News & Media

Biffle wins Charlotte pole with record-breaking lap

October 12, 2012, NASCAR Wire Service,

CONCORD, N.C. -- Greg Biffle was cackling with laughter when he crossed the finish line Thursday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and it wasn't just because he set a track record in qualifying for Sunday's Bank of America 500.

Biffle was enjoying the thrill of a pole-winning lap during which he said he scared himself more than once. Touring the 1.5-mile speedway in 27.877 seconds (193.708 mph), Biffle broke Elliott Sadler's Oct. 13, 2005, mark of 27.948 seconds (193.216 mph).

Bank of America 500

Lineup: Top Five plus Chasers
2.Mark MartinToyota
3.Ryan NewmanChevrolet
4.Clint BowyerToyota
5.Jimmie JohnsonChevrolet
6.Martin Truex Jr.Toyota
7.Matt KensethFord
9.Denny HamlinToyota
10.Kasey KahneChevrolet
11.Kevin HarvickChevrolet
13.Jeff GordonChevrolet
20.Brad KeselowskiDodge
32.Tony StewartChevrolet

The Coors Light pole award was Biffle's third of the season, his first at Charlotte and the 12th of his career. He edged Mark Martin (193.361 mph) and Ryan Newman (193.251 mph) for the top starting spot as all three drivers bettered the previous record.

* Video: Out Front with Miss Coors Light

"I was super excited about that lap because I drove it farther into Turn 1 than I thought would work," Biffle said. "It hooked the bottom and stuck, and it was incredible. ... When [crew chief Matt Puccia] told me the lap time --I was sitting in my motor home earlier watching the broadcast -- and I heard 'em say what the track record was.

"So I knew at that point it was a track record, so I was pretty excited about it. And I knew it was going to take a lot to beat it. These cars won't go much faster than that, it was a perfect lap, and I hit all my marks just right on the button."

Clint Bowyer (193.043 mph) qualified fourth, followed by five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson (192.995 mph). Martin Truex Jr., Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne will start the fifth race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup from positions six through 10, respectively.

Regan Smith, subbing for Dale Earnhardt Jr., qualified 26th in the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Earnhardt announced Thursday that he would be out of the car for at least two weeks because of a concussion.

* Earnhardt Jr. out with concussion | Caraviello: High price of silence

Currently ninth in the Chase standings, 49 points behind leader Brad Keselowski, Biffle said his pole run was the shot in the arm his team needed.

"Oh, man, it feels so good," Biffle said. "We've been working so hard, and we've kind of been down in the dumps a little bit because we haven't started out this Chase as strong as we've been all season. ... We've been to six race tracks in the last two weeks, between testing and everything we've been doing and racing.

"We got home last night from Texas, learned a little bit. It helped us here [Thursday night], I think."

Keselowski, who leads second-place Johnson by 14 points in the Chase standings, qualified 20th.

Martin was aware immediately that, on a cool night, his car had picked up speed from practice earlier in the day.

"I went down into Turn 1, and I was just going so fast," Martin said. "Everything was dragging, scraping, making noises, smoking, and I smelled rubber, so I said, 'Man, we are rolling.'"


• Greg Biffle earned his 12th Sprint Cup pole in his 361st start.
• Greg Biffle's last pole was in May at Darlington (19 starts between).
• It is Greg Biffle's third pole of 2012.
• Greg Biffle got his first pole at Charlotte in his 20th start; his previous best start there was third in October 2008.
• Greg Biffle is the 41st different driver to win a pole at Charlotte.
• Greg Biffle is the seventh different pole winner in the past seven Charlotte races.
• Greg Biffle's pole-winning time of 27.877 seconds (193.708 mph) set a new track record; the top-three qualifiers broke the previous record.
• Roush Fenway Racing got its 84th Sprint Cup pole and fifth pole of 2012.
• It is Roush Fenway Racing's third Charlotte pole in the series. The previous two were in 1991 by Mark Martin.
• Ford got its sixth pole of 2012 and 29th Sprint Cup pole.
• Mark Martin (second) earned his fifth front-row start of 2012 and eighth front-row start at Charlotte.
• Ryan Newman (third) got his 15th top-five start at Charlotte in his 24th start.
• Clint Bowyer (fourth) earned his best Charlotte start in his 14th race.
• Jimmie Johnson (fifth) has started in the top 10 in all but three of his 23 Charlotte starts.
• Kurt Busch qualified 21st in his first start with Furniture Row Racing.
• Regan Smith (26th) will race the No. 88 for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is out with a concussion.
• AJ Allmendinger (38th) will make his first NASCAR start since Kentucky (13 races between) in the No. 51 for Phoenix Racing after completing NASCAR's Road to Recovery program.

Joe Nemechek, Josh Wise, Scott Riggs and Cole Whitt failed to make the 43-car field.