Brooklyn, Mich. (August 19, 2013) – Greg Biffle fell just short of defending his back-to-back wins at Michigan International Speedway with a ninth-place finish in the Pure Michigan 400. Biffle qualified his No. 16 FIRST Ford 16th and worked his way up to lead 28 laps, but damage on pit road and a bad restart set him back in the field. In fuel conservation mode Biffle made it to the end when others had to pit, resulting in a ninth-place finish.
“We bumped the No. 2 coming out of the pits in that scramble at the end and hurt the left front fender,” said Biffle. “That might have been some of our problem. Our cars are way, way better out front than they are in traffic. That is really tough for us.”
One year ago Biffle took home the win at Michigan, then followed that up by claiming Ford’s 1,000th NASCAR win in the spring race at Michigan. In addition to the back-to-back wins, Michigan is the home track for Ford and Roush Industries giving the teams added incentive to run well.
The sun was out as the field took the green in the Pure Michigan 400, making for a slick track surface. The first of many cautions came out on the first lap of the race. Biffle had started 16th, but was up to 13th after one lap.
In an effort to tighten up the No. 16 FIRST Ford crew chief Matt Puccia called for four tires, fuel, shim and track bar adjustments on the first stop. The FIRST Ford continued to knock out some of the fastest laps of the race, despite needing slight handling adjustments. Under caution on lap 136 Biffle pitted for two tires, fuel and one round up on the track bar. While almost to the exit of pit road the No. 2 of Brad Keselowski came out of his pit stall and ran right into the left front of Biffle’s Ford. The contact left a significant dent in the left-front fender.
On the last pit stop of the race Biffle pitted for two tires and fuel, while many others opted for fuel only. Biffle restarted 10th, but got shuffled back to 15th. The team knew they were close to running out of fuel, so Biffle conserved and as others had to pit he made up positions on the track. His FIRST Ford continued to be fast despite the damage and Biffle was able to cross the finish line ninth. The finish keeps Biffle inside the top 10 in the Championship point standings.
Joey Logano kept the Michigan win in the Ford family, while Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Paul Menard and Clint Bowyer round out the top five. Next up is Saturday night short track racing at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Irwin Tools Night Race
0.533-mile Bristol Motor Speedway
Saturday, August 24, 2013