Biffle Wins Daytona Pole for Coke Zero 400

Greg Biffle
Greg Biffle

In the second and final round of knockout qualifying, Biffle toured the 2.5-mile restrictor-plate track in 46.643 seconds (192.955 mph) to wrestle the Coors Light Pole Award from former RFR teammate Carl Edwards (192.748 mph) by 0.050 seconds.

The pole was Biffle’s second at a plate track, the first coming when he led the field to green in the 2004 Daytona 500, not quite eight months after Biffle won the only plate race of his career — the 2003 Coke Zero 400. Both were career-firsts for the Biff.

All told, Biffle has won 13 poles in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, but Friday’s was particularly significant because of the boost it give his organization, which has been struggling for the past few years to find speed in the wake of the departure of veterans Matt Kenseth and Edwards to Joe Gibbs Racing.

"It is a huge confidence-builder, and coming out of here with a good finish, that’s a lot of momentum for the team," Biffle said. "Qualifying on the pole, getting a good run and moving on to the next race — we need that.

"We need those good finishes and momentum and encouragement. Winning the pole is all smiles on those guys pushing the car up there and getting the pictures. They’re pumped right now. We’ll be ready to go tomorrow night."

In a backup car with no practice laps because of a wreck in Saturday morning’s practice, Kyle Busch (192.336 mph) qualified third. Biffle’s teammate, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (192.320 mph), earned the fourth starting spot, followed by Brad Keselowski (192.254 mph) and Austin Dillon (192.254 mph), who lost the fifth spot to Keselowski on an owner points tiebreaker.

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]Defending race winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. failed to make the top 12 and will start 16th. Jimmie Johnson (eighth) was the only Hendrick Motorsports driver to advance to the second round, just as Kurt Busch (10th) was the only Stewart-Haas Racing entry to do so.

Earnhardt, however, wasn’t particularly concerned about his starting position.

"I think we’ll be good," he said. "We worked on our car to try and help it drive better. That might take some straight-line speed out of it, but it’s going to hopefully help us be able to make moves we need to make in the race.

"It's going to be slick in the race, and handling is going to be real important. I'm more concerned really with the car driving good. Might not be the fastest car out there, (but) that's not the car that is going to win the race. I think (that’s going to be) the guy that's got the best handling package. This place is going to be pretty slick."

Biffle was fastest in both rounds of qualifying, pacing the first session at 192.629 mph.

"After that first session, I knew we had to be worried about (Greg)," Edwards said. "We ran a really good lap in the second session, but those guys were fast. They put the hard work in, they deserve it and I know how hard those guys work over there.

"And I guess in a way, it’s cool to see them have success. You hate to get beat by anyone, but knowing those guys and knowing how much they work, it’s good to see them have this day."

Lineup

Pos # Driver Manufacturer Sponsor Speed Time Behind
1 16 Greg Biffle Ford Ford EcoBoost Ford Fusion 192.955 46.643 Leader
2 19 Carl Edwards Toyota Subway 192.748 46.693 –0.050
3 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Interstate Batteries 192.336 46.793 –0.150
4 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Ford Fifth Third Bank Ford Fusion 192.320 46.797 –0.154
5 2 Brad Keselowski Ford Detroit Genuine Parts 192.254 46.813 –0.170
6 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / NRA Museum 192.254 46.813 –0.170
7 20 Matt Kenseth Toyota DeWalt 192.234 46.818 –0.175
8 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's Patriotic 192.160 46.836 –0.193
9 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx 191.975 46.881 –0.238
10 41 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Monster Energy / Haas Automation Chevrolet SS 191.865 46.908 –0.265
11 22 Joey Logano Ford Shell Pennzoil 191.400 47.022 –0.379
12 21 Ryan Blaney Ford Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire + Auto Center 191.253 47.058 –0.415
13 6 Trevor Bayne Ford Advocare Ford Fusion 191.192 47.073 –0.430
14 43 Aric Almirola Ford Smithfield 191.115 47.092 –0.449
15 78 Martin Truex Jr Toyota Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats 191.103 47.095 –0.452
16 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet Nationwide 191.071 47.103 –0.460
17 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet Target 190.933 47.137 –0.494
18 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Great Clips 190.783 47.174 –0.531
19 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS 190.670 47.202 –0.559
20 13 Casey Mears Chevrolet GEICO Military 190.476 47.250 –0.607
21 4 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Busch Beer Chevrolet SS 190.444 47.258 –0.615
22 10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet SS 190.440 47.259 –0.616
23 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Florida Lottery 190.375 47.275 –0.632
24 24 Chase Elliott Chevrolet SunEnergy1. 190.359 47.279 –0.636
25 34 Chris Buescher Ford Love’s Travel Stops 190.275 47.300 –0.657
26 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet Kroger / Drumstick / Outshine 189.877 47.399 –0.756
27 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Duracell / Menards 189.693 47.445 –0.802
28 35 David Gilliland Ford Shaw's Southern Belle Frozen Food 189.470 47.501 –0.858
29 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet Credit One 189.211 47.566 –0.923
30 44 Brian Scott Ford Albertsons Co. / Shore Lodge 188.964 47.628 –0.985
31 15 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet AccuDoc Solutions 188.727 47.688 –1.045
32 32 Bobby Labonte Ford TBD 188.391 47.773 –1.130
33 46 Michael Annett Chevrolet Pilot Flying J 188.344 47.785 –1.142
34 38 Landon Cassill Ford Taco Bell 188.249 47.809 –1.166
35 98 Cole Whitt Toyota RTIC Coolers Toyota 187.629 47.967 –1.324
36 83 Matt DiBenedetto Toyota Dustless Blasting 187.563 47.984 –1.341
37 95 Michael McDowell Chevrolet KLOVE Radio Chevy SS 187.480 48.005 –1.362
38 23 David Ragan Toyota Shriner’s Hospital 187.426 48.019 –1.376
39 55 Reed Sorenson Toyota RoyalTeakCollection.com Toyota 187.025 48.122 –1.479
40 7 Regan Smith Chevrolet Golden Corral Chevrolet 0.000 0.000 -46.643

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