Daytona Beach, Fla. (February 15th, 2009) – Greg Biffle finished 24th in the first of the Gatorade 150’s on Thursday which gave him a starting position for the Daytona 500 of 35th. Biffle kept the 3M Ford Fusion between 30th and 40th for the majority of the first half of the race. The car was not handling to his liking but he was able to gain ground when he navigated his way through a multi-car incident on lap 124. When the race was finally called for rain on lap 152, Biffle was in the 20th position and that is the position he was credited with when the results were posted.
Biffle and the 3M team seemed moderately confident in their 3M Ford following the final practice on Saturday. As their luck in the in the Bud Shootout and the Gatorade 150 had not been great, they were hoping to finish the Daytona 500 with a solid finish and an in-tact racecar. They were able to accomplish that with a little hard work and a change of luck.
Shortly after the drop of the green flag, Biffle fell back and was running 39th when the first caution flag flew on lap eight. He had reported that the car was handling really well so no changes were made. Biffle restarted 39th on lap 10 and had made his way up to 24th when the competition caution came out on lap 25. As he had begun to report that the car was getting a little loose, he brought the 3M Ford in for four tires, fuel and a minor wedge adjustment.
When the field restarted on lap 29, Biffle was in the 41st position because he and the team opted to pit on the second round of pit stops to avoid the pit road congestion and maybe lead a lap. During this green-flag run Biffle reported that the 3M Ford was a little tight but still managed to make his way to the 31st position before Travis Kvapil made contact with the wall on lap 54 and brought out the caution. This time in the pits it would be four tires, fuel, a wedge adjustment and an air pressure adjustment.
Biffle restarted 25th on lap 59 but fell back a little with a loose racecar. On lap 80, Joey Logano lost control of his car and hit the inside wall bringing out the fourth caution of the day. Biffle brought the 3M Ford in for four tires, fuel and another wedge adjustment. He restarted 33rd but was beginning to gain ground when a multi-car incident on lap 124 halted green-flag racing. Biffle was able to make it through the wreckage with no damage but decided to bring the 3M Ford to the pits for four fresh tires in case he had run over some debris.
That would be the final stop of the day for the 3M team and Biffle restarted in the 23rd position on lap 132. He was able to pick up a few positions by staying out during the next caution and was running 20th when the final yellow flag of the day flew on lap 145. The red flag was put out for rain on lap 152 and Biffle was credited with a 20th place finish.
“The 3M Ford was just tight on the bottom and loose on the top most of the race,” said Biffle. “We worked on in during almost every stop but just couldn’t get the handling where it needed to be. We’re leaving Daytona with our car in one piece and a top-20 finish so it could be worse. I have to say congratulations to my teammate Matt Kenseth for his Daytona 500 win, that’s incredible. I’m ready for California.”
Following their 20th place finish at Daytona, Greg Biffle and the 3M team are currently 20th in the Sprint Cup point standings. They are 87 points behind race-winner and points-leader Matt Kenseth. The 3M team will return to the track next Sunday, February 22nd in California at Auto Club Speedway.
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing operates 9 full-time motorsports teams, five in NASCAR Sprint Cup with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; Three in the Nationwide Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Erik Darnell, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Colin Braun; and one in the Camping World Truck Series with Braun.