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Greg Biffle, Kyle Larson Wreck in Auto Club Final Practice

Greg Biffle, Kyle Larson Wreck in Auto Club Final Practice

by March 19, 2016 0 comments

The Nos. 16 and 42 cars of Greg Biffle and Kyle Larson came together in final practice for the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway, tangling in a Turn 4 wreck.

Larson’s No. 42 Target Chevrolet started losing it’s back end while headed for the frontstretch as Biffle was quickly approaching him while on a flying lap. Biffle was unable to slow up in time to avoid the slowed No. 42 car and plowed into the rear of it, sending his No. 16 car to the infield grass.

While Biffle’s front end damage didn’t appear to be too severe, the right rear corner of Larson’s car was mangled following the contact.

As the driver of the No. 16 Ford EcoBoost Ford explained, he was focusing on hitting his marks on his lap and by the time he saw the slowing No. 42 car, he didn’t have enough time to react to get out of the way.

“We were on new tires,” Biffle said. “That was our second lap and the 42 was on old tires, so our closure rate was super-fast. I was kind of looking at my mark on the wall and on the race track and he wrecked in front of me and I just couldn’t get stopped.

There wasn’t anywhere for me to go. The groove is right up against the fence and I was going probably 15-20 miles an hour faster than he was. By the time I saw him sideways I was catching him so fast that I don’t know what happened.”

Larson gave his take on the practice incident – stating that he got loose and overcorrected into the wall. The native Californian also issued an apology to Biffle for the late-practice accident.

“I was running decent laps up there on the top and just got loose there and kind of corrected and just barely hit the wall,” Larson said. “I decided to slow down so much that the No. 16 caught me in the back quarter.

“They’re still trying to decide if we need to go to a back-up car, or not. I didn’t hit the wall hard, so the frame is all right; there’s just body damage. I was decent there. I’m just disappointed; but it was my fault and I apologize to Biffle for that. I just had to slow down so much that he (Biffle) didn’t have time to react and got into my rear bumper there.”

Following their driver’s interview, representatives for the No. 42 team announced that the team would utilize their damaged primary car for Sunday’s race.

Matt Kenseth was the fastest driver in the final session of the weekend, turning in a lap of 38.831 seconds to pace the session ahead of Carl Edwards, Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano and Aric Almirola.

The Auto Club 400 is set for a 3:30 p.m ET/12:30 p.m PT start on Sunday with FOX and MRN providing live race coverage.

Final Practice Times for the Auto Club 400

  1. 20 – Matt Kenseth – 38.831
  2. 19 – Carl Edwards – 38.846 | -0.015
  3. 21 – Ryan Blaney#* – 38.885 | -0.054
  4. 22 – Joey Logano – 38.898 | -0.067
  5. 43 – Aric Almirola – 38.904 | -0.073
  6. 3 – Austin Dillon – 38.929 | -0.098
  7. 78 – Martin Truex Jr. – 38.973 | -0.142
  8. 1 – Jamie McMurray – 38.993 | -0.162
  9. 5 – Kasey Kahne – 38.994 | -0.163
  10. 31 – Ryan Newman – 39.030 | -0.199
  11. 17 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – 39.030 | -0.199
  12. 2 – Brad Keselowski – 39.069 | -0.238
  13. 88 – Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 39.081 | -0.250
  14. 48 – Jimmie Johnson – 39.130 | -0.299
  15. 16 – Greg Biffle – 39.131 | -0.300
  16. 18 – Kyle Busch – 39.177 | -0.346
  17. 14 – Brian Vickers – 39.189 | -0.358
  18. 27 – Paul Menard – 39.201 | -0.370
  19. 7 – Regan Smith – 39.238 | -0.407
  20. 13 – Casey Mears – 39.241 | -0.410
  21. 11 – Denny Hamlin – 39.245 | -0.414
  22. 24 – Chase Elliott# – 39.253 | -0.422
  23. 6 – Trevor Bayne – 39.256 | -0.425
  24. 41 – Kurt Busch – 39.280 | -0.449
  25. 10 – Danica Patrick – 39.290 | -0.459
  26. 42 – Kyle Larson – 39.293 | -0.462
  27. 4 – Kevin Harvick – 39.305 | -0.474
  28. 15 – Clint Bowyer – 39.336 | -0.505
  29. 47 – A.J. Allmendinger – 39.352 | -0.521
  30. 34 – Chris Buescher# – 39.383 | -0.552
  31. 44 – Brian Scott# – 39.432 | -0.601
  32. 83 – Matt DiBenedetto – 39.524 | -0.693
  33. 95 – Michael McDowell – 39.655 | -0.824
  34. 38 – Landon Cassill – 39.697 | -0.866
  35. 23 – David Ragan – 40.142 | -1.311
  36. 98 – Cole Whitt* – 40.232 | -1.401
  37. 30 – Josh Wise* – 40.467 | -1.636
  38. 32 – Jeffrey Earnhardt# – 40.607 | -1.776
  39. 46 – Michael Annett – 40.669 | -1.838

# = Rookie, * = Non-charter driver.

Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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