BIFFLE BATTLED HIS LOOSE-HANDLING FORD TO AN 18TH-PLACE FINISH AT RICHMOND
April 30, 2012
RICHMOND, V.A. (April 28, 2012) – A rainy afternoon at Richmond International Raceway led into a chilly and clear night of short track racing under the lights. Greg Biffle qualified his No. 16 3M Give Kids a Smile Ford 28th due to loose-handling, and it seemed no matter what the team tried for adjustments throughout the race, the handling woes continued. Multiple wedge, track bar and spring rubber adjustments were made by the 3M Pit Bulls, but nothing seemed to correct the handling. When the checkered flag waved, Biffle was scored 18th, but continues to lead the Sprint Cup point standings for the seventh week in a row.
The 400-lap race at Richmond kicked off with a 50-lap green flag run until the scheduled competition caution due to rain earlier in the day. Biffle drove from his starting position of 28th up to 20th when the caution came out. His biggest concern at the time was having no grip off of Turn four. The 3M Pit Bulls gave him four tires, fuel, a left-rear wedge adjustment and put a little extra tape on the grill. All while gaining three spots on pit road, setting Biffle up 17th for the green flag restart.
The 3M Ford continued to become incredibly loose and he needed more rear bite. On his next routine trip down pit road, he was given four tires, fuel, wedge and track bar adjustments. In the first few laps after the stop, it seemed as if the adjustments helped, but then the loose-handling returned. Midway through the race, Biffle was passed by the leaders and was left to battling his own Ford around the 0.75-mile short track.
Under caution for debris on lap 229, Biffle pitted to have a right-rear rubber pulled, four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. Every adjustment given seemed to help, but just wasn’t enough. A long green flag run led into green flag stops for the field. Biffle pitted on lap 306 for another wedge adjustment, along with tires and fuel. Unfortunately, the caution came out when the No. 31 of Jeff Burton brushed the wall before the field had cycled through stops. The untimely caution trapped Biffle two laps down to the field, and left him with no other option than to take the “wave around” to get one lap back.
With 14 laps remaining, the caution came out for debris on the track. Biffle was running 17th and still one lap down to the field. With the leaders pitting, Biffle once again stayed out to take the “wave around” to finish the race on the lead lap. Biffle drove his loose-handling Ford to an 18th-place finish, while Kyle Busch went on to win the race.
“It was a tough night,” said Biffle. “We never recovered from our poor qualifying run and struggled with turn and forward drive. The same things I struggled with qualifying to be quite honest with you. We just didn’t have the turn and the drive that we needed. I don’t know what it was. It would run like Jack the Bear sometimes and then sometimes it wouldn’t. I don’t know. It is frustrating.”
Next up, the Sprint Cup Series will head to Talladega Superspeedway for the Aaron’s 499. Race coverage begins at 12:00pm ET on Sunday, May 6th on FOX.
2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway
Sunday, May 6, 2012