DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 14, 2009) - Greg Biffle and the No. 16 CitiFinancial team started the season off on the right foot after a strong opening weekend at Daytona International Speedway. In Biffle’s first NASCAR Nationwide Series race since September of last season, the Sprint Cup regular stayed at the front of the field all day and brought the No. 16 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion home in fifth place.
The team struggled during the opening practice session, but made the right changes before Happy Hour. During final practice, Biffle said the car was “tremendously better.” After qualifying sixth, Biffle and the CitiFinancial team felt they had one of the cars to beat.
The No. 16 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion wasn’t handling the way Biffle hoped during the early laps of Saturday afternoon’s race. Biffle reported that he was “tight behind other cars, loose on the top and tight on the bottom.” The first caution of the day fell on lap 26 with Biffle running 11th. Crew chief Eddie Pardue called for four tires, air pressure and track bar adjustments. The CitiFinancial team started the season off right, going to work and picking up six spots on the stop. Biffle restarted fifth and quickly went to the front. He led his first lap of 2009 but fell back to ninth saying he needed “to be freer.”
When the caution came out on lap 55, Pardue brought Biffle in for four tires and a wedge adjustment. After the restart, Biffle still complained that the CitiFinancial Ford Fusion was “too tight.” Another caution fell on lap 71 and Biffle came in for four tires and another air pressure and track bar adjustment. He restarted ninth and was able to find drafting help from Roush Fenway teammate Matt Kenseth on the following run. Biffle was up to fifth on lap 93 but fell back, saying the car had gotten “so loose.” The final chance to adjust on the car came under caution on lap 111. The CitiFinancial team gave Biffle four fresh tires and sent him back out with just six laps remaining. With fresh tires and the drafting help he had been looking for, Biffle was able to fight his way to the front and when the season-opening race came to a close, the No. 16 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion was shown in fifth place.
“That’s a pretty good way to start the season,” said Biffle. “The car wasn’t very good when we first got here but these guys worked really hard and had the CitiFinancial Ford Fusion running really well for qualifying and today. I just couldn’t stick with the guys at the very front. I was tight at the beginning and I got pretty loose when I had someone else beside me. The guys did an awesome job on pit road today and really helped us out a lot. I’m happy, it was a good first race for us and I’m looking forward to getting back in the CitiFinancial Ford Fusion next week.”
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.