Greg Biffle’s Happy Hour was anything but on Saturday.
Biffle, who qualified 13th for Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500, slapped the wall in Turn 4 wall 13 laps into final practice at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “I (freakin’) killed it,” Biffle reported to the team on the radio as he drove into the garage. The No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing team was forced to pull out the back up car.
“I just got a little bit loose running the top. The back end touched the wall and sucked the nose over right where they stopped the SAFER barrier. I hit right in the worst spot, where the wall was kinked out. I touched and it turned the car in to where I hit the part of the wall that was jutting out and it just killed the car.”
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Biffle returned to the track with six minutes remaining in practice and ran an additional seven laps before the session ended. His spotter Joel Edmonds made the observation that Biffle’s run was “really good in (Turns) 1 and 2, just not as good in 3 and 4.” Biffle requested the team “get a tire sheet on the right front” due to the nature of his earlier incident.
Following his final run Biffle reported, “this thing drives great.”
“It drives way better than the other car,” Biffle said. “It’s awesome.”
Although NASCAR made a quick review of the back-up car before Biffle took to the track, the team had to go through a more thorough inspection following practice. Since Biffle will start from the rear of the field, the team also opted to change engines in the car.
Crew chief Greg Erwin was complimentary of the effort his crew put in to retrieve the secondary car and have it track ready in 40 minutes.
“(Biffle) got the car out on the track, blended right in and was racing with the pack,” Erwin said. “He’ll be fine tomorrow. I don’t think the back up car will be any more of a crap shoot as it would have been in the primary car.”