Biffle Qualifies 29Th At Kansas

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The Schneider Electric Racing Team struggled in practice Friday morning, but redeemed itself by picking up speed during qualifying on Kansas Speedway’s 1.5-mile tri-oval. Interim driver Greg Biffle turned a lap time of 31.012 seconds for his qualifying effort, landing the No. 55 Chevrolet 29th on the charts for Sunday’s Protection One 400.

Biffle, pulling double duty between his No. 60 Grainger Ford and the Winston Cup Series, had his share of help today during the first practice. On top of Biffle’s knowledge from the Busch Series practice, regular driver Bobby Hamilton was on hand to offer his advice. At the same time, car owner Andy Petree called the shots on the car. Petree, who is filling in for regular crew chief Jimmy Elledge because he was suspended by NASCAR this weekend, took suggestions from Hamilton and Biffle to make the car faster for qualifying.

The team had trouble getting the nose of the Schneider Electric Chevy to stay down on the race track in practice, but was able to find speed during the two laps of qualifying. It took a group effort from everyone on the team, but they accomplished their goal to not take a provisional Friday.

“That’s the good thing about this team,” Hamilton said. “It might take all of us to figure it out, but we won’t quit until we do. Greg did a good job telling Andy what was wrong with the car. Andy stood on top of the truck calculating the whole time on how we could pick up speed in the corners. Everyone pitched in today to make it work out.

“We picked up speed from one run to the next,” Hamilton continued. “We still have some more work to do, but we have two more practice sessions (Saturday).”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the Bud Pole for Sunday’s event with a time of 30.350 seconds and broke the track record. Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Michael Waltrip and Bill Elliott round out the top five, respectively.

The Protection One 400 gets underway on Sun., Sept. 29 at 1:00 p.m. EDT. The 267-lap race will air live on NBC.

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