Thursday, Dec 02

Flat Right Front Tire Under Green Contributes to 19th-Place Finish for Biffle at Texas

Tire wear plagued the field of 43 Sunday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway after a weeping track prevented any race practice on Saturday.  Biffle started the race 12th in his No. 16 Ortho Ford Fusion, but a flat right front under green cost him valuable track position.  The unraveling tread also caused a hole in the cowl cover of his hood and created handling issues for the rest of the race, contributing to a 19th-place finish.

With one practice session on Friday before qualifying that evening the team focused only on qualifying runs.  Their efforts paid off with a 12th-place starting position.  The weather looked good for the two practice sessions for Saturday, but overnight rain caused weepers in the track and forced NASCAR to cancel both practice sessions.  Biffle and many others headed into 334-laps on Sunday with no race runs in practice and knowing that tire wear would be an issue.

Right from the start of the race Biffle reported back that his No. 16 Ortho Ford Fusion was extremely loose.  Wedge and air pressure adjustments helped, but got the Ortho Ford a little too tight.  Biffle was a consistent figure in the top 15 and even cracked the top 10 while taking advantage of opportunities to pit for tires, wedge and air pressure adjustments to keep up with the changing track conditions.

The right front tire was a concern throughout the race and one came apart on lap 245 forcing Biffle to come down pit road under green.  The unraveling tire caused a hole in the cowl cover which in turn changed the handling to “plowing tight” and ultimately led to Biffle going a lap down to the leaders and cross the finish line for the final time 19th.



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