Brooklyn, Mich. (August 12, 2012) – Greg Biffle claimed his second victory of the season Sunday afternoon in Michigan by taking home the checkered flag in the Pure Michigan 400. Biffle led 26 laps in route to his first-place finish Sunday afternoon. The win moved Biffle into the Sprint Cup Series point standings lead, and is his third victory at the 2.0-mile track.
The 3M team was a little off in practice on Friday, which led to a 13th-place qualifying effort. With two practice sessions on Saturday, the team went back to their notes from the spring and Biffle was back on top of the speed charts. Knowing they had a fast 3M Ford, the Pit Bulls were ready to get a win at Jack and Ford’s home track of Michigan.
When the green flag dropped Sunday afternoon, Biffle dipped back to 17th, but was back up to 13th by the time the first caution of the day came just six laps into the race. Once again on the restart, Biffle lost ground and reported back to crew chief Matt Puccia that he was a little loose. A few laps later, the 3M Ford came around and he was flying by the competition. By lap 31, he broke into the top 10 and told Puccia he didn’t want any changes on their first pit stop. Green flag stops cycled through the field and Biffle came in for service on lap 35 for four tires and fuel.
The same trend continued for Biffle. The 3M Ford started off free, but then came around as the run went on. Biffle worked his way up to seventh when the second caution of the day came out for a wreck involving the leaders. Once pit road was open, Biffle came in for a two-tire and fuel stop. Biffle restarted eighth on lap 74, and two laps later, the caution was back out when the No. 78 of Regan Smith hit the wall. The caution was followed by another shortly after on lap 89, allowing the field to try different pit strategies. Biffle restarted fourth on lap 93 and took over the lead on lap 101.
Biffle reported to his team that he was free in turns 3 & 4, but tight in 1 & 2. On the next green flag stop, Puccia called for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. By lap 129, Biffle was back in the lead and continued to be the fastest car on the track. On lap 136 the No. 51 of Kurt Busch spun on the track bringing back out the caution. Under caution, Biffle pitted for two tires and fuel. Biffle restarted 12th, but picked up five positions on the restart, and by the time the field came back around, he was up another two spots to fifth.
Biffle made his final pit stop for two tires under green on lap 166 while running seventh. Giving it all he had, Biffle slightly flat-spotted the tires getting onto pit road, but being a green flag stop, he opted to just take the two right-side tires and hope the lefts made it to the end. From there Biffle was a man on a mission. On lap 181, the caution came out when the No. 21 of Trevor Bayne blew a left-front tire and hit the wall. Biffle was eighth, but with the different pit strategies some pitted, setting Biffle up fifth for the restart on lap 187. Biffle worked his way to third on the restart, then passed Brad Keselowski to take over second. On lap 195, Biffle flew by then leader Jimmie Johnson who brought out the caution one lap later when his engine expired. The late-race cautions set the field up for a green-white-checkered finish. Biffle got a great restart and held off the field to take home the checkered flag in the Pure Michigan 400. The win is Biffle’s second of the season and moved him to first in the Sprint Cup point standings.
“I found some speed in the top line down there in three and four and was coming on him,” said Biffle. “I don’t know if I would have got there but we will take them any way we can get them. We had a really good car today. Once I got out front in clean air I could pass one car at a time pretty easy. The car was really, really bad in dirty air and I had a tough time with that. Junior gave me a huge push for that win. I have to thank him for that. I saw Brad laying back like always and he got a little jump on me. It probably would have been leveled out by turn one.”