clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2012 Daytona 500 Results: Why Didn't Greg Biffle Try To Make A Move?

New, comments

When a driver has a chance to taste victory in the Daytona 500, you expect they will stop at nothing in an effort to find a way to win.

However, that didn't appear to be the case in the 54th edition of the Daytona 500.

Instead, for much of the last two laps, Greg Biffle gave the appearance of a driver who was very much content finishing second and running interference for his Roush Fenway Racing teammate Matt Kenseth.

Even when he had momentum and Dale Earnhardt Jr. behind him to propel him into the lead, Biffle seemingly chose not to make an attempt to pass the race leader.

But when asked about his indecision and hesitation after the race, Biffle was adamant that wasn't the case.

"Once (Earnhardt Jr.) got against my bumper, I made sure he stayed against it around the corner," Biffle said. "I was about three‑quarter throttle or something and once we got straight, I pushed the gas down, I thought that we'd drive up on the back of the 17 without a problem.

"It must have just pushed enough air out in front of my car that it pushed the 17 car out about five, six feet in front of me, and I couldn't get any closer. I thought, 'Well, I need to get out from behind him because then we'll be able to go by him.' So on the backstretch I moved up a little bit, and Matt is not stupid; we had no run at him. We were all going the same speed.

"So when I moved over, Matt just moved over real easy, and Junior is against my back bumper, so I'm trying not to wreck because he's shoving on me and I'm doing this down the back, and I'm like, 'I'm not going to be able to get a run at him.'"

This is the Daytona 500 after all – a race every driver dreams of winning and a race Biffle has yet to win. And if he had everything to do over again, there is no doubt he would do things differently.

"Probably the only thing I could have done is got real straight down the backstretch and pushed the brake pedal down pretty hard," he said, "and kept going straight and slowed both of our cars down a fair amount and then let (Earnhardt Jr.) make a run at Matt around 3 and 4.

"Then, we could have moved up beside him coming off the corner, and then Junior and I would have had to dice it out to the line."

Earnhardt Jr. himself, who passed Biffle for second just before the start/finish line, had no issue with how Biffle raced him and believed each driver was worried about his own team.

"I don't think that he was worried about me," Earnhardt Jr. said. "This is the Daytona 500, and I don't know what it pays, but it's a lot of money.

"I'm pretty sure that if I know Greg, if he had an opportunity to get around Matt and had a chance to win the Daytona 500, he would have took it immediately. He's trying to do what he could do. If I were him, I can't imagine what his game plan was in his head. But if I were him, I would have tried to let me push him by and then pull down in front of Matt, and force Matt to be my pusher and then leave the 88 for the dogs.

"But that didn't work out."