Kansas City, Kan. (September 28, 2008) – In the third race of the Chase, Greg Biffle finished third and remains third in the point standings. The only thing that would have made him happier would have been a third win in a row. Biffle struggled with an ill-handling Sherwin Williams/3M Ford Fusion throughout the race but a few adjustments from the able crew and some determination behind the wheel enabled him to hold his own and pass Jeff Gordon coming off of last turn of the last lap for a third place finish. The third place finish keeps Biffle in the third position in the standing only 30 points behind race winner Jimmie Johnson.
Biffle and the team seemed frustrated after the first practice of the weekend on Friday and then an 18th place qualifying effort left them determined to make improvements in the two final practice sessions on Saturday. Biffle topped the speed charts but seemed to boost their confidence only to a level of cautious optimism for Sunday’s race. They knew they had a long race ahead of them and they proved to be correct.
The green flag dropped on a balmy Sunday afternoon in Kansas and Biffle began a steady climb through the field. Around lap 10, he reported that the Sherwin Williams/3M Ford was tight in the center of the corners and loose on exit. That would be the condition of the car for the majority of the race. A round of green flag stops began on lap 49 and Biffle brought the No. 16 Fusion in for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment on lap 50 while running in the 12th position.
When the round of green flag stops was complete on lap 54, Biffle was in the ninth position – a gain of three positions in the pits by the crew. Shortly after the stop, however, Biffle reported that the car was extremely loose. He was still able to gain one position before the first caution of the day on lap 74. Biffle pitted for four tires, fuel, a wedge adjustment and an air pressure adjustment. He restarted from the sixth position on lap 79.
Biffle was able to make his way into the top five for the first time of the race on lap 81 and he maintained the position until the next caution on lap 93. This time Biffle informed the team that the Sherwin Williams/3M Ford was just a little too tight. He came in for four tires, fuel and a minor wedge adjustment. The crew sent him out in the sixth position for the restart on lap 98 as a few teams opted for only two tires.
On this run, the No. 16 Fusion was again way too loose for Biffle’s liking but he drove his way into the top three before the next yellow flag slowed the field on lap 116. This time it was four tires, fuel and another wedge adjustment for the No. 16 Sherwin Williams/3M Ford Fusion. Biffle remained in the top five for the majority the second half of the race despite a loose racecar. He requested another wedge adjustment during a round of green flag stops on lap 176 and a spring rubber adjustment during the final yellow-flag pit stop of the day on lap 219.
The adjustments seemed to help a little although Biffle reported even in the closing laps that he wished the car was a little tighter. He was able to get by Jeff Burton for fourth after restarting fifth on lap 222 and then settled into fourth behind Jeff Gordon for the next 30 laps. Gordon began to fall back a little in the closing laps and Biffle capitalized with a pass on the final lap for the third place finish.
“It was an eventful weekend,” said Biffle. “When we got here we weren’t very good, we 36th right off the truck, so we had big-time improving to do, and we did that. We worked really hard and get our car going good. And probably just not enough practice, we just didn’t get right for the race today. We adjusted on the car, we just couldn’t get the balance right. I’d go down in the corner and I would slide the nose and then I was too loose on the gas. I think a lot of people fought that; some more than others. At the end there, it felt like Dover all over again, me and Jeff Gordon fighting for third and fourth place. It was a pretty hard-fought battle, but I ended up getting by him on the last lap going to the stripe, so we’re excited to finish up third with the Sherwin Williams/3M Ford Fusion.”
Greg Biffle and the No. 16 team are now third in the point standings. They are only 30 points out of the lead which is currently held by Jimmie Johnson. The team will return to the track on Sunday, October 5th at Talladega Superspeedway.
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing operates 13 full-time motorsports teams, five in NASCAR Sprint Cup 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; three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun, Kvapil, Bobby East and John Wes Townley; 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. For sponsorship inquiries, please contact Robin Johnson at 704.720.4645.