Long Pond, Penn. (June 7, 2009) – As rain affected another Sprint Cup race weekend, the 3M team did their best to prepare for the 200-lap event in Pocono. With practice and qualifying cancelled on Friday, the field focused on Saturday’s practice sessions and started by points on Sunday. Biffle started ninth and was rarely seen outside of the top 10. He was running sixth when he pitted under green for a necessary fuel stop with 15 laps remaining. He returned to the track around the 20th position but as some teams were able to stretch their fuel run, he was only able to make it up to the 11th position before the checkered flag dropped. The 11th place finish, however, was good enough to move him up two positions to seventh in the point standings.
The rain started early on Friday morning and didn’t stop all day. Around 2:30 p.m. it was announced that all track activity for the day was cancelled and the field was set by points. The 3M crew began preparing the car for Saturday’s two practice sessions. Biffle ended those two sessions 11th and third respectively and seemed quite confident about his chances of scoring a top-five finish on Sunday.
As the field lined up by points, Biffle took the green from the inside of row five. He quickly began his ascension through the field to the sixth position which is where he was running when the first caution came out on lap two. Over the course of the weekend the media was abuzz with the NASCAR announcement that they would begin the new double-file restarts in Sunday’s race. History was made when the first NASCAR Sprint Cup points race restarted double file with all of the lead lap cars up front on lap four in Pocono.
Biffle quickly made his way into the top five on lap five and took over the second position behind teammate Carl Edwards around lap 20. Biffle was able to maintain the second position for the next 80 laps other than during green-flag pit cycles. On lap 101, he took the lead from Edwards when Edwards headed to pit road for a green flag pit stop. Biffle kept the lead until he pitted on lap 105 during a caution that came out on lap 103.
As Edwards and two others were still on the lead lap and did not pit during the caution, Biffle restarted third on lap 108. He lost only one position before the next round of green flag pit stops and seemed content with the handling of the 3M Ford Fusion. He pitted under green on lap 138 for four tires, fuel and a minor air pressure adjustment. He was right back in the fourth position when the green flag stops were complete on lap 143.
Biffle maintained the fourth position until a caution on lap 157 allowed him to pit for necessary adjustments as the car had become way too loose. He restarted in the third position on lap 165 but lost quite a few spots on the restart as the cars ahead of him got bunched up. He fell back to ninth but made his way back up to sixth before crew chief Greg Erwin informed him that he would need to pit under green for fuel to make it to the end of the race.
Biffle pitted on lap 185 for two tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. Ten laps later he was still back in the 15th position as several teams had topped off right after the last caution or were just trying their luck at staying out and conserving fuel. Biffle was able to make his way up to the 11th position before the checkered flag dropped.
“We had a great car today,” said Biffle. “The 3M Ford was a top-five car easily but this race came down to fuel mileage and we just came up a little short. Erwin said that there was no way I could save enough to make it so we had no option but to pit. It was the safe thing to do and we were still able to gain two spots in the points so it wasn’t too bad of a day. I’m definitely looking forward to Michigan next weekend.”
Greg Biffle and the 3M team moved up two positions to seventh in the Sprint Cup point standings. They are 290 points behind leader Tony Stewart but 75 points ahead of 13th. The 3M team will return to the track on Sunday, June 14th at Michigan International Raceway.
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. For more information on any of the Roush Fenway Racing teams, log onto www.RoushFenway.com. For sponsorship inquiries, please contact Robin Johnson at 704.720.4645.