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RACING ONE: Rain lands Sprague Busch pole again

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NAZARETH, Penn.

Because of its unique design, not many teams ever find the right setup for Nazareth Speedway, and walk away from races very frustrated. Count Greg Biffle and his No. 60 Grainger Ford team among the fortunate ones. In five races combined between the Craftsman Truck Series and Busch Series, Biffle has come away from Nazareth with three victories and four top-five finishes, making him almost a master of the one-mile facility. He hopes once again to conquer Nazareth Speedway Sunday in the ¿Stacker 2¿ 200. He¿ll start from the seventh position. Series points leader Jack Sprague will start from the front of the pack after rain postponed Saturday's qualifying session forcing officials to line-up the field based on the current standings. He¿ll be followed by Jason Keller, Randy Lajoie, Scott Riggs and Mike McLaughlin. Drivers will take the green flag Sunday for the ¿Stacker 2¿ 200 shortly after 1 p.m. ET. Finding the ¿perfect setup¿ for Nazareth is a rarity. The layout is almost triangular in shape, but there are four corners, three of which have varying degrees in banking. Turn 1 has three degrees of banking, Turn 2 has four and Turns 3 and 4 have six, making it one of the most difficult tracks on the Busch Series circuit. There¿s also a tricky dog-leg in the first turn. Biffle swept the Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series events at Nazareth last season. He substituted in the No. 50 Ford in the Truck Series race and ran off to a convincing victory. The Busch Series event saw him beat Kevin Harvick to the checkered flag by a whopping 8.574 seconds. ¿Nazareth Speedway has been really good to me,¿ said Biffle, who comes into the weekend in seventh place in the points, but without a victory this season. ¿I wrecked there my first season in the Truck Series, but since then we¿ve recorded three victories and a third-place finish. It¿s a fun racetrack to drive on, and althought it¿s not an oval, it¿s almost like racing on a road course. ¿Every corner is different, and you have to hit your marks every time for 200 laps or you¿ll find yourself in the wall. The fronstretch dogleg is particularly tricky because you have to bit off as much as you can chew entering the corner without overdoing it. There¿s a really fine line there, but being good in that corner can make or break you. ¿It¿s almost impossible to get the car handling perfect in all the corners, so if I had to choose one where my car worked the best, it would be Turn 4. You really need to be hooked up coming out of four in order to have the momentum to make some passes going down the frontstretch. That¿s about the only place you can pass on the track.¿ Expected to challenge for the Busch Series championship, Biffle is 228 points behind leader Jack Sprague in the standings. He has six top-10 finishes in 11 starts this season, including a runner-up finish at Darlington, but he hasn¿t been happy with the results. ¿We haven¿t had the best of luck this season,¿ Biffle said. ¿The performance is there, though, and we¿re running up front every week. The Grainger team is preparing winning cars for each race, but it seems like every time we¿re running well, something happens that takes us out of contention. I¿m a little concerned about the deficit we need to make up in the points.¿ Randy LaJoie has only two top-five career finishes at Nazareth Speedway, but each came during a championship season. He earned his first career Busch Series victory in 1996 at Nazareth, and then won the series title. He finished third at Nazareth during his championship campaign in 1997. In the last four races at Nazareth, however, LaJoie has finished 42nd, 20th, 8th and 13th. He is currently third in the standings, 122 points behind Sprague. ¿I won my first Busch Grand National event at Nazareth, and you never forget your first win,¿ LaJoie said. ¿It¿s a special track to me and I am always looking to do well there. The year I got that win, we went on to win the championship. It was a great momentum builder for the rest of the year. A lot of our numbers from this year are similar to the year we took home the crown, so it would be pretty reaffirming to win there this time around. ¿I think we stand a pretty good shot (to win). We tested there. Our car is really good. We used a lot of what we learned at Nazareth for our race in New Hampshire last week, and we did pretty good there. We had a miscue in the pits, but we definitely had a top-five car that day. If we handle like we did last week, we¿ll be alright

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