AVONDALE, Ariz. (April 18, 2009) – Greg Biffle returned to the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the No. 16 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion this weekend for the first time since the team’s win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in February. The group made it two trips to victory lane in a row Friday night as Biffle capitalized on a fast car and strong pit stops to claim Roush Fenway Racing’s 100th Nationwide Series win.
Friday’s race marked the first “one-day show” of the season with practice, qualifying and the race all on the same day. Biffle was third on the charts after the early morning practice session and reported he was happier with the car as time went on. After the CitiFinancial Ford Fusion qualified fourth, the team knew they had a car capable of winning.
The green flag fell as the sun set over the Arizona mountains. The picturesque setting was in sharp contrast to the war being raged on the track. Biffle complained early of a “lack of total grip” and reported that the surrounding cars were “beating us in.” Crew chief Eddie Pardue decided to make an air pressure adjustment on the first stop, which came under caution on lap 23. The CitiFinancial pit crew did their job, gaining Biffle two spots on the exchange.
During the next run, Biffle told Pardue that he had gotten “just a tiny bit tight.” A few laps later, he said he was “getting tighter” and asked for a wedge adjustment on the next stop. The CitiFinancial Ford Fusion was up to second when the caution came out on lap 95. Pardue brought Biffle in for four tires, the requested wedge adjustment and an air pressure adjustment. The CitiFinancial team had another solid pit stop and sent Biffle out as the leader.
Out in front and away from traffic, Biffle said he had gotten “a little too free.” The last stop of the day came on lap 151 with Biffle still leading. With the laps winding down, the crew stepped up to the challenge, maintaining the lead on pit road. The CitiFinancial Ford Fusion took the green flag with 47 laps left in the race.
A crucial caution fell with 20 laps remaining in the race and Pardue had to decide whether to give up track position and come down pit road, or stay out and risk being overtaken by cars on fresher tires. Pardue elected to maintain the lead and keep Biffle on the track. When the majority of the lead lap cars decided to pit, Biffle thought his chance to win had been eliminated. “It’s kind of a sinking feeling to look in your mirror and see every other car turn away and come down pit road,” Biffle said after the race. “I thought we were sitting ducks, but these tires are so good. Once the tires cooled down under the caution that everybody pitted on, the car took off again and just hauled.”
Biffle held on during two more restarts and a green-white-checkered finish to capture his 20th career Nationwide Series victory and his second of 2009.
“This is really special to win here tonight in the No. 16 CitiFinancial Ford and get the 100th win for Roush Fenway Racing,” said Biffle. “I’m just excited for these guys. The pit crew won this race tonight.”
The No. 16 team is currently fourth in Owner Points, 60 behind the leader.
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.