Greg Biffle made a triumphant return to the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series on Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway and picked up the sixth win for the No. 51 team this season. After a 15-year hiatus from the series and three years away from NASCAR, the 49-year-old veteran driver picked up his 17th career win in the Gander Trucks. The 51 team posted the 11th, 12th and 16th-fastest times in three practices respectively on Thursday afternoon, and then Biffle qualified his Tundra in the sixth position in one round of single-vehicle qualifying.
After Biffle and crew chief Rudy Fugle fine tuned the No. 51 Tundra in practice, the veteran driver knocked the cobwebs out and began the race in the sixth position. After two hot and sticky afternoons, the track began to cool as the sun set, changing the handling conditions for the race vehicles. Biffle and Fugle made a gamble on fuel mileage in the final stage, and it paid off, earning them a trip to Victory Lane.
Stage One Recap:
- Qualifying for the event consisted of one round of single truck qualifying, and Biffle earned the sixth starting position.
- Early in the caution-filled first stage, Biffle reported that the handling on his Tundra was just a tick free.
- Under caution with 12 to go in the stage, crew chief Rudy Fugle opted to bring Biffle down pit road for four tires and fuel. The 51 Tundra restarted in 15th.
- At the stage conclusion, Biffle did not pit, and regained his track position.
Stage Two Recap:
- Biffle started the second stage in in the sixth position.
- The veteran driver continued to call for his Tundra to be tightened up as he navigated another four caution flags in the middle stage, while remaining in the top six.
- Fugle called him to pit road at the end of the stage for four tires and fuel.
Stage Three Recap:
- Biffle began the final stage in fifth, but was up to the second position by lap 91.
- During four late race restarts, Biffle used his years of experience to outduel the competition and save enough fuel to make it to the checkered flag.
- The driver of the No. 51 took the top spot on lap 104, then the caution flag flew five laps later.
- Fugle brought the No. 51 to pit road with 58 laps to go for four tires and fuel, then opted to gamble on fuel mileage until the end of the race.
- Biffle restarted in 10th with 55 laps to go, and methodically worked his way forward as other vehicles had to pit for fuel, with some opportune caution flags falling near the end of the event.
- After the final caution flag flew on lap 157, Biffle restarted in the lead and battled Matt Crafton to pick up his second Gander Trucks win at Texas Motor Speedway, the last coming on June 9, 2000, almost exactly 19 years ago.