Waiting on a Monday race and wondering what to make of Greg
Biffle’s win in the Truck Series race at Texas on Friday night …
Obviously, Biffle hasn’t forgotten how to win races – no
surprise there since he has won multiple races across all three NASCAR national
series and championships in Xfinity and Truck series.
When he stepped away from full-time NASCAR competition at
the end of the 2016 season, Biffle had won 19 times in the Cup series, 20 times
in the Xfinity Series and 16 times in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series. The
championships came in 2000 in Truck and ’02 in Xfinity.
The idea that the Vancouver, Wash., native could become the
first driver to win championships in all three series was not farfetched but it
Biffle is now 49 and if you’ve followed NASCAR for any
length of time you ought to know that age isn’t a factor when it comes to
It had been more than two years since his last NASCAR start,
though, and that probably said more than the fact he’s nearly 50. It would have
come as no surprise had he appeared a bit rusty behind the wheel.
Still, he won Friday’s SpeedyCash.com 400 at Texas Motor
Speedway and winning any race is no easy feat. It was a race of attrition and a
race of survival and Biffle wasn’t dominant but in a race that featured 13
cautions, dominance wasn’t required.
As good as Biffle remains, however, Friday night’s victory
would seem to say more about the KBM equipment at his disposal. Kyle Busch
Motorsports puts together winning trucks. The organization has extremely
capable talent beyond those folks sitting in the driver’s seat.
Biffle is the 11th different driver to win for
KBM since 2010 – all but Christopher Bell and Noah Gragson are currently
competing or have competed at the Cup level.
Busch himself won five times in five starts this year with
the same team but is it farfetched for the owner/driver to expect similar
results from drivers with far less experience? And we’re no longer talking
about Biffle here.
Busch is Busch and Todd Gilliland is not. And Harrison Burton is not. Gilliland and Burton drive for KBM. Gilliland is 19 and Burton is 18 and together they’ve made fewer than 60 starts in the series.
Busch has nearly as many wins (56).
Busch has previously indicated that drivers in his trucks
are expected to contend and to win.
Days before the Texas stop, KBM announced crew chief moves
that included putting Wes Ward in charge of the No. 4 truck driven by Gilliland
Gilliland, Friday night’s pole winner, led 31 laps but wound
up 27th after getting into the wall. He has one top-five and four
top-10 finishes this year and is ninth in points.
Burton finished fifth; it was his third top five and fifth
top 10. He’s eighth in points.
It’s difficult to judge a driver’s ability when competing in average equipment. But that’s not the case here.
Maybe those are unrealistic expectations for anyone else but
not for Busch.
And Biffle’s quick success no doubt only strengthened the
team owner’s contention.