Daytona Beach, Fla. (July 4, 2009) – When Greg Biffle and the 3M team arrived in Daytona, they new they had a battle ahead of them but they had no idea how big it would be. After running solid lap times in practice on Thursday, Biffle hit the wall near the end of Happy Hour after Sam Hornish made contact with him. This forced the team to get out the backup car which was a brand new car that had never been on the racetrack. Qualifying was rained out on Friday so the team had little idea how the car would handle in the race. Biffle started at the rear of the field and remained there for most of the race as the team adjusted on the car at each pit stop. After missing several on-track incidents, Biffle was able to drive the 3M Ford to an 18th-place finish. Biffle remains ninth in the point standings.
After the first practice session on Thursday, Biffle seemed pretty happy with the car and spoke with crew chief Greg Erwin about fine-tuning it during Happy Hour. Other teams were reporting tire wear issues and the 3M team was experiencing similar problems. During the final practice Biffle got a little loose with a worn right rear tire and Hornish hit him from behind sending Biffle into the outside wall. As there were only eight minutes left in practice the team could not get the backup car onto the track and would have to rely on the qualifying run to get a feel for the car. Unfortunately, that would not happen as rain caused the cancellation of qualifying on Friday.
As Biffle had not made any laps in the backup car, he had to go to the rear of the field for the green flag on Saturday night. He quickly began picking up positions and was running 34th when Mark Martin spun on lap 13 and brought out the first caution. Biffle had reported that the car was tight and was bottoming out. He pitted for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. When the field restarted on lap 16 Biffle was in the 32nd position.
Biffle had made his way up to 25th when a caution came out on lap 56 and informed the team that the car was still tight exiting the corners. He pitted for four tires, fuel, a wedge adjustment and an air pressure adjustment. Biffle was 20th on the board when green flag racing resumed on lap 61. For the next several laps it was clear that he could not run the top line and the bottom line just couldn’t get going.
Fortunately on lap 77 Biffle avoided a mulit-car incident that unfolded right in front of him. He had been running 33rd but the spots he gained by avoiding the wreck in addition to the spots he gained on pit road put him 13th for the restart on lap 82. Shortly after the restart, however, Biffle reported that he was tight on the bottom of the track and loose on the top. The crew continued to adjust on the car and Biffle continued to adjust to the changing racing conditions throughout the remainder of the race.
Biffle was able to make up ground and run solidly in the top 20 from lap 100 on but struggled with an ill-handling racecar until the checkered flag dropped. He informed Erwin that he thought the car was as good as it was going to get during a caution on lap 145 while running 18th. Biffle was able to remain in the top 20 and avoid another multi-car collision on the final lap for an 18th-place finish.
“Our car was really good. It wasn’t any good taking off on the green, the balance just wasn’t quite right, but overall, it was a pretty good car. I’m pretty happy with it. I just got shuffled out there at the end. I figured we could be 10th or 12th, but I just picked the wrong lane, probably. That’s the difference between 10th and 18th.”
Greg Biffle and the 3M team remain ninth in the Sprint Cup point standings following their 18th-place finish in Daytona. They are 504 points behind leader Tony Stewart but 114 points ahead of 13th. The 3M team will return to the track on Saturday, July 11th at Chicagoland Speedway.
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing operates nine 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.