Greg Biffle and the No. 60 Roush Ford ruled the Darlington 200 to earn his first win of the season. The 2002 Busch series champion led several times, but kept getting shuffled through the field. Finally on lap 100, Biffle beat the field out of the...
Greg Biffle and the No. 60 Roush Ford ruled the Darlington 200 to earn his first win of the season. The 2002 Busch series champion led several times, but kept getting shuffled through the field. Finally on lap 100, Biffle beat the field out of the pits and sailed into the lead, unchallenged, for the final time.
"The car handled really well today," said Biffle. "It was the car we brought to Rockingham, just a great day. We had a little trouble in the pits with some lug nuts and I lost some spots. I can't say how proud I am about that last pit stop; that probably won us the race."
"I am really excited about being in victory lane for the first time this year."
This is Biffle's 12th career series win, and first win at Darlington Raceway.
The Darlington 200 Busch series event was the first race since the new SAFER wall system was installed at the 1.366-mile speedway. Busch teams seemed to have worked out the new racing groove during practice sessions, as on-track incidents were few; the caution flag flew only four times for 23 laps.
"The race track races extremely different," said Biffle. "It has changed the whole complexion of the race track. It is more of a factor in turns and 4, than in 1 and 2. It want s to be freer in the corner and you don't have that extra room anymore.it's changed the track a bunch. You can't get within 6 inches of it; else it will suck you in - in a second."
"This place is not easy no matter what you do."
Jeff Burton secured second spot, garnering his ninth top-five finish at Darlington.
"It certainly does impact the way you drive but it impacts it for everybody," said Burton of how the race felt with the new SAFER wall system. "It is where it is and we have to race where the wall is, and it's not going to move if you hit it so you just have to stay away from it."
It is welcome medicine for Burton, whose Nextel Cup effort this year has been lackluster. In four Cup starts, he has only one top-15 finish and Roush has not been able to secure a primary sponsorship on the No. 99 Ford.
"Good race car drivers don't forget how to drive" said Burton of his troubles this season. "You have to be in the right deal. When you are having a tough time you have to remind yourself you're a good driver. It's hard to know what you're not doing right."
David Green scored his third top ten of the season by finishing third. It is Green's best Busch series result here in 21 starts.
"It was pretty calm for Darlington," commented Green. "The new SAFER barrier, even though I didn't test it, I think it's added a personality we've never seen at Darlington. The track is narrower, and I think it took on a whole different complexion to the race.
"The same old Darlington stuff still works. It was amazing how much more personality the track had due to the 30 inches that we lost."
Martin Truex, Jr. and David Stremme complete the top five.
Pole sitter Kyle Busch experienced difficulties on lap79 while running in the top-five. Busch had to bring the No. 5 Hendrick Chevy to pit road for an extended stop to fix right side chain problems. The lengthy stop took Busch out of contention to be a threat for the win, but he was still the highest finishing rookie in 17th.
Despite an uninspiring 22nd place result due to lug nut issues on the No. 21 team's final pit stop, Kevin Harvick maintains the top spot in series standings. David Green trails by 23 points, Michael Waltrip (-39), Martin Truex, Jr. (-67), and Robby Gordon (-74) complete the top five.
In the four events that have been completed in the 2004 Busch series season, every event has been won by a Cup series regular.