Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sprint Cup's Biffle seeks boost at Texas

Greg Biffle is a two-time Sprint Cup winner at Texas Motor Speedway.

Associated Press

Greg Biffle is a two-time Sprint Cup winner at Texas Motor Speedway.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Greg Biffle is looking for a do-over on a 1½-mile track in the new Sprint Cup car.

Related News/Archive

Texas Motor Speedway is an ideal spot for one because Biffle and the entire Roush Fenway Racing team have had so much success at that track. Biffle is the defending race champion, too, and he can't wait for tonight's NRA 500.

There is extra urgency for Biffle, who was 17th last month at Las Vegas. That track is similar to Texas and the only 1½-mile circuit NASCAR visited the first six races this season.

"We plain and simply screwed up at Vegas, and I take most of the blame for that. We were just way off with the new car," said Biffle, who has earned all 18 of his Cup wins on tracks a mile or longer. "This track feels good. I had really good speed here. … I think we have a good chance at winning. Right place, right time."

But after being fast in testing and practice, Biffle qualified his Ford 35th on Friday with a lap of 190.921 mph.

If his struggles at Las Vegas were surprising for Biffle, so was his solid ninth-place finish last week at Martinsville, the half-mile track that is the shortest on the circuit.

"I just never thought that would happen to us, but that is just the way it works," said Biffle, sixth in points.

The 25th Cup race at Texas, which opened in 1997 and started hosting two races a year in 2005, will be the first night race this season, and for the new Gen-6 cars.

Biffle won at Texas last April, then Jimmie Johnson held off Brad Keselowski in a 1-2 white-knuckle finish in November. Johnson and Keselowski slammed together near the start-finish line after a late restart but maintained control in a wild few closing laps when they stayed in close proximity.

"Yeah, it was awesome. I enjoyed it in the car," Johnson said, recalling that race. "We raced right to that ragged edge and pulled it off."

After winning last week at Martinsville and leading a career-high 346 laps, Johnson has the series points lead. Right behind him is Keselowski, the defending series champ, who has five finishes in the top six this season.

At the high-banked Texas track, Jack Roush's nine victories are the most by any owner. Johnson's victory last fall was the fourth for Rick Hendrick, second-most among owners.

Matt Kenseth, in his first season with Joe Gibbs Racing, has the track record of 772 laps led. All of those were for Roush, and 40 more than two-time Texas winner Biffle has.

Biffle's other Texas win came in spring 2005, with teammate Carl Edwards winning that fall. Edwards swept both races in 2008, and is the only three-time Cup winner there.

Because of the new cars, there were two full-field testing sessions Thursday. Edwards had a tough day but got some notes from his teammate after Biffle had the fastest lap.

"He said something that kind of struck me," Edwards said. "He was describing his car and he said, 'But you know it's just like Texas normally is,' and I thought, 'Here's a guy who knows every nuance of this racetrack and he knows exactly what the car is going to do after five or six laps.' … He's a motivator."

. fast facts

Sprint Cup points

After six of 36 races. The top 10 in points plus two wild cards after 26 races make the Chase for the Championship.

Driver Pts. Back

Jimmie Johnson 231—

Brad Keselowski 225 6

Dale Earnhardt Jr. 219 12

Kyle Busch 203 28

Kasey Kahne 199 32

Greg Biffle 199 32

Carl Edwards 193 38

Clint Bowyer 179 52

Paul Menard 179 52

Matt Kenseth 172 59

Tonight's race

NRA 500, 7:30, Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth

TV: Ch. 13

Sprint Cup's Biffle seeks boost at Texas 04/12/13 [Last modified: Friday, April 12, 2013 10:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. U.S. repeats as Solheim Cup champion

    Golf

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Lexi Thompson set the tone by rallying from four holes down. The rest of the Americans took it from there and restored their dominance in the Solheim Cup

    Lexi Thompson, left, comes back from four holes down to halve the day’s first singles match with Europe’s Anna Nordqvist to set the tone for the United States.
  2. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  3. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  4. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  5. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.