Greg Biffle Sets New Track Record at 193.708, Wins Bank of America 500 Pole
Greg Biffle set a new Charlotte Motor Speedway record en route to his 12th career pole position during Thursday’s Bojangles’ Pole Night. Biffle sped around the 1.5-mile superspeedway in 27.877 seconds (193.708 mph) to earn the top starting spot for Saturday night’s Bank of America 500, the only night race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
“That obviously is the fastest I’ve been around this race track,” said Biffle, “the fastest anybody has. It was a nerve-wracking lap. I just couldn’t believe the speeds I was seeing.”
Mark Martin will start second after turning a lap in 27.927 seconds (193.361 mph), and Ryan Newman will start third. Both also bested the previous track record of 193.216 mph, set by Elliott Sadler in 2005.
“I knew it was flying, because when I went down in [turn] one, it was dragging and screaming and smoking … just doin’ it,” Martin said. “Man, I am so lucky. I just can’t believe that I get to drive something like this. It’s incredible.”
BOJANGLES’ POLE NIGHT QUOTES
Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M/IDG Ford, Pole winner) – “It feels so good. We’ve been working so hard. We’ve been down in the dumps a little bit because we haven’t started this Chase as good as we should have. I’m just excited for [Saturday] night. The track’s really fast, got a lot of grip. (And you got the track record.) I almost forgot about that! I was watching TV on the bus earlier and heard them talking about the track record, and I thought, ‘Nobody will get there tonight.’ I certainly didn’t think it would be me! That obviously is the fastest I’ve been around this race track – the fastest anybody has. It was a nerve-wracking lap. I just couldn’t believe the speeds I was seeing. I knew a 29.0 was the time to beat, and I knew I struggled to run a 29.40. 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’ve been struggling, and I just committed myself. You know I had to drive it in hard and get back on the gas super quick to try to be a factor and try to be at the top. The car was really, really good. I owe a lot to the guys working on this car to be able to put down a lap like that. (Describe what that lap felt like.) We’ve been at five race tracks in the last two weeks trying to catch up. We started this Chase a little bit behind for some reason. We’ve worked really, really hard. I was super excited about that lap because I drove it off into Turn One further than I thought was gonna work, and the car hooked the bottom and stuck, and it was incredible. And I thought, ‘If I can make that work in three and four, this is gonna be something of a lap.’ These cars won’t go much faster than that. That was a perfect lap.”
Mark Martin (No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota, second fastest) – “Well, all I can tell you is how grateful I am to strap into something like that. 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.”
Ryan Newman (No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet, third fastest) – “I’m really mostly just proud of the guys. They made the right adjustments on the race car to move us up to third. Good start for the race obviously and a good start for the weekend. (Why was it a track record night? And are you morally opposed to the 50th pole?) I waited 70-some races for my next win, and it was the 50th running of the Daytona 500, so I guess I’m waiting for something special I don’t know about yet. But it was so fast; the track was fast. I think a part of it is obviously we made adjustments on the race car, but the track itself never really got hot. This track is so temperature sensitive. I think when we were practicing today it was 91-92 or something like that, which is not very hot for asphalt. So the track didn’t have to cool off much to pick up the grip.”