BIFFLE MAINTAINS POINT LEAD WITH FIFTH-PLACE FINISH AT KANSAS
April 23, 2012
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (April 22, 2012) – Greg Biffle continues to lead the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings after driving his No. 16 3M Novec Ford to a fifth-place finish in Kansas. Biffle started 17th and had a rocket ship of a race car in the opening laps, moving up five spots by the second lap of the race, but then the handling became unpredictable throughout the remainder of the race. Thanks to hard driving by Biffle, and great stops by the 3M Pit Bulls, the team was able to leave Kansas with their fifth top-five finish of the year.
The field took the green flag in Kansas under cloudy, chilly, and windy conditions, which were nothing like how they had practiced and qualified the previous two days. Biffle started 17th, and by lap two was up to 12th, reporting to his crew that the 3M Novec Ford was “ridiculously fast.” His excitement soon faded as the handling started getting tight, and then 10 laps later, the nose was sliding around the corners.
A long green flag opening run led into green-flag stops for the field. Biffle came down pit road on lap 44 for four tires, fuel, track bar and left-rear wedge adjustments. A few short laps later the caution came out on the track when the No. 15 of Clint Bowyer spun off of Turn four. Biffle still needed more front grip, so he came back down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Biffle restarted back in 17th, but slowly began to make some progress.
By lap 63, Biffle was up to 15th, but reported to crew chief Matt Puccia that he was really loose. On the next round of green flag stops, Biffle received four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. He kept making his way forward, and when the second caution came out on lap 132 for debris on the track, Biffle was sitting sixth. The 3M Novec 1230 Ford was going from tight to loose all over the track, so Biffle pitted for four tires, fuel, a track bar and air pressure adjustment.
Biffle continued to be free and slide his way around the track, especially in Turns three and four over the rest of the race. Despite the handling, he was able to make up ground on the track. Wedge adjustments and even a two-tire stopped were executed to try and improve the handling, but in the end, Biffle maneuvered his way to a fifth-place finish. Denny Hamlin passed Martin Truex Jr. in the closing laps to take home the victory.
“It was a tough day,” said Biffle. “We were back and forth all day and were just off a little bit. When the track had a lot of grip the car was unbelievable. It fired off there and I thought, ‘This is gonna be a lot of fun,’ and then when the track started getting slick she started going away a little bit. We just kept after it and didn’t give up. We just wanted to run better. Fifth is OK, but we wanted to compete better on the race track and be a little closer.”
Next up, the Sprint Cup Series will head to Richmond International Raceway for the Richmond 400. Coverage for the Richmond 400 begins at 7:00pm ET on Saturday, April 28th on FOX.
0.75-mile Richmond International Raceway
Saturday, April 28, 2012