Daytona Beach, Fla. (February 24, 2013) – The No. 16 3M team headed into the Daytona 500 off two strong second-place finishes in both the Sprint Unlimited and Duel qualifying race. Greg Biffle started fifth, had his 3M Ford in contention all day and looked strong to make a run at being a Daytona 500 Champion. Biffle was second with six laps to go, but to the surprise of everyone, the bottom line was able to make a move for the first time all race. The hard-charge on the inside lane left Biffle with a sixth-place finish.
“Our car was a good drafting car and the only thing I could do is stay in line,” said Biffle. “I was going to make my move in the middle of three and four. Off of four I was going to back up to Danica. I knew Junior was backing up and then they said Junior is coming on the bottom, but I knew he was by himself. I’m thinking, ‘There’s no way he’s going to have enough momentum to get by us lined up on the top in the second groove.’ Plus he was coming so fast I don’t think I could have blocked him. We would have had a wreck like yesterday. I would have never thought the bottom lane would have gotten a run like that at the end. That’s what’s so frustrating. I figured the No. 48 would side draft the No. 88 and then I’d have a chance to pass them both. That’s what I was thinking was going to happen. That was my plan. I had it figured out, but my plan didn’t quite come together.”
Biffle’s Daytona Speedweeks were an impressive string of second-place finishes leading up to the Daytona 500. The 3M Ford excelled in the draft but lacked speed on its own. Biffle qualified 27th but raced his way up to a fifth-place starting position in the Duel qualifying race. Track position was the key to the race as for most of the 200-laps, the field was single file running the top groove. A few tried the bottom line but lost momentum and were passed by the top groove.
The 3M Pit Bulls performed fast stops throughout the race, gaining Biffle spots on pit road. Biffle was able to keep his 3M Ford in the top 10 the entire race and was ahead of all the multi-car accidents on the track. When the field took the final green flag restart with six laps remaining Biffle was fourth. Heading into the final lap he had worked his way up to second, but as the field rounded the final turn Dale Earnhardt, Jr. had momentum on the bottom and pushed Jimmie Johnson to the victory. Biffle ultimately crossed the finish line sixth.
Jimmie Johnson won the Daytona 500 with the drafting assistance of his teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Mark Martin, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman rounded out the top five. Next up the Sprint Cup Series heads to Phoenix International Raceway for the Subway Fresh Fit 500, coverage begins at 3:00 PM ET on FOX.
Subway Fresh Fit 500
1.0-mile Phoenix International Raceway