JOLIET, Ill. (AP) – Angry runner-up Greg Biffle called winner Kevin Harvick a “chicken” and a “punk” after the NASCAR Busch Series event at Chicagoland Speedway.

With both Nextel Cup regulars a lap down midway through the race Saturday, Biffle thought Harvick intentionally failed to pass leader Reed Sorenson, keeping the “free pass” spot for himself and freezing out Biffle in the event that a caution flag came out. If Harvick had passed Sorenson, Biffle would have moved into position to get a lap back under the caution.

“I think Kevin Harvick’s a chicken,” Biffle said. “I think he’s a punk. And I wish he was sitting right here beside me.

“You’ve got to be that desperate to try to win a race? He must not want to race a long time because that’s going to some pretty extreme measures. … Whatever. That’s just the way he drives, the way he thinks.”

Harvick responded by saying he couldn’t catch Sorenson, called Biffle a “prima donna,” and said he needs to “quit whining or I’ll stop it.”

“I felt like it was a pretty clean race,” Harvick said near the end of his post-race news conference. “Yeah, I’m pretty frustrated by it. I’ll fix it here in a minute, though, if you’ll let me go.”

Harvick left the media center and headed away in a golf cart. He did not immediately confront Biffle. Harvick, who has previously won two Cup races on the 1-mile oval, got a break when Ryan Newman, who started from the pole and led 118 of the 200 laps in the USG Durock 300, was slowed late in the race by a loose lugnut.

“His car was really strong,” Harvick said of Newman. “He probably had the best car for about 20 laps, then our car was better the next 20 laps. It probably would have been a good fight at the end, but I’m glad we didn’t have to see it.”

Newman, another Cup regular making only his second Busch start of the year, was in the lead and dominating when he pitted on lap 155. His inexperienced Busch crew sent Newman back on track with a loose lugnut on his left front tire, and he was then hit with a drive-through penalty for too many men over the pit wall when he came back in on lap 156.

That left Newman 18th for the restart on lap 159, but he moved all the way to third for the final restart on lap 195. He tried hard to pass Biffle for second, but couldn’t get past and settled for a third-place finish.

“It was a pretty good race, but we made a mistake and that’s just what we deserved,” Newman said.

After fending off Newman, Biffle found himself too far behind Harvick to make a run at the leader, who wound up crossing the finish line 0.715 seconds – about eight car-lengths – in front.

“I knew that Biffle was good on the restarts,” Harvick said. “I just had to feel my car out and do what I thought was right. It was a good restart.

“We kept adjusting on the car, a little half a pound (of air in the tires) here and there and it was real good at the end,” added Harvick, who earned his second Busch victory of the season and the 15th of his career.

Carl Edwards and Mark Martin finished behind Newman, giving Cup regulars, all of whom will race on the same track in Sunday’s USG Sheetrock 400, the top five spots. Clint Bowyer, Harvick’s Richard Childress Racing teammate, was sixth, the top finish for a Busch regular.

Defending series champion Martin Truex Jr. finished seventh and now leads Bowyer in the season standings by 72 points, with rookie Reed Sorenson, who finished 10th, 106 points behind in third.

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