for your iPhone
for your iPad
NASCAR

NASCAR Links

Scanner Frequencies

Meet the Staff

2014 Schedule

Greg Biffle Gets Record-Setting Pole at Charlotte

by Pete McCole
Friday, October 12, 2012

Advertisement

Greg Biffle
Rhonda McCole/AR1.com
Greg Biffle turned in a record-setting lap on Thursday to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Coors Light Pole for Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Cool evening temperatures led to ideal track conditions for the late-evening qualifying session resulting in record speeds, as the top three qualifiers all topped the track record.

The “pucker factor” was in full effect Thursday night as Biffle skated his no. 16 Ford Fusion through turns three and four topping 200 mph, going on to post a lap of 193.708 mph to shatter the track record of 193.216 set by Elliott Sadler seven years ago.

Mark Martin qualified second with a lap of 193.361 mph for his 850th-career Sprint Cup start. Nine-time Charlotte pole winner and former record holder Ryan Newman was third with a lap of 193.251 mph. Clint Bowyer (193.043) and Jimmie Johnson (192.995) rounded out the top five.

Biffle’s pole-winning effort was the third of the season and 12th of his career, and his first at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he has yet to record a Sprint Cup victory.

“That obviously is the fastest I’ve been around this race track, fast as anybody has, and it was a nerve-racking lap,” said Biffle. “I just couldn’t believe the speeds I was seeing and I knew when I went to take off that 29-flat was the time to beat.  I knew that I struggled to run a 29.40, so I knew it was gonna be tough to do and I just dug deep.  I drove it off into turn one and the car stuck really, really well.  Three and four is where I’d been struggling and I just committed to myself that I had to drive it in there far enough and get back to the gas quick to be a factor and try to be at the top.”

A victory here would go a long way toward ending the season on a high note. With five races left in the Chase, Biffle’s championship hopes are all but over, coming into this weekends race ninth in points, 49 points behind series leader Brad Keselowski

“We’re certainly not gonna give up,” said Biffle. “We’re gonna try to win here Saturday night, try to win next week and that’s all we can do is be in control of our own destiny and try to win these races.  Is it too late for us to get back in the hunt?  Probably.”

Mark Martin notched his 12th top-10 start of the season in just his 20th start driving a partial schedule for Michael Waltrip Racing. In addition to marking his 850th start milestone, Martin will be making his 56th-career Charlotte Motor Speedway start on Saturday night, dating back to 1982.

“Well, all I can tell you is how grateful I am to strap into something like that,” Martin said. “Just like when I was a kid, my hands shake. Going down into Turn One everything was dragging and scraping, and I knew it was fast.

“This is a special time in my life to get to do this. We continue to up the ante with every single piece of these race cars. We continually optimize these things. Today, the cars drive so much better than the older cars. They just keep making more horsepower and going faster and faster. For me, it’s the same as it always was. The question in my mind is, ‘Do I have it?’ During the lap it is like when I was a kid. That may be one of the things I will miss the most when I am not doing this anymore.”

Chase contenders Martin Truex, Jr. and Matt Kenseth qualified sixth and seventh respectively, followed by Kyle Busch in eighth. Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne, both Chase contenders, rounded out the top ten.

Among the other championship drivers, Kevin Harvick was 11th, Jeff Gordon qualified 13th and series points leader Brad Keselowski will start 20th. Tony Stewart is the deepest Chase driver in the field, starting in the 32nd position.

Drivers who failed to make the field include Joe Nemechek, Josh Wise, Scott Riggs and Cole Whitt.

Lineup

POS CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR SPEED TIME BEHIND
1 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M / IDG 193.708 27.877 Leader
2 55 Mark Martin Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 193.361 27.927 -0.050
3 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Quicken Loans 193.251 27.943 -0.066
4 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-Hour Energy Benefiting Avon Foundation for Women 193.043 27.973 -0.096
5 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet MyLowe's 192.995 27.980 -0.103
6 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 192.919 27.991 -0.114
7 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Best Buy 192.885 27.996 -0.119
8 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M's 192.850 28.001 -0.124
9 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Ground 192.802 28.008 -0.131
10 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Time Warner Cable 192.644 28.031 -0.154
11 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Jimmy Johns 192.637 28.032 -0.155
12 20 Joey Logano Toyota The Home Depot 192.561 28.043 -0.166
13 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger 192.212 28.094 -0.217
14 22 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge Shell / Pennzoil 191.666 28.174 -0.297
15 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota Scott Products 191.605 28.183 -0.306
16 21 Trevor Bayne Ford Good Sam Club / Camping World 191.293 28.229 -0.352
17 43 Aric Almirola Ford Smithfield 191.286 28.230 -0.353
18 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford Stanley 191.279 28.231 -0.354
19 99 Carl Edwards Ford Kellogg's 191.245 28.236 -0.359
20 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 191.232 28.238 -0.361
21 78 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Furniture Row / Farm American 191.225 28.239 -0.362
22 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target / Kellogg's 190.691 28.318 -0.441
23 195 Scott Speed Ford B&D Electrical 190.691 28.318 -0.441
24 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Menards / Pittsburgh Paints 190.617 28.329 -0.452
25 34 David Ragan Ford Glory Foods 190.382 28.364 -0.487
26 88 Regan Smith Chevrolet AMP Energy / National Guard 190.181 28.394 -0.517
27 13 Casey Mears Ford GEICO 190.027 28.417 -0.540
28 119 Mike Bliss Toyota Plinker Tactical 190.027 28.417 -0.540
29 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford Best Buy 189.987 28.423 -0.546
30 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet McDonald's 189.867 28.441 -0.564
31 30 David Stremme Toyota Inception Motorsports 189.687 28.468 -0.591
32 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Mobil 1 / Office Depot 189.587 28.483 -0.606
33 98 Michael McDowell Ford K-Love / Curb Records 189.587 28.483 -0.606
34 10 David Reutimann Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing 189.520 28.493 -0.616
35 37 J.J. Yeley Ford MaxQworkforce.com 189.341 28.520 -0.643
36 38 David Gilliland Ford Glory Foods 189.255 28.533 -0.656
37 83 Landon Cassill Toyota Burger King / Dr Pepper 189.168 28.546 -0.669
38 51 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet Phoenix Construction 189.142 28.550 -0.673
39 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 188.469 28.652 -0.775
40 32 Timmy Hill Ford U.S. Chrome 188.225 28.689 -0.812
41 93 Travis Kvapil+ Toyota Burger King / Dr Pepper 186.735 28.918 -1.041
42 36 Dave Blaney+ Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing 186.322 28.982 -1.105
43 191 Reed Sorenson Toyota Aquaria USA 189.102 28.556 -0.679
DNQ 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota AM / FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves 188.937 28.581 -0.704
DNQ 26 Josh Wise* Ford MDS Transport 187.123 28.858 -0.981
DNQ 23 Scott Riggs Chevrolet North Texas Pipe 184.988 29.191 -1.314
DNQ 33 Cole Whitt Chevrolet Little Joes Autos.com 183.517 29.425 -1.548

+ Set by Owner Points

Feedback can be sent to feedback@autoracing1.com

Go to our forums to discuss this article