Greg Biffle Collects First Win Of Season And Three Post-Race Awards Strategic Pit Decisions And Quick Stops Bring Home First Win for Ford CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Greg Biffle, crew chief Greg Erwin, and the No. 16 crew made crucial adjustments to...
Greg Biffle Collects First Win Of Season And Three Post-Race Awards
Strategic Pit Decisions And Quick Stops Bring Home First Win for Ford
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Greg Biffle, crew chief Greg Erwin, and the No. 16 crew made crucial adjustments to their car and executed an aggressive pit strategy as Biffle followed up on his third-place finish last week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to win the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway this past Sunday.
The performance and strategy won the No. 16 3M Ford team the Moog Chassis Parts Problem Solver of the Race Award, earned by the team that improves the most from the first half of the race to the second half utilizing the 40 best lap times. The No. 16 Ford Fusion improved its lap times by nearly half a second.
The quick pit stops earned the team the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award, presented to the team who spends the least amount of time on pit road and finishes the race on the lead lap. The team also captured the Sunoco Diamond Performance Award as the race winner. The awards are part of the NASCAR Prize Money and Decal Program, also referred to as the contingency program, which provides teams prize money and weekly awards based on performance in several categories.
"It's a proud day for Ford, Greg Biffle, Greg Erwin, 3M, the Pit Bulls, and all of the wonderful sponsors who have stood by us for the past few months," said Roush Fenway Racing owner Jack Roush, who continues to recover from an aviation accident. "They've done a wonderful job and this is the beginning of the rewards that have resulted from all of their hard work."
After starting the race 12th, Biffle and Erwin immediately realized they had handling problems, even though it was the same car that finished third at Indianapolis. Using early pit strategy for adjustments, the No. 16 3M Ford crew came in for two tires, fuel, air pressure and track bar adjustments to allow them to take the lead on Lap 20.
The No. 16 3M Ford Fusion stayed around the top 10 through most of the race and utilized three separate two-tire pit stops and relied on the 3M "Pit Bull" crew to get Biffle out of the pits quickly and into the lead. The final stop came with 30 laps to go after a red flag stopped action and the crew pushed the No. 16 Ford to the front row after exiting the pits first. The team sustained a short caution for weather and overcame Sam Hornish Jr., who had stayed on the track during the previous caution, with 21 laps remaining and rolled to his first victory in 64 races.
"Greg Erwin and those guys just never gave up," said Biffle. "This 3M Ford Fusion, it was mostly engine. This engine ran so good. We've been really tough and answered all the questions about the Ford. Ford is running really good."
The win was Biffle's 15th of his career and 596th all time for Ford Racing. "This team is all about fight and the (No.) 16 guys have been up and down, and this core group of people that we've had with us now since about the end of 2007, we've (had) each other's backs," said Erwin. "When you can be in front in clean air, then two tires obviously had the largest advantage, but we probably netted six or eight positions, running order, on the race track before the next pit cycle and at the end you've got to give a shout out to those Pit Bulls. That was a two-tire, gas-only stop that took us from third and came out in the lead."
Official winners of this week's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Prize Money & Decal Program special awards include:
* COORS LIGHT POLE AWARD: Tony Stewart, 171.393 mph, 52.511 sec.
* DIRECTV CREW CHIEF OF THE RACE AWARD: Darian Grubb (crew chief for Tony Stewart)
* GOODYEAR GATORBACK BELTS FASTEST LAP AWARD: Tony Stewart (167.663 mph, Lap 2)
* MAHLE CLEVITE ENGINE BUILDER OF THE RACE AWARD: Tony Stewart
* MOBIL 1 "COMMAND PERFORMANCE DRIVER OF THE RACE" AWARD: Martin Truex Jr.
* MOOG CHASSIS PARTS PROBLEM SOLVER OF THE RACE AWARD: Greg Erwin (crew chief for Greg Biffle)
* O'REILLY AUTO PARTS POSITION IMPROVEMENT AWARD: Clint Bowyer (25 places)
* RAYBESTOS ROOKIE OF THE RACE AWARD: Kevin Conway
* SUNOCO DIAMOND PERFORMANCE AWARD: Greg Biffle
* TISSOT "PIT ROAD PRECISION" AWARD: Greg Biffle (266.914 sec.)
* WIX FILTERS LAP LEADER AWARD: Denny Hamlin (19 laps)