FORT WORTH — Greg Biffle doesn’t figure on making anyone forget Kyle Busch in his return to the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series at Texas Motor Speedway.
In fact, Friday night’s SpeedyCash.com 400 will be as much a self-evaluation for “The Biff-Man” as a 167-lap dash for the checkered flag. Biffle’s one-off appearance in place of team-owner/driver Busch will be his first NASCAR start since the 2016 Monster Energy Cup Series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway and his first Truck Series start since 2004.
That’s plenty of muscle memory to reawaken as well as aero and Goodyear tire technology to absorb. That process began in March when Biffle logged approximately 12 laps scuffing-in tires in the series’ opening practice around TMS’ high-banked 1.5-mile quadoval during NASCAR’s tripleheader weekend. Those laps in the No. 51 Toyota Tundra also marked Biffle’s first on a TMS layout that was reconfigured in Turns 1 and 2 and repaved since he last raced on it in Cup with Roush Fenway Racing in November 2016.
“There’s a lot of stuff that’s new for me,” said Biffle, 49, whose five career Truck Series starts at TMS include a victory in his championship season of 2000 for team-owner Jack Roush. “Even though I’ve been doing it for my whole life, there’s a lot of ‘first times’ for me in this race. I certainly want to run in the top five, I know the thing’s capable of that and I want to win of course. But do I have the expectation of winning the first time in this truck? Most likely not. That’s a pretty tall order.”
Biffle placed 16th during Thursday’s final practice at 181.433 mph, logging a combined 92 laps in three sessions. Biffle has 16 wins, 42 top-five and 54 top-10 finishes in 81 career NGOTS starts. At TMS, he has three top-five and three top-10 series finishes with an average start of 9.0 and average finish of 10.6.
Veteran teammates lead final practice: ThorSport Racing teammates Johnny Sauter and Matt Crafton topped the speed chart during the third and final practice for Friday night’s SpeedyCash.com 400.
Sauter, the defending event champion and five-time winner here, toured TMS at 183.237 mph in his No. 13 Tenda Heal Ford F-150. Crafton, a two-time TMS winner, posted a best lap of 183.138 mph in his No. 88 Chi-Chi’s/Menards Ford. Rounding out the top three was Austin Hill at 183.057 mph in the No. 16 Ennis Steel Toyota Tundra.
Ben Rhodes, also of ThorSport Racing, led the opening practice at 180.681 mph in the No. 99 Carolina Nut Ford. Sauter paced the second session at 184.168 mph.
An extra $50,000 will be on the line when the green flag falls at 8 p.m. as part of the NASCAR Triple Truck Challenge beginning at TMS.
Pagenaud, Team Penske top Pit Stop contest: Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Simon Pagenaud added another trophy to his collection as winner of the inaugural Cowtown Pit Stop Challenge presented by Speedy Cash.
Pagenaud defeated NTT IndyCar Series rookie Felix Rosenqvist of Chip Ganassi Racing in the final.
Dixon fastest in abbreviated practice: Scott Dixon, defending race-winner of the DXC Technology 600, out-sped everything but the rain during the first NTT IndyCar Series practice. Scheduled for two hours, the session saw only 41:13 of green flag time before being canceled by rain.
A three-time winner here, Dixon topped the chart at 219.308 mph after 25 laps in his No. 9 PNC Bank Honda fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing. He was followed by Takuma Sato at 219.262 mph in the No. 30 ABeam Consulting Honda fielded by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
This Topic is Missing Your Voice.