Indianapolis, Ind. (July 27, 2008) – In a race that will go down in the history books as having a longest green-flag run of 12 laps, Greg Biffle drove the Dish Network Ford Fusion to an eighth place finish. With constant encouragement from his spotters and team, Biffle was able to conserve his tires and race right around the top 10 most of the day. Just past halfway, the handling of the car became an issue but Biffle and the team persevered and salvaged a top-10 finish. The eighth place finish allows Biffle to retain the seventh position in the point standings.
Biffle ran competitive times in Friday’s two practice sessions and the team felt they had a top-10 car. When the qualifying order was determined for Saturday morning, Biffle was at the top of the list after the random draw. This was good news as going out early for a morning qualifying session would likely be when the temperatures were coolest. Biffle took the track and turned in a solid time that would eventually be the 12th fastest of time trials.
After two more practices on Saturday it was clear to everyone in the garage that tires would be a big issue in Sunday’s race. The tires were showing exceptional wear after only five or six laps on the track. The issue was brought to NASCAR officials for their consideration and the eventual solution was to issue additional tires to each team for the race as well as mandate a competition caution on lap 10 to evaluate the situation.
Biffle took the green flag on Sunday from the outside of row six and dropped back initially to maintain a somewhat cautious speed to conserve his tires. The first caution flag flew on lap four when Michael Waltrip spun out and made contact with the wall. Some teams opted to pit but others opted to wait for the competition caution which would now be on lap 14.
During the caution on lap 14 while running 10th, Biffle pitted for right-side tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment as the car was a little loose. Several other teams also went with a two-tire stop and Biffle returned to the track in the 12th position for the restart on lap 17. After a close inspection of the tires, NASCAR determined that there would be another competition caution on lap 29. Just as Mark Martin and Juan Pablo Montoya were pitting with right-rear tire issues, the caution came out. It was becoming clear that this would be the pattern of the day.
Biffle pitted again for right-side tires and fuel as the left-side tires were showing minimal wear. He restarted in the fourth position on lap 34 and raced very conservatively throughout the middle portion of the race. On lap 47, Matt Kenseth’s right rear tire blew out completely, causing severe damage to the right rear area of the car. The caution flag flew and Biffle headed to pit road for four fresh tires. He was running fifth when the caution came out and restarted 12th as several teams took only two tires.
This pattern continued for the remainder of the race as the tire-wear did not improve. Biffle held his ground around the top 10 for the majority of the race until he reported that the car was way too loose on lap 114 and began to quickly lose positions. He was running 18th when a competition caution on lap 122 allowed him to pit for adjustments. He restarted 24th on lap 127 and picked up eight positions before the next competition caution on lap 138.
As Biffle had taken four tires during the previous caution, he was set to take on only right-side tires in the final two pit stops of the day. Biffle restarted 11th on lap 141 which is where he was on the track when the final caution flag flew on lap 150. He pitted for two tires and restarted ninth with seven laps remaining. Biffle got by Jeff Burton on lap 158 for the eighth position and retained the spot until the checkered flag flew.
“I thought it was a good day for us,” said Biffle. “I got way too loose in the middle of the deal and I lost all my track position before finally getting it back at the end.”
Greg Biffle and the 3M/Dish Network team are currently seventh in the point standings. They are 544 points out of the lead currently held by Kyle Busch and 98 points ahead of Clint in the 12th position. They are, however, only 84 points out of the sixth position. The team will return to the track on Sunday, August 3rd at Pocono Raceway.
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. For more information on any of the Roush Fenway Racing teams, log onto www.RoushFenway.com.