Biffle comes up short on fuel gamble
Photos by NASCAR via Getty Images
Greg Biffle works with a group of cars at Talladega Superspeedway.
Greg Biffle’s fuel mileage strategy came four green flag laps short of a possible victory Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.
Biffle, who led twice for 18 laps in the CampingWorld.com 500, was leading the race when Jamie McMurray’s engine failure triggered the race’s second caution.
At his peak, Biffle held over a 30 second lead., utilizing the draft with David Ragan, Casey Mears and Cole Whitt.
“It was really unfortunate,” said Biffle, who hasn’t won in 89 starts. “We had a great strategy and had a great car. We were really close to winning it. It’s unfortunate that [McMurray] blew up and brought the caution out. There’s nothing we can do about that.”
Biffle’s crew chief, Matt Puccia, spoke post-race about the fuel strategy.
“We were gonna make it if it went green for sure,” he said. “We were gonna make it to the end, but we just didn’t need that.”
Puccia said he told his driver to save fuel when the race restarted after the first caution on lap 140.
“Using our worst mileage we were two to three short and using our best mileage when we were back in the back and just saving gas we were gonna make it right to the end,” Puccia said.
“I just told Greg, ‘All you have to do is save, save. That’s our play.’ I knew the whole field had to stop, so we started saving as soon as they threw the green flag on that last restart on lap 136 or whatever it was. We just saved and saved and were gonna make it, but the caution bit us.”