KANSAS CITY, Kan. (September 27, 2008) – Greg Biffle and the No. 16 CitiFinancial team headed to Kansas Speedway this weekend with hopes of winning their first race of the year in the team’s last outing of 2008. A win was not in the cards, however, and Biffle wrestled an ill-handling CitiFinancial Ford Fusion for most of Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300.
Biffle rolled off 20th after saying the car was “too loose” during qualifying. Still 20th when the first caution came out on lap 14, Biffle told crew chief Eddie Pardue he was “sliding all over the place.” Pardue called his driver down pit road for four fresh tires and a track bar adjustment. The adjustment helped, but wasn’t enough and Biffle radioed his crew shortly after the restart saying he still needed “to be tighter.” Despite the loose condition, Biffle fought his way up to 16th when the next caution flew on lap 28. The No. 16 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion came in for fuel and a wedge adjustment, but no tires. The 4.9 second pit stop moved Biffle up to fifth place. Running second on lap 38, Biffle said the car was still so loose he couldn’t drive it. “All it wants to do is spin out,” he told Pardue.
The No. 16 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion came in for another set of adjustments under caution on lap 40. The crew went to work changing four tires, dropping the track bar and inserting a spring rubber. The lengthy changes dropped Biffle back to 34th on the restart. The adjustments seemed to fix Biffle’s problem and the CitiFinancial Ford Fusion was one of the fastest cars on the track during the next green flag run. Biffle marched through the field one car at a time and broke into the top 10 on lap 68. He was up to sixth when the next caution flag flew. Saying the car was much better, Biffle came in for four fresh tires and a slight wedge adjustment.
Biffle lined up seventh for the restart. When the green flag dropped, Biffle made contact with Kyle Busch, knocking in the fender of the CitiFinancial Ford Fusion and causing the car to go from neutral to tight. He quickly dropped back to 12th and began losing more ground each lap. “It’s just getting tighter,” he told the crew on lap 120. Green flag pit stops began and Pardue brought Biffle in on lap 151 for four tires and a wedge and air pressure adjustment. The field hadn’t cycled through completely when the caution came out on lap 153, trapping Biffle and others one lap down. The No. 16 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion restarted 15th on lap 164 and Biffle fought to be in the Lucky Dog position. The race went green until the end, however, and Biffle was unable to get back on the lead lap. The CitiFinancial Ford Fusion finished 18th, one lap down.
“That was pretty disappointing,” said Biffle. “The CitiFinancial Ford Fusion was so loose I could hardly drive it at the beginning. Eddie made the right calls and got us fixed up in the middle of the race. I thought we’d be able to get to the front but when the fender got knocked in on that restart it just killed the handling. It’s not how I wanted to end the year with these guys. I’ve had fun over here this year and we’ll move on and start looking at 2009.”
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing operates 13 full-time motorsports teams, five in NASCAR Sprint Cup 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; three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun, Kvapil, Bobby East and John Wes Townley; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.