On the official starting lineup sheet Ford drivers Greg Biffle and Brad Keselowski will start second and third respectfully today. In reality, both drivers will start shotgun on the field after both changed engines Friday.
Biffle’s engine change happened during practice, relegating him to only eight laps on the track before qualifying. Keselowski’s change happened right before qualifying, which actually delayed his attempt to later in the qualifying session. Going later didn’t hurt anything and he saw no loss in power with the backup engine.
Does Biffle have a plan for getting through the field once the green flag flies?
“Same way I did at Bristol. This ought to be a lot easier. I started at the back at Bristol – we started 29th and in 60 laps I was 9th under green. It was a heck of a run for us. Hopefully we can do the same thing here. This race track has a lot more room and I wouldn’t say is easier to pass but there is a lot more opportunity to pass than last week. Certainly we aren’t going to do it in a short amount of time. Definitely it will take probably 100 laps at a minimum or maybe 50-75 laps to get our way up through the field. Hopefully we can. Maybe some pit strategy too. We will see what we can come up with,” said Biffle Friday after qualifying.
Keselowski was equally as optimistic that coming up through the field should not be an issue for him as well.
“The car is extremely fast and I am ready to get going. I am a little nervous about the engine issues the 16 and 2 cars both had in practice and hopefully those will subside for the race and we are both going to start in the back,” said Keselowski after his qualifying run.
It might be concerning to Ford Racing fans that the problem might be the same for both engines. If that’s the case then there are more drivers who might be concerned.
“I don’t have all the details. They are actually taking the engine apart now. They were going to do it after qualifying. I wish they would have done it right away but maybe I will sleep better tonight finding out what it is. We feel like the issues could be common between the 2 car and my car. I think they are thinking it is the same issue and something mechanical, something parts wise inside the engine at the bottom of the engine I think. I will know and we will know here after we take it apart but right now we are sort of guessing,” commented Biffle.
No other drivers experienced any issues with the two practice sessions Saturday, so we’ll see Sunday if the comeback. It will be exciting to watch these two fast drivers work their way through the field. Biffle thinks he can do it in 100 laps, Keselowski chimed in that he can do it in 99. We’ll see a little later on today who was right.