Martinsville, V.A. (October 29, 2012) – While Martinsville has not been good to Greg Biffle over the years, Biffle is learning how to get along with the Virginia short track. He has learned that tire and brake management at Martinsville are a major part of finding success there. Today he was able to conserve both and earned his third top-10 finish at the .526-mile oval. The tenth-place finish moves Biffle up two spots to ninth in the Sprint Cup point standings.
Biffle qualified 30th on Friday and seemed concerned not only about his starting position but also how the 3M Ford performed in practice. On Saturday, however, the team was able to make progress in practice and expected to make a run through the field today. Slow and steady seemed to be their plan and they followed through with it from start to finish.
Around lap 100, Biffle cracked the top 20 with the help of the 3M Pit Bulls and adjustments made to his loose racecar. Midway through the race it seemed that the car had begun to tighten up a little but with additional adjustments by the team and patience by the driver, Biffle solidified himself in the top 10 shortly after lap 400.
On lap 474 Kevin Harvick suffered an engine failure and Biffle took the opportunity to pit for four tires and fuel. He had informed crew chief Matt Puccia that the previous set of tires had been the worst of the race so they made the decision for four while others did not pit or took two tires. Biffle restarted 13th with 19 laps remaining. In the closing laps he picked up three positions for a 10th-place finish.
“It was a great day,” said Biffle, “but the second-to-last set of tires went the wrong way for us. I just didn’t have the grip. It would slide the front and spin the back and then we pitted again and a lot of guys stayed out or took two. That would have been a great option for us, other than we really felt like we needed to put four on to be competitive, or we could have stayed out with Brad because we were faster than Brad and those guys. But it was a pretty good day overall.”
Next up, the Sprint Cup Series will head to Texas Motor Speedway for the AAA Texas 500. Coverage for the AAA Texas 500 begins at 2:00 pm ET on Sunday, November 4th on ESPN.