What to make of Biffle’s Texas victory

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 didn’t happen.

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 competitiveness.

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 at Texas.

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.

2 Replies to “What to make of Biffle’s Texas victory”

  1. Some times a driver just needs to go jel or at least try to with another team. This I do believe is the case with Gilliland and Burton. Other people can sit between the seat and the steering wheel and have success in a KBM truck. It may be that time for Kyle to pink slip some drivers.

    1. I wonder how much time is enough time? Not as if these guys are crashing every week. An owner has to realize no matter how good the equipment is, success takes time. Still, younger drivers know the expectations going in.

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