Charlotte, N.C. (October 13, 2012) – Saturday night under the lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway came down to fuel mileage in the end. Biffle had one of the fastest cars all weekend, even setting a track record when he claimed the pole position Thursday evening. Biffle led for a total of 71 laps, but came up short on fuel mileage. The top three cars gambled and made it to the end, leaving Biffle with a fourth-place finish in his No. 16 3M / IDG Ford Fusion.
From the pole position Biffle led the field until the first caution came out on lap 11. With so few laps completed, they remained on the track, just to have a jumble on the restart and another caution. The third caution came on lap 36 when the No. 27 of Paul Menard brushed the wall. Under caution, Biffle pitted for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment since he was a little free on the opening run. Some competitors opted for two tires, or fuel only, leaving Biffle 12th for the restart on lap 42.
The 3M / IDG Ford continued to be free, and on the next stop, crew chief Matt Puccia called for four tires, fuel and a round of wedge in the left rear. The wedge adjustment wasn’t enough as Biffle continued to be loose. The team tried wedge and rubber adjustments, but the Ford continued to be loose.
On the final four tire stop on lap 267, Biffle said he wanted three rounds of wedge in the left rear. The Pit Bulls did as requested and the changes seemed to help. Biffle made his way back to the lead, but was informed they were short on fuel and would need to stop one final time before the end. Biffle came in to top off and get two tires on lap 310 while leading the field. Only three cars were able to gamble and make it the end, leaving Biffle with a fourth-place finish. Clint Bowyer won the Bank of America 500, while Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson were able to stretch out their fuel mileage to finish second and third.
“It’s amazing that those guys can go that far on a tank of gas,” said Biffle. “It’s just unbelievable, but we had a really fast car. The 3M Ford Fusion was fast all night, but I was too loose all night. I didn’t take big enough swings at it. I didn’t want to get tight because when you get tight here it’s miserable and there with about 100 to go we took a big swing at the car and she really took off. We started turning the fastest lap times, but we had so much track position to make up, and then you can’t beat the fuel mileage. We’re just not in that game to be able to go as far as those guys were going. It hurts to get beat on fuel mileage, but we were the first car behind the three that made it on fuel mileage, so I feel pretty good with fourth.”
Next up, the Sprint Cup Series will head to Kansas Speedway for the Hollywood Casino 400. Coverage begins at 1:00pm ET on Sunday, October 21st on ESPN.