Biffle Dominates Sprint Showdown; Races into All-Star Race

Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 Ortho Ford Fusion, took the lead on lap one and dominated the first segment of Friday night’s Sprint Showdown, leading all 20 laps to earn a berth in tomorrow night’s Sprint All-Star race. The victory keeps alive Roush Fenway’s 26-year streak of having a least one car in the all-star event in each season since 1990. It is also Biffle’s 12th appearance in the All-Star race.

“I’m really excited.  We’ve worked really hard and we had good track position.  We qualified well.  It seems like we’re getting our cars a little bit better,” said Biffle, who took the green flag from the outside pole.  “We know we still have work to do, but when it got out in clean air it was pretty fast and we were able to hold off Clint (Bowyer) and have a pretty good lead.

“We knew guns were blazing,” added Biffle. “It gives us a bunch of confidence.  We know we still have a lot of other cars to compete against, but it felt good to win half a race, so we’ll see what happens.  

“Whoever got out front was going win and I told (crew chief) Matt (Puccia) that.  I had my tires warmed up and I pushed the gas down as easy as I could and I started spinning and he started spinning also.  I thought, ‘Oh, he’s going get me,’ but I modulated the gas and started pushing it back down and I got some grip, and then he got a little sideways and came down and actually got into us.  I haven’t looked at the side yet, but he was spinning also.  Then my car took off and I got that jump and that was the end of it.”

Trevor Bayne finished seventh in the race. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. restarted the second segment in fifth, but finished 23rd after suffering a loose wheel.

It marks the second time Roush Fenway has scored a win to race into the All-Star race, with Jeff Burton winning the Sprint Showdown in 2003. It’s the second time Biffle has raced his way in, accomplishing the feat with a second-place win in 2010. Stenhouse also previously raced his way in in 2013 with a second-place finish.