Greg Biffle gave a recovering Jack Roush, Ford and himself their first Sprint Cup win of the season in a long and eventful race at Pocono Raceway.
The Roush Fenway racer and his team gambled on a two-tire final pit stop which placed them second for the last restart.
However, soon after the restart Biffle was able to overtake leader Sam Hornish Jr., who had jumped into the lead at the final caution after staying out and hoping for the rain to continue and end the race early.
After passing Hornish, Biffle took off and pulled away into the distance to take his first Sprint Cup win since 2008. But despite it looking easy for him in the closing laps, Biffle admitted he had to work his engine to the limit, downshifting to third gear for Turn 1, while most others ran in fourth gear all the way around, as is normally the case at the 2.5-mile oval.
He also had to fight back from brushing the wall early on, taking two tires on his first stop under caution to try to recover from a poor start.
Biffle dedicated his victory to his boss Jack Roush, who continues to recover from a second surgery for facial injuries suffered in a plane crash last Tuesday. The win was not just the first for the team this year, but also for Ford, who last won at NASCAR's top level at Talladega last fall.
"It was mostly engine," said a jubilant Biffle. "This engine ran so good. I abused the crap out of it all day and this one is for Jack [Roush]... We've been really tough and answered all the questions about the Ford and there it is. Ford is running really good. I just wish I would have won last week, too."
The last stop, which proved crucial to the outcome of the race, came after the race had been halted for a total of 45 minutes due to a serious accident involving Kurt Busch and Elliott Sadler, both crashing hard against the inside barriers after reigning champion Jimmie Johnson tapped the Penske Dodge into a spin on the backstretch.
The race had to be red-flagged due to the severity of the incident, with repairs to the barriers and rain further delaying the last restart.
Polesitter Tony Stewart had a good final stop and took the green flag for the last time as the first car on four new tires. He charged all the way up to second but by the time he had moved up, Biffle was already too far ahead and just a few laps remained.
"This is what we've been looking for," said Stewart. "We've got to just keep plugging away. We're not all the way there but we're gaining on it and that's encouraging. This is the time of the year when you want to be building momentum and not losing it. So, I'm pretty happy with this weekend."
Rounding out a great day for Roush, Carl Edwards was third, while points leader Kevin Harvick was fourth for Richard Childress Racing, followed by Denny Hamlin, who led some laps but didn't run as strong in the final portion of the race.
Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson led more than half the race between them, Gordon looking like closing in on victory until his stop for four tires at the final caution.
Gordon was unable to recover as well as Stewart in the end and finished sixth, while Johnson struggled in the second half of the race after dominating for most of the first 100 laps, crossing the line in 10th.
"You are a sitting duck when you are first and you look at the guys you are racing," said Gordon about his final stop. "If you know nine guys are going to take two tires, then it is an easy call to take two.
"But, when you don't know and the guys around you are going to take four, then you take four. We just weren't really good to drive up through there like Tony [Stewart] was."
Juan Pablo Montoya was running second behind Gordon before the final stop, but again his strategy didn't play out as expected and he was unable to recover from a four-tire change.
The top-12 in the standings remain unchanged with only five races to go before the Chase.
Pos Driver Car Laps
1. Greg Biffle Ford 200
2. Tony Stewart Chevrolet 200
3. Carl Edwards Ford 200
4. Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 200
5. Denny Hamlin Toyota 200
6. Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 200
7. Mark Martin Chevrolet 200
8. Jeff Burton Chevrolet 200
9. Martin Truex Jr Toyota 200
10. Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 200
11. Sam Hornish Jr Dodge 200
12. Ryan Newman Chevrolet 200
13. Paul Menard Ford 200
14. David Ragan Ford 200
15. Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 200
16. Juan Montoya Chevrolet 200
17. David Reutimann Toyota 200
18. Matt Kenseth Ford 200
19. Kasey Kahne Ford 200
20. Brad Keselowski Dodge 200
21. Regan Smith Chevrolet 200
22. Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 200
23. Kyle Busch Toyota 200
24. A.J. Allmendinger Ford 200
25. Joey Logano Toyota 200
26. Scott Speed Toyota 200
27. Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 199
28. Bobby Labonte Chevrolet 199
29. Travis Kvapil Ford 199
30. David Gilliland Ford 198
31. Kevin Conway Ford 198
32. Reed Sorenson Toyota 171
33. Kurt Busch Dodge 164
34. Elliott Sadler Ford 163
35. P.J. Jones Toyota 63
36. Casey Mears Chevrolet 62
37. Todd Bodine Toyota 49
38. J.J. Yeley Dodge 48
39. Marcos Ambrose Toyota 46
40. Joe Nemechek Toyota 42
41. Landon Cassill Chevrolet 32
42. Dave Blaney Toyota 24
43. Michael McDowell Toyota 23