Biffle Collected in Mid-Race Restart at Charlotte
CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 9, 2016) – Greg Biffle started the rain delayed race at Charlotte Motor Speedway from the 14th position. Biffle cracked the top five just before having to visit pit road under green for a flat tire. Just as Biffle was working some pit strategy to rebound from the flat tire, he was collected on a jumbled restart. The damage was too severe to repair leaving Biffle with a 35th-place finish in his No. 16 Ford EcoBoost Ford.
“Everybody got checked up there and sideways,” said Biffle. “My spotter did a great job and kept me out of it. I kind of thought everything was clear and I let off the brake and the No. 27 was spinning when all of a sudden somebody bounced off the wall right out in front of me. I didn’t see where they came from or what they did. We weren’t going very fast, but just enough to do a bunch of cosmetic damage and knock the oil cooler and radiator out.”
The outskirts of Hurricane Matthew brought enough wind and rain to the Charlotte area that NASCAR had to reschedule the Saturday night race for Sunday at noon. The teams did get some track time on Thursday and Biffle was able to qualify his No. 16 Ford EcoBoost Ford in the 14th starting position.
From the drop of the green flag, Biffle reported that he needed front grip and turn. Wedge and air pressure adjustments were given on the first two pit stops, but they weren’t enough and Biffle lost a lap to the leaders.
Biffle made up the lost lap thanks in part to a timely caution. Biffle was scored fifth on lap 116 when the caution was displayed while the field was cycling through green flag stops. Biffle hadn’t come in for service yet and benefited from the caution. Under the caution Biffle pitted for four tires, fuel and to have a packer removed from both front shocks.
The packer adjustment made huge gains in handling and Biffle solidly held his position in the top 10. The No. 16 Ford EcoBoost Ford continued to be a little free but was better. Despite the improvements, Biffle scuffed the outside wall leading to a flat right rear tire. Biffle had to pit under green for the flat tire and was left with an uphill battle to get back the lost track position.
Biffle took the “wave around” to get back one of his lost laps on the restart with 80 laps to go, but got damage on the restart. Two cars towards the front of the field made contact creating a melee behind. Biffle was almost clear but suffered front end damage. The damage was too severe to repair, leaving Biffle with a 35th-place finish.