his place in the standings.

What he said: "Man, I am flat worn out after that race. I can't believe we ran that many laps without a caution. That just really makes it difficult to diagnose and make the changes that you want to make to get your car better. You don't have time to talk about the car and the changes you want because you are under race conditions. So we took stabs at the car and we got it better, but it took us the whole race to get it where we wanted it to be. ... We've got to figure out how to make our cars better at the start of the race. We work the whole race making it better and normally get it better, but at that point it is just too late."

Ryan Newman

Texas finish: 21st

Season standings: Ninth

Newman's streak of four consecutive top-12 finishes was snapped by an ill-handling car. He qualified in the top six for the fifth time this season but fell back quickly after becoming loose. He spent much of the race just outside the top 20 for his worst finish at Texas in nearly four years. The finish cost him only one spot in the standings.

What he said: "We just couldn't get the car where we needed it. ... It wasn't for a lack of effort. It's tough when the last 234 laps are caution free. You don't have as many chances to work on the car. Things didn't go our way, but we'll be back stronger next week to complete the mission, which is winning the race."

Tony Stewart

Texas finish: 24th

Season standings: Seventh

A practice-time brush with the wall forced Stewart into a back-up car, which happened to be the one he used to win last fall's race at Texas. But like his teammate Newman, the set-up was off and led to a long night when long green-lap runs offered few efforts to make adjustments. The 24th-place finish was Stewart's worst in 14 races dating back last year at Dover and cost him four spots in the standings.

What he said: "We just couldn't get the handle on this thing. We started off really loose and then we sort of went the other way, and I needed to be freed up. We chased it all night. We'll go back to the shop, tear it apart and see what the deal is."

Bobby Labonte

Texas finish: 27th

Season standings: 25th

It was another rough day at Labonte's home-state track. He lost spots fighting traffic on pit road and a collision with Dale Earnhardt Jr. that made his car loose. He never got higher than 24th but came back from being as low as 35th. The 2000 series champion has not finished inside the top 20 in nearly five years at Texas. Labonte's fourth finish of 26th or worse this season dropped him three spots in the standings.

What he said: "After there was contact with another car, it would not run down the straightaway. It just killed it."

Jeff Burton

Texas finish: 29th

Season standings: 16th

Usually pretty good at Texas -- nine top-13s in his past 11 races -- Burton had a problem with the lug nut on the left-rear wheel that forced to him to make several green-flag pit stops. He got as high as ninth before falling off to 29th -- his third consecutive finish of 22nd or worse. Burton has slid five places in the standings since his last good showing nearly a month ago at Bristol.

What he said: "I'm not really sure what happened to our wheel on that pit stop, but it just turned the night from bad to worse."

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