FONTANA, Ca. (February 23, 2009) – Greg Biffle and the No. 16 3M team headed to Auto Club Speedway looking for their first win of the season and Biffle’s fifth at the track. Their presence was quickly felt after Biffle posted top five speeds in both practice sessions and qualified fifth. The 3M Ford Fusion was one of the fastest cars on the track all night and looked poised to win until a late-race pit road mishap took the team out of contention. Biffle fought back to finish fourth, his second straight top-five finish at the track.
During the early laps of Sunday night’s race, Biffle was fighting a 3M Ford Fusion that was “plowing” and “all over the track.” Despite the ill-handling car, Biffle was able to stay in the top five and was running fourth when the caution fell on lap 41. Crew chief Greg Erwin called Biffle down pit road for four tires and a track bar adjustment. Biffle wasn’t happy with the adjustment and asked Erwin to “tighten it back up” on the next stop. That chance came under green on lap 87. The crew gave Biffle air pressure and wedge adjustments and when the field cycled through the 3M Ford Fusion was running third.
Biffle was up to second on lap 102 when he told the team that the car was “not bad.” Another round of green flag pit stops began and Biffle came in on lap 127. The 3M team changed four tires and gave Biffle a track bar adjustment and sent him back on the track as the leader. He led the next 14 laps but still wasn’t completely happy with the car’s handling. Another caution fell on lap 141 and Biffle said the 3M Ford Fusion was “over rotating getting in.” Erwin called for four tires and a wedge adjustment.
Biffle restarted second and bounced around the top five for the next 50 laps, saying the car was “just a little too loose.” The 3M Ford Fusion was turning the fastest laps on the track and closing in on the leader when the caution came out on lap 209. Biffle came down pit road in second place, looking for four tires and no adjustments. Trouble came when Biffle stopped too deep in the pit box and landed on the front tire changer’s air hose. The team lost valuable time having to back the 3M Ford Fusion up in order to finish the stop. Biffle restarted 11th with just 35 laps remaining.
Proving that he had one of the fastest cars in the field, a determined Biffle picked up eight spots in the closing laps and brought the 3M Ford Fusion home in fourth place.
“This was a pretty fast car,” said Biffle. “I just screwed it up. It was so hard to pass out here, and I was trying to give my guys every advantage I could. I stopped in the box, I wasn’t out of the box, but the guy pulled the hose around, and we had this problem before. It’s just me stopping too deep in the box and caught them off-guard and ran over the hose. And this box is super-long anyway. But they didn’t do anything wrong, it was my fault. The guys know I’m feeling bad, but they’re trying to keep me cheered up for next week. They know we can win at Las Vegas. I’ll keep working on it.”
Biffle currently sits fifth in points; 117 behind leader Matt Kenseth.
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing is NASCAR’s largest team operating nine motorsports teams. Five in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; three in the Nationwide Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Erik Darnell, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Colin Braun; and one in the Camping World Truck Series with Braun.