CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Greg Biffle and crew chief Greg Erwin kept what was defined as a loose race car running in the top five most of the day, then made a critical decision to make an adjustment that proved to be the key to bring the No. 16 3M/Sherwin-Williams Ford to victory lane in the Price Chopper 400 Sunday at Kansas Speedway.
For their efforts, the No. 16 team collected two post-race contingency awards — the DirecTV Crew Chief of the Race and the Sunoco Diamond Performance Awards.
The awards are part of the NASCAR Prize Money and Decal Program, also referred to as the contingency program, which provide prize money and weekly awards based on performance in several categories.
The victory was Biffle’s second of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and vaults him to eighth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings.
“I was just reluctant to adjust on the car. You know, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it kind of attitude,” said Biffle. “When you’re running the worst you’ve run all day fifth or sixth, most of the day you’ve run third, you hate to start adjusting on things just to see what it’s going to do. (Then) we put wedge in it, air in the left rear. My gosh, that was it, it was over. The car picked up a 10th, 10th and a half a lap. I put another wedge in it when we did the next set of tires, and the car was faster yet. I had a lot of confidence after those two pit stops after making those kind of adjustments that the car was going to be pretty hard to beat.”
Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet team collected the Moog Problem Solver of the Race Award as the team that improves their lap times the most from the first half of the race to the second half.
After starting 21st, the No. 48 made the needed adjustment and quick pit stops to secure a second-place finish and take over the lead in the Chase points standings.
Heading into this weekend’s Pepsi 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., Johnson sits just eight points ahead of Denny Hamlin. The top nine Chase drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings are separated by only 101 points.
Official winners of this week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Prize Money & Decal Program special awards include:
Coors Light Pole Award: Kasey Kahne (174.644 miles per hour)
DirecTV Crew Chief of the Race Award: Greg Erwin (crew chief for Greg Biffle)
Goodyear Gatorback Belts Fastest Lap Award: Kasey Kahne (173.433 miles per hour, lap two)
Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race Awawrd: Hendrick Motorsports (engine builder for Tony Stewart)
Mobil 1 Command Performance Driver of the Race Award: Jamie McMurray
Moog Chassis Parts Problem Solver of the Race Award: Chad Knaus (crew chief for Jimmie Johnson)
O’Reilly Auto Parts Position Improvement Award: Carl Edwards (25 places)
Raybestos Rookie of the Race Award: Kevin Conway
Sunoco Diamond Performance Award: Greg Biffle
Tissot Pit Road Precision Award: Kevin Harvick (194.318 seconds)
Wix Filters Lap Leader Award: Tony Stewart (76 laps)