LAS VEGAS, Nev. (March 2, 2009) – Greg Biffle overcame a pit road speeding penalty and running out of fuel twice to end a 76-race NASCAR Nationwide Series winless streak Saturday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. With a little help from Lady Luck, Biffle avoided 12 wrecks, including two that brought out lengthy red flags. The win is the 19th Nationwide Series win for Biffle, the first since February 25, 2006.
Biffle started third after saying the No. 16 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion was “unbelievable” during qualifying. Four quick cautions fell in the first 28 laps of the race including a hard wreck on lap 22 that brought out the first red flag of the day. Without many green flag laps to get a feel for the car, Biffle told crew chief Eddie Pardue that the car started “just a little too loose” but was “really coming around” by lap 22. Biffle was running fourth when he came down pit road for the first time of the afternoon. Pardue called for fuel, a slight wedge adjustment and no tires. NASCAR nabbed Biffle for speeding while exiting pit road and sent the CitiFinancial Ford Fusion to the tail end of the longest line. He restarted 30th on lap 32 but wouldn’t stay there for long.
Biffle quickly worked his way back through the field and broke into the top 10 just 19 laps after the restart and was back in fifth on lap 63. The next caution came out on lap 67 and Biffle told Pardue he wanted four fresh tires but no adjustments. He restarted sixth on lap 74 and soon after said he needed to be “a tick freer.” After four more quick cautions and another red flag, Biffle was shown in fourth place with the race nearing the halfway point. During the caution period on lap 99, the leaders came in for pit stops but Pardue elected to keep Biffle on the track. Biffle took the lead on lap 101 and said the car was “unbelievable” shortly after the restart.
A long green flag run set in, something Pardue and the CitiFinancial team didn’t expect given the multiple cautions up to that point. Biffle held on to the lead during the run and was one lap away from a scheduled green flag pit stop when he reported that he had run out of fuel. The CitiFinancial Ford Fusion had just enough fuel to make it back to pit road and came in on lap 147. The rest of the field began coming in for their stops and when everyone cycled through, Biffle was running second to his Roush Fenway Racing teammate David Ragan. When Ragan wrecked on lap 169, Biffle regained the lead and never looked back.
Two more cautions fell in the closing laps of the race but Biffle was able to hold off the field on both restarts. On the white flag lap, Biffle reported he was running out of fuel again, but he was able to keep the momentum and when the checkered flag flew, he was the first one to cross the stripe. The win moves the No.16 team up to fourth place in the Owner Points standings, 99 points behind the leader.
“I’m so excited,” said Biffle. “The fans got to see a great race today. I’m just so happy for the CitiFinancial Ford Fusion guys. I ran out of gas on the restart going into turn one. I kept it on the bottom and the fuel pressure came back. I just stayed on the throttle and was able to keep the lead on the outside. The car was so good all weekend. We got it pretty close to perfect during practice and I think that’s why we are here today.”
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.