Las Vegas, Nev. (March 2, 2008) – While Greg Biffle wasn’t having the best luck at the tables in Vegas, he was fairly happy with his winnings at the end of the week. Biffle qualified sixth in the 3M Ford Fusion on Friday and was rarely seen outside of the top 10 during the 267-lap race on Sunday afternoon. Although the car was a little tight at the start of the race, Biffle was extremely happy with it in the closing laps and was able to drive to a third place finish. He was also able to pick up three positions in the point standings and is now sixth, only 64 points out of the lead.
Biffle went out third for qualifying and immediately took the pole. However, with such an early draw, he felt it was unlikely that he would hold on to it. He kept it until Jeff Gordon, who went out 23rd, beat his time of 29.817 seconds. Biffle ended up sixth when time trials were complete for a starting position on the outside of row three.
Shortly after the start of the race, Biffle reported that the 3M Ford was a little tight and was still in the sixth position when the first caution flag flew on lap nine. He pitted for two tires, fuel and a minor air pressure adjustment to try to loosen the car up a bit. The crew sent him out in the fifth position and he was able to race his way up to the second position before a round of green flag stops began on lap 49.
Biffle and the team opted to pit on lap 49 and Biffle brought the 3M Ford in for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. Unfortunately, NASCAR determined that Biffle was a little too fast entering pit road and he was penalized by having to come back down pit road. This put him 15th when the round of green flag stops was complete on lap 62.
The team was not discouraged, however, as Biffle began a steady climb through the field that saw him in the fourth position when Tony Stewart brought out a caution when he struck the wall on lap 108. Biffle had radioed the team several laps earlier to let them know that the car was just a little loose but decided against any adjustments on the pit stop. He pitted for four tires and fuel and returned to the track in the ninth position for the restart on lap 114.
Biffle had just made his way back into the top five when Robby Gordon cut a tire on lap 143 and brought out the yellow. This time it would be four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment for the 3M Ford. The crew picked up one position in the pits and Biffle was fourth in line when green flag racing resumed. He had raced his way up to second when he got a little loose beside another car and made an unlikely save while maintaining a top-10 position on lap 168. That would be the only time during the entire race that Biffle would get passed on the racetrack.
A caution on lap 178 afforded Biffle the opportunity to pit for necessary adjustments as he brought the 3M Ford to pit road for four tires, a track bar adjustment and an air pressure adjustment. He came in fourth but restarted eighth as some teams opted not to pit or take on only two tires. Biffle was able to pick up three positions before debris on the track brought out a caution on lap 214.
Biffle brought the 3M Ford to pit road for what would be his final pit stop of the day on lap 215 for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. The crew sent him out in the sixth position for the restart on lap 236. Biffle quickly got by Kevin Harvick for fifth and was working on Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth when Gordon got into Kenseth sending their two cars for a spin. The red flag was put out for cleanup as there was severe damage to Gordon’s car.
When the field restarted with only two laps remaining, Biffle was third in line behind Carl Edwards and Dale Earnhardt Jr. He was able to get a run on Earnhardt Jr., but as Jr. drifted up the track in front of him, he was unable to complete the pass and took the third place finish.
“I’ll argue that I had the fastest race car today on the race track and the driver just screwed it up,” said Biffle. “I got caught speeding on pit road. I had just run the leaders down and had just caught Carl from a long ways back, a long ways back. I had come up and caught Carl and just slid onto pit road. That apron was dustier than I thought it was and I couldn’t get stopped and got caught for speeding there, and went back to 15th and drove all the way to the front under green. I was able to get all the way back to, I think I was passing for fourth or third and got loose off of turn two and probably should have wrecked and don’t really understand why I didn’t yet, and lost all my track position again. Then we had a botched up pit stop. We screwed up one stop in the pits and that kind of hurt us a little bit, so we just never did get the track position that I needed, but spectacular run with the car.”
“The 3M Ford was perfect all day,” continued Biffle. “We made some tiny minor changes – half a round, quarter-round, half a pound of air – and had a lot of fun. This is the most fun I’ve had driving a race car in probably a year or two. A lot of times these races are real stressful and a lot of pressure and I feel really good getting out of the car right now. I just had a lot of fun today and just wish there would have been five more laps. I was outside of the 88 there down in one and two and he got pushed up the race track a little bit and came over and talked to me when he got out of the car like a real gentleman would or a race car driver who drives like a man and apologized that he slipped up a little bit. I knew he was tight with him coming up the race track. I got out of the throttle a little bit and off we went. There was a lot of dust still down the backstretch, I think – a lot of grease sweep – and I tried the top down there and I think I just had something on my tires because I didn’t have the grip I needed down in three and four, but the 3M Ford was really, really fast and I’m super-excited about that part of it.”
Greg Biffle and the 3M team are now sixth in the point standings. They are only one point behind Kevin Harvick in fifth and 64 points out of the lead currently held by Carl Edwards. The team will return to the track on Sunday, March 9th at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing is NASCAR’s largest team operating 13 motorsports teams. Five in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 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; and three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun and Kvapil; 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.