Brooklyn, Mich. (August 17, 2008) – Greg Biffle and the 3M team went to Michigan this weekend with a goal of leaving with a top-five finish and that is exactly what they did. Other than during one green-flag pit cycle, Biffle was never seen outside of the top 10 and led one lap for five bonus points just before halfway. He took the fourth position from Brian Vickers with 15 laps remaining and kept it until the checkered flag dropped. The fourth place finish moves Biffle up three positions in the point standings to seventh.
Michigan International Speedway is one of Biffle’s favorite tracks and it shows in his performance record at the two-mile oval. With two wins there in the Cup Series under his belt, his expectations are high when he races in Michigan. He and crew chief Greg Erwin both wanted a win for 3M and Ford in the 3M Performance 400 but a solid top-five finish would keep them in Chase contention. They turned in solid practice times on Friday and Saturday and qualified ninth for a starting position on the inside of row five.
Shortly after the drop of the green flag Biffle reported that the 3M Ford Fusion was a little tight but he was able to get by David Reutimann for eighth before the first caution came out on lap 18. He pitted for four tires, fuel, a wedge adjustment and a track bar adjustment. The 3M crew sent him out ninth for the restart on lap 25 and Biffle began a steady climb through the field.
Biffle made his way into the top five on lap 30 and was running fifth when a round of green-flag stops began on lap 63. Erwin instructed Biffle to pit for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment on lap 64 as the car’s handling had gone from too tight to too loose. The 3M Ford was fourth on the board when the green-flag pit cycle was complete on lap 67. Biffle was able to get by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. for third just before the second caution of the race came out on lap 84.
The 3M pit crew gave Biffle four fresh tires, fuel and a minor air pressure adjustment when he pitted on lap 86. Biffle returned to the track in the second position for the restart on lap 89 behind teammate Carl Edwards. Biffle got by Edwards to lead one lap on lap 91 for five bonus points and relinquished the lead to Edwards one lap later. Kyle Busch was able to get by as well putting Biffle in third position for the next caution on lap 97.
This time Biffle brought the 3M Ford Fusion in for right-side tires and fuel only as he seemed happy with the car’s handling. He restarted second behind Edwards again on lap 101. He quickly reported that the car was a little loose and dropped back to fourth before getting back by Vickers for third on lap 122. A second round of green flag stops began on lap 133 and Biffle came to pit road on lap 139 for four tires, a wedge adjustment and an air pressure adjustment.
Biffle was back in the third position when the round of green flag stops was complete on lap 142. He was able to maintain the third position until a caution for debris came out on lap 164. Biffle took the opportunity to pit for four tires and fuel. He was still happy with the handling of the 3M Ford Fusion so no changes were made. Biffle restarted in the fourth position on lap 169 and got by Vickers for third six laps later.
A late-race caution on lap 179 gave Biffle the opportunity to pit for fresh right-side tires while running in the third position. He restarted sixth on lap 182 as a few teams opted not to pit. That would be Biffle’s final pit stop of the day. He was able to pick up two positions in the closing laps for a fourth place finish.
“We had a great car,” said Biffle. “The 3M Ford Fusion just ran really good. The pit stops were phenomenal. But, I couldn’t get a hold of the race track like I needed to. Ever since we showed up here this weekend, the car hasn’t been exactly right – way, way too tight and then the very last practice too loose. So, we sort of jumped the fence there and never did get it balanced right.”
Greg Biffle and the 3M/Dish Network team are currently seventh in the point standings. They are 575 points out of the lead currently held by Kyle Busch and 145 points ahead of Clint Bowyer in the 13th position. They are only 17 points behind Tony Stewart in the sixth position. The team will return to the track on Saturday, August 23rd at Bristol Motor Speedway.
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing is NASCAR’s largest team operating 13 motorsports teams. Five in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; four in the Nationwide Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Erik Darnell and Colin Braun; and three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun, Kvapil, John Wes Townley and Bobby East; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.