Late Caution Foils a Fuel Mileage Triumph for Greg Biffleby Kyle Pokrefky October 25, 2015 0 comments
An 88-race winless streak nearly came to an end at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday as Greg Biffle came up just short of winning the CampingWorld.com 500.
Holding the lead under green-flag conditions until a caution flew with three laps to go, Biffle held a lead over the rest of the field that stretched to well over a mile-and-a-half on the 2.66-mile superspeedway that was to have gone unchallenged had his fuel held out.
If the race were to run to completion while green, Biffle’s No. 16 Cheez-It Ford was to have completed a lengthy fuel run that stretched to just over 50 laps in length.
Roush Fenway Racing’s bid for their first win of the season was foiled, however, as an improbably victory by the No. 16 bunch was thwarted by Jamie McMurray’s engine expiring on the backstretch on Lap 185.
Though the team was committed to holding out to the very end on their fuel, Biffle steered his car onto the pit lane and out of win contention on Lap 188 for a splash of gas.
“It was really unfortunate,” Biffle said. “We had a great strategy and had a great car. We were really close to winning it.
“It’s unfortunate that one of those cars blew up and brought the caution out. There’s nothing we can do about that.”
Crew chief Matt Puccia argues that – had the race stayed green to the end – he was going to find himself in victory lane along with Biffle celebrating their fourth win together as a driver-crew chief combination.
Puccia also said that the team could have pressed their luck on fuel and stayed out through the final caution, but he didn’t want to take the blame for a potentially massive crash on the ensuing restart.
“We were gonna make it if it went green for sure,” Puccia stated. “We were gonna make it to the end, but we just didn’t need that. I guess the 1 car blew up down the back and oiled the track down. It’s just a shame.
“We could have possibly made it, but I just didn’t want to be that guy who was gonna wreck the whole field if we didn’t get it going on the restart. It’s unfortunate.”
The No. 16 team was credited with a 20th-place finish at the conclusion of the race.
Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images