Watkins Glen, N.Y. (August 10, 2008) – This weekend when the 3M team unloaded the car they finished 11th with at Infineon earlier this season, they were looking to get a top-10 finish out of it. Early in the race, it seemed that they would easily achieve that goal. Around halfway, however, they got on a different pit cycle than most of the leaders and the car’s handling was a little looser than driver Greg Biffle would have liked. Biffle was able to stay on course for a 21st place finish. The 21st place finish moves Biffle from eighth to 10th in the point standings.
After rain caused the cancellation of practice and qualifying on Friday, the 3M team prepared for the two remaining practice sessions on Saturday. While Biffle was not at the top of the speed charts on Saturday, he ran consistent lap times and seemed confident that the 3M Ford would be fast on Sunday afternoon.
Biffle started on the outside of row four as the field was set by points and remained in the top 10 until the first round of green flag pit stops began. Biffle kicked off the green flag stops with teammates Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards on lap 20. He brought the 3M Ford Fusion in for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment as he had reported that the car was a little loose. Biffle was eighth on the board when the green flag pit cycle was complete on lap 30.
A caution for debris came out on lap 47 and after some discussion, crew chief Greg Erwin instructed Biffle to pit for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment to try to further correct the loose condition of the racecar. Biffle entered the pits in the eighth position and returned to the track in the 17th position for the restart on lap 50 as several teams opted not to pit.
The second green flag pit cycle of the day began on lap 55 as Biffle and others made a necessary fuel stop. Those who did not pit during the caution took on tires and fuel but the 3M Ford only necessitated a splash of fuel to make it through the remainder of the race. Biffle had driven back up to the 17th position when a caution came out on lap 64. This time Biffle stayed out and restarted 16th on lap 66.
The loose condition of the 3M Ford Fusion seemed to have worsened and Biffle began to lose positions on the track. He was running 22nd when a caution for debris came out on lap 78 and restarted 21st on lap 81. Biffle maintained the 21st position until a multi-car incident occurred on lap 82. The red flag was eventually put out so that cleanup efforts could be completed. After 45 minutes, green-flag racing finally resumed and Biffle held on to the 21st position for the remaining five laps.
“The 3M Ford Fusion was fast early on in the race,” said Biffle. “In fact, at one point when we were running seventh or eighth I think we were the fastest car on the track. I’m not sure if our pit strategy worked out the way we anticipated and then the car just kept getting looser throughout the race. It’s definitely not the day I thought we would have but we’ve got some really good tracks coming up so hopefully we can win one or two before in the next five weeks and be in a good position when the Chase starts.”
Greg Biffle and the 3M/Dish Network team are currently 10th in the point standings. They are 565 points out of the lead currently held by Kyle Busch and 83 points ahead of Clint Bowyer in the 13th position. They are only four points behind Denny Hamlin in the ninth position. The team will return to the track on Sunday, August 17th at Michigan International Speedway for the 3M Performance 400.
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, Kvapil, John Wes Townley and Bobby East; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.