FORT WORTH, Texas – Greg Biffle hasn’t lost a step.
Making his first NASCAR start since 2016 and his first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series start since 2004, Biffle drove to victory in Friday’s SpeedyCash.com 400 at Texas Motor Speedway.
“I’m just excited to be here. I don’t even know what to say,” said the 49-year-old Biffle in victory lane Friday evening.
In a race that featured more than a dozen cautions, mostly for crashes, Biffle had to work hard to make his return to NASCAR competition a triumphant one. Driving the No. 51 Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports, Biffle took the lead for the first time on lap 104.
A few laps later the caution flag waved for Stewart Friesen, who was trying to take the lead from Biffle in turns one and two. Friesen lost control of his truck and backed it into the outside wall, resulting in a caution period.
Biffle hit pit road for tires and fuel during the caution period, a move that would prove pivotal later in the race.
The race resumed with 55 laps left and Daytona Truck Series winner Austin Hill took the lead, though he would be forced to pit with 21 laps left for fuel. That gave the lead to Tyler Ankrum, but a caution with 15 laps left for the stalled truck of Austin Wayne Self set up the final round of pit stops.
Ankrum led several trucks down pit road, but Biffle’s team opted to keep him on the track so he could inherit the race lead. When the race resumed with 10 laps left Biffle shot out into the lead while Matt Crafton quickly raced his way into second.
For the next five laps Crafton tried desperately to find a way by 2001 Truck Series champion, but Biffle held serve during every challenge. With fuel mileage a big question, Biffle managed to save enough gas to get to the finish line first to earn his first Truck Series triumph since 2001.
“It means a lot to me…Kyle (Busch) giving me that opportunity to come back and drive this truck,” said Biffle, who earned a $50,000 bonus courtesy of Gander Outdoors for winning the first race of the Triple Truck Challenge. “This Gander Outdoors Series, I love this. A lot of competitive trucks here. These guys (KBM) make the difference. A lot of great guys that Kyle has assembled.
Biffle is now the only driver eligible to win the $500,000 bonus that is available to any driver who is able to sweep the Triple Truck Challenge, which began Friday at Texas Motor Speedway and continues the next two weeks at Iowa Speedway and World Wide Technology Raceway.
At this point Biffle is not scheduled to compete in the next two races. Asked if he’ll be back in a truck next week at Iowa, Biffle smiled and said, “You’re going to have to ask Kyle, not me.”
Crafton ended up chasing Biffle across the line in second and was admittedly frustrated post-race.
“It’s a shame,” Crafton said. “Right there at the end we got there, we had a chance. Just got really tight. Just sucks to finish second.”
Ankrum came home a career-best third for DGR-Crosley. Grant Enfinger and Harrison Burton completed the top-five.
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