Chicago Crucial In Biffles Eyes

14128Jpg
Texas Motor Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway are literally hundreds of miles apart, but in Greg Biffle’s mind, they’re much more closely related.

It’s because of the way Biffle and his No. 60 Grainger Ford team ran in the O’Reilly 300 at Texas in early April that they tested recently at Chicagoland, and it’s because of that performance at Texas that Biffle and his team are intensely focused on this Saturday’s NASCAR Busch Series Tropicana Twister 300 at Chicagoland.

Both TMS and Chicagoland Speedway are 1.5-mile tracks, and Biffle said there’s a lot of information he and his team can apply to this weekend’s event in an attempt to keep their precarious 39-point lead over Jason Keller in the standings.

“We had the worst run of our Busch career at Texas,” said Biffle, who finished 17th in the O’Reilly 300. “I was literally running 15th and couldn't pass a car on the track; that’s just the best I could run. We were going to get the car better, of course, but we came in and had a lengthy pit stop changing stuff on the car and then it rained out, so we kinda got a bad finish there on our own.

“After that race, I said to (Crew chief Randy) Goss that we really missed the boat there and that our car was never as good as we wanted it to be. The car didn’t turn real good, that was our major problem. Tracks like Chicago and Kansas (where the Busch Series will come in September), you need your car to turn real well, and I said to Goss that we need to go test before we get into all of those races towards the end of the year.

“Before we do this again, we have to go test and figure out what we did wrong. I’m not sure if the tire’s a little bit different or if we lost something in the off-season, so we scheduled that Chicago test. That got us as close to the types of race tracks that we wanted to test for – Chicago, Kansas and those types of race tracks.”

The Texas race wasn’t the Grainger team’s only motivation for testing at Chicagoland. Biffle was involved in an accident after only 61 of 200 laps and finished 39th in last year’s inaugural event at the Joliet, Ill., oval. The recent test at Chicagoland was only the second of the year for Biffle and his team.

Teams are allotted seven tests throughout the entire season by NASCAR.
“We wanted to spend the first half of the year finding out where we’re running good and where we’re running bad and kinda save up the tests for the end of the season,” Biffle said. “We wanted to keep them toward the later part of the season where it's going to be important to have good races everywhere. We feel that we’re going to be able to test and go do it.
“And, we thought with the season we had last year and the way we finished up, that we didn't need to go test everywhere right away. We felt we ran pretty good at all of these races. Later in this season, we're also going to use some Cup tests to help us with the Busch car. We’re going to run Michigan and probably Charlotte, and hopefully Phoenix. So we’ll be testing those places with a Cup car to kinda get us in the right mentally for the upcoming Busch race.”
Biffle comes into Saturday’s Tropicana Twister 300 with a great deal of momentum. In the last six races, he’s won twice, and he hasn’t finished worse than sixth.

Biffle is coming off a second-place finish last weekend at Daytona, his first-ever top-10 performance there, which vaulted him into the lead in the points standings since the fifth weekend of the year, at Bristol.
“None of the other guys that were ahead of us in points really had had any problems yet,” Biffle said. “And that's what gave us a little bit of a break, a couple guys had the kinda luck we were having. It kinda turned the program around for us and that’s what we needed. We didn't want anyone to have bad races, but the luck cycled around.”
“Certainly, I want to run as well as I can every week and just do the best I can. We’re looking to win; we show up to win every week. Sometimes there are situations where I think about maybe not trying to make that pass, but not really. I pretty much show up to get the best finish I can and run the best I can. I’m not really thinking about points, though. No matter if you’re points racing or not, you’re trying to get the best finish with the kind of car you have that day.
“I think I’ve learned that I’m not always going to win with a fifth-place car, and sometimes you have to settle for a top-three or top-five finish. I want to get in the top five to have a good run each week. One, you get paid well, and that’s not just me, but the whole team, and, second, you get good points, and that’s also good for the race team. One kinda goes in hand with the other.”

Looking for Another Top 5
Keller finished fifth in last year’s inaugural race at Chicagoland Speedway, so he’ll be looking for a repeat or better. With any bad luck from Biffle, he’ll take over the points lead again.


“Chicago is a tough track and it wasn’t a great track for our team even though we finished fifth,” Keller said. “I want to go back and improve my qualifying, which should lead to a better finish. Last year it was a difficult race that took determination and strategy for us to finish fifth after starting so far back.
“We knew at the beginning of the season that Greg (Biffle) was going to be strong this year. We figured we would be toe to toe with him (for the championship) all season long. By no means, however, is my teammate Scott Riggs or Jack Sprague out of the championship race. I think it will come down to the wire, and that makes the battle each week more exciting.”

Qualifying for the Tropicana Twister 400 is set for Friday at 2:30 p.m. ET. The green flag will drop on the field Saturday at 2:30 ET.

Race Center

Kansas Lottery 300

@ Kansas Speedway
Saturday, October 04, 2014 3:00 PM
Radio Start:
MRN, 3 p.m. (ET)
TV Start:
ESPN2, 3:30 p.m. (ET)

Photos

  • Dover 200
  • Dover 200
  • Dover 200
  • Dover 200
  • Dover 200
  • Dover 200
  • Dover 200
  • Dover 200
  • Dover 200
  • Dover 200
  • VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300
  • VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300
  • VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300
  • VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300
  • VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300
  • VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300
  • VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300
  • VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300
  • VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300
  • VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300
  • VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300
  • VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300
  • Harvick Delivers Chicago Win
  • Harvick Delivers Chicago Win
  • Harvick Delivers Chicago Win
  • Harvick Delivers Chicago Win
  • Harvick Delivers Chicago Win
  • Harvick Delivers Chicago Win
  • Harvick Delivers Chicago Win
  • Virginia529 College Savings 250
  • Virginia529 College Savings 250
  • Virginia529 College Savings 250
  • Virginia529 College Savings 250
  • Virginia529 College Savings 250
  • Virginia529 College Savings 250
  • Virginia529 College Savings 250
  • Virginia529 College Savings 250
  • Virginia529 College Savings 250
  • Virginia529 College Savings 250
  • Virginia529 College Savings 250
  • Virginia529 College Savings 250
  • Virginia529 College Savings 250
  • Virginia529 College Savings 250
  • Harvick Dominates at Atlanta
  • Harvick Dominates at Atlanta
  • Harvick Dominates at Atlanta
  • Harvick Dominates at Atlanta
  • Harvick Dominates at Atlanta
  • Harvick Dominates at Atlanta
  • Harvick Dominates at Atlanta
  • © 2014 MRN. All Rights Reserved

    FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousLinkedInGoogle BookmarksYahoo BookmarksLive (MSN)

    ISC Track Sites