BROOKLYN, MI (August 16, 2008) – Heading into this weekend, Greg Biffle was yet to win a Nationwide Series race at Michigan International Speedway. The Sprint Cup regular thought that streak would be broken during Saturday’s CARFAX 250. The No.16 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion was strong all weekend and after qualifying eighth, crew chief Eddie Pardue and the team had high hopes for their first win of the season. Biffle ran in the top five all day but got tight at the end and finished fifth.
As soon as the green flag dropped, Biffle began marching to the front. The No. 16 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion broke into the top five on lap 18 and would remain there for most of the afternoon. Biffle was quiet over the radio during the early part of the race, breaking the silence on lap 37 to tell Pardue to “free it up a tiny bit.” Crew chief and driver agreed on an air pressure adjustment for the first pit stop. A long green flag run set in and the chance to make that adjustment came on lap 43. The CitiFinancial team gave Biffle a solid pit stop and once the entire field cycled through, the No. 16 Ford Fusion was back running fourth.
Two cautions quickly fell and Pardue kept Biffle on the track during both, moving the No. 16 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion up to third on lap 63. The next report of the car’s handling came on lap 67 when Biffle said he was “just a little too tight.” Biffle struggled with the condition, dropping back to seventh by lap 81. Pardue called for track bar and air pressure adjustments under the next stop which came after the caution fell on lap 90. The CitiFinancial team knocked off another strong pit stop, picking up one position on pit road and sending Biffle back on the track in fifth place with just 30 laps to go.
Around lap 100, Biffle picked up some debris on the nose of the car. He later said the trash helped the car’s handling and while it was on the grill, he moved to a race-high second place. As great as the debris was for Biffle, it made the water temperature shoot up to 250 degrees. He dropped behind another competitor to try and suck the trash away. The move worked but once the grill was clean, Biffle said he kept getting tighter. The CitiFinancial Ford Fusion dropped back and went on to finish fifth.
“We had a pretty good run today,” said Biffle. “The CitiFinancial Ford Fusion was good and the pit stops were pretty good. We just weren’t quite as fast as the leaders. We were just a little bit off of those guys, but we worked hard at it. I thought we might have had a chance at a second-place finish. We had some paper on the grille and made the car turn really good and then the paper blew off and I lost three spots. The car is real aero-sensitive and real sensitive in traffic. I was just a little bit too tight. Off the start with fresh tires I was pretty danged good, but after that they were just a little bit better than I was.”
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.