Long Pond, Pa. (June 9, 2013) – Greg Biffle finished runner-up at Pocono, earning his highest finish of the 2013 season. Biffle started the 160-lap race from the 13th - position in his No. 16 3M Ford Fusion since rain washed out qualifying on Friday, setting the field by points. Long green flag runs didn’t leave many opportunities for adjustments, but the 3M team made slight adjustments and Biffle did the rest. The second-place finish moved Biffle up to 10th in the point standings.
“It was a pretty good day for us,” said Biffle. “We just kept fighting and getting better and better track position. This car likes clean air. We’ve really struggled this season, but once we got some track position we were pretty good. The No. 48 was definitely in a league of his own today. I was just hoping I could get up to his rear bumper or something would happen and I could get close enough to race with him, but we just needed a few more adjustments.”
In typical Pocono fashion, rain was a factor for part of the weekend luckily only affecting Friday. Qualifying was scheduled for what turned into a rainy Friday, forcing NASCAR to set the field off 2013 owner’s points. This lined Biffle up 13th in the 3M Ford Fusion.
Over the opening green flag run, Biffle told his team he didn’t have grip in turns three and four. On the first green flag stop crew chief Matt Puccia called for four tires, fuel, air pressure adjustment, and two rounds of wedge in the left rear. The adjustments allowed Biffle to move up into the top 10.
The first caution of the day came on lap 66 for debris on the track. Biffle came down pit road for a two-tire stop, but a hung lugnut cost him track position. Biffle restarted 16th and began to work his way forward.
As the race went on it looked as if fuel mileage was going to determine the winner. Biffle saved when he could and multiple cautions toward the end of the race secured their fuel mileage.
The final restart came with four laps remaining and Biffle sitting fourth. Biffle was able to shove the No. 48 to the lead and in the process took over the second position. He was able to hang on for the final laps and earn his best finish of the season, while Jimmie Johnson took home the checkered flag.
“Yeah, we were really good on the top and really good on restarts for some reason, so I was really excited because it gave me another chance,” said Biffle. “I knew I was going to start behind the No. 48. The only thing I could do was give him a little shove or tap and wiggle him and try and get going. That’s the only way somebody was going to beat him today and I was willing to try anything I could, but I just didn’t get close enough.”
Jimmie Johnson dominated the Party in the Poconos 400, leading 128 laps in route to his third win of the season. Biffle earned his highest finish of the season, while Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman rounded out the top five. The Sprint Cup Series heads to Michigan International Speedway next weekend, where last time Biffle took home the checkered flag. Tune into TNT Sunday, June 16 at 1:00pm to see if Biffle can take home another win at Michigan.
Quicken Loans 400
1.5-mile Michigan International Speedway
Sunday, June 16, 2013