BIFFLE FINISHES FIFTH AT TALLADEGA; CONTINUES TO LEAD POINT STANDING
May 7, 2012
TALLADEGA, Ala. (May 6, 2012) – The 3M Pit Bulls took their third-place finishing Daytona 500 car to Talladega Superspeedway to see if they could pull out another stellar performance, and they did just that. Biffle started sixth, led for a total of 15 laps, all of which culminated in a dramatic green-white-checker fifth-place finish. The top-five finish keeps Biffle the points leader by seven points over his Roush Fenway teammate, Matt Kenseth.
A rainy Sunday morning cleared way to a hot afternoon of racing action at Talladega Superspeedway. Biffle started sixth and held his ground on the bottom line around the track and was up to fourth when the first caution of the day came out on lap 16. Under caution, crew chief Matt Puccia made the call to pit for two tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Biffle restarted fourth and solidly held his ground inside the top 10 until it came time for the next round of pit stops.
The second stop of the day came under green flag conditions and Biffle’s 3M / O’Reilly Auto Parts Ford was serviced with four tires and fuel. Biffle reported back that he was a little bit free when the cars were all bunched up, but overall, the handling was pretty good. Another long green flag run led into another round of green flag pit stops. Biffle cycled around to the lead before pitting on lap 102 for four tires and fuel. By lap 104, the pack caught up behind him and by lap 105, he was the leader.
The No. 17 of Matt Kenseth got a run outside of Biffle on lap 120 and took the lead, but the duo teamed up to lead the field until lap 136 when Biffle got hung out in the middle line. Luckily Biffle only dropped back to eighth and was ahead of the big wreck on lap 143 that claimed nine competitors. Biffle pitted under the caution for four tires and fuel, setting himself up third for the restart on lap 151.
Besides the one large wreck it seemed to be a quiet race for Talladega, but all that quickly went away in the closing laps. There were three cautions in the last 10 laps, setting the field up for a green-white-checkered finish. Biffle suffered a little right-front fender damage from the previous caution, but after multiple eyes scanned over the fender, it was determined Biffle was safe to finish the race. The fender held up just fine and Biffle earned a fifth-place finish, while Brad Keselowski won the Aaron’s 499.
“It was tough,” said Biffle. “The car ran hot a lot of the day and we had to manage the water temperature and the fuel. It was close at the end, but I just wish I could have stayed on Matt’s bumper. He pulled away from me a little bit. If we could have stayed locked together it would have come down to him and me at the end but we just couldn’t stay locked up with him there at the end.”
Next up, the Sprint Cup Series will head to Darlington Raceway for the Bojangles’ Southern 500. Race coverage begins at 6:30pm ET on Saturday, May 12th on FOX.
Bojangles’ Southern 500
1.366-mile Darlington Raceway
Saturday, May 12, 2012