Sparta, Ky.(June 30, 2012) – The NASCAR Sprint Cup series made its once a year stop at Kentucky Speedway for some Saturday night racing under the lights. Greg Biffle drove a special Red Cross Ford showing a nighttime small-town scene, honoring the important role that small towns play in Red Cross blood drives. Biffle looked to have a solid top-10 finish in front of him, but pitted toward the end as a precautionary measure after he ran over debris on pit road and believed he had a tire going down. The extra stop under green-flag conditions put Biffle a lap down to the field and he was left with a 21st-place finish.
Biffle started 11th and held his ground in the opening run, despite telling his team that he had no front grip and was tight everywhere. Under the first caution of the day Biffle pitted for a round of wedge out of the left rear, four tires and fuel. Biffle restarted seventh, but quickly lost spots because the adjustments did not agree with his Ford. He still had no grip and was extremely loose.
Biffle came in for a scheduled green-flag stop on lap 95. This time the 3M Pit Bulls took a bigger swing with adjustments giving Biffle four tires, fuel and left-rear wedge adjustment, along with pulling a right-front shim. The adjustments still were not what Biffle needed. On lap 125 the caution came out for debris on the track and Biffle pitted for two tires, fuel and to go back on the track bar. Despite their efforts he still lacked front grip.
Crew chief Matt Puccia tried different adjustments throughout the course of the race and toward the end it seemed as if they had made some progress. Under caution for an accident on the track Biffle pitted for fuel only on lap 211, knowing from there he could make it to the end. Leaving pit road after the stop he clearly heard some debris he ran over at the end of pit road, but things still felt fine so it seemed as if he was good to go. Shortly after resuming green-flag racing Biffle radioed in that he had a rear tire going down. He came down pit road under green to get new right-side tires, but the extra stop put him a lap down to the field. Biffle raced his way up to be in the “lucky dog” position, but another caution never came. Biffle crossed the finish line 21st, while Brad Keselowski took home the checkered flag.
“It was about like it was last year here,” said Biffle after the race. “We qualified a little better this year than we did last year but the end result is the same. We were off a little bit and just couldn’t get a handle on it. We were running 10th or 12th pretty much all night and that is about all we had.”
Coke Zero 400
2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, F.L.
Saturday, July 7, 2012