NASCAR »

Biffle takes pole at Darlington

Greg Biffle pushed aside a prospective all-Hendrick front row to claim pole position for himself in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.
Greg Biffle took pole position in qualifying at Darlington Raceway, his late-session run of 27.281s (180.257 mph).

That put the current Cup championship leader ahead of Hendrick Motorsport duo Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne on the grid, who have their sights set on delivering the team's landmark 200th Cup series win at the Southern 500 under the floodlights on Saturday.

Biffle has been on pole position at Darlington once before in May 2008, but he'll be hoping for very different luck to that occasion: after leading the race for 95 laps, he succumbed to engine trouble and finished in 43rd place. He'll be hoping it's much more like his two previous Darlington victories instead, in 2005 and 2009.

"This is what a race car driver looks forward to, showing up every weekend and having a really fast car to drive," said the polesitter. "The car just had a ton of grip. It stuck to the race track really, really well."

Biffle's pole lap was just over a tenth faster than the identical times set by Johnson and Kahne. Johnson gets the front row slot alongside Biffle, leaving Kahne to start on the second row alongside Ryan Newman.

"It was just a great lap," said Johnson of his own run. "We have been working hard on the car all day. It had a lot of comfort and speed in it.

"I'm proud of that lap [but] I felt like there was a little bit left in turns three and four that I didn't get down there," he added. "I knew I left a little time on the table down there, and Greg went out and found it."

"I think we definitely made some gains," said Kahne. "It was just a little bit slippery, sliding around a little bit. It was a lot better than where we were in practice. I think the guys did a nice job preparing a little better."

Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. start immediately behind them, with the rest of the top ten comprised of Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Regan Smith and Jeff Burton.

Aiming for her second Cup Series start, Danica Patrick qualified in 38th position with a lap of 28.021s (175.497mph), which would have been fast enough to allow her to qualify for the grid even if the car had not been pre-qualified on car owner points - and no small achievement.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader Greg Biffle with his Coors Light Pole Award decal for his #16 811/3M Ford on Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Following up three consecutive third-place finishes and no starts worse than ninth, Greg Biffle puts his No. 16 811/3M Ford on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole with a 15.324 second/125.215 lap on Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Ford, looks on during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, races to an eighth place finish with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS who finished in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, races to a fourth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 8, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 8, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet, leads Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 2, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, drives during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 1, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, signs the Coors Light Pole Award backdrop after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 1, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 1, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, races to his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career win with a victory lap and checkered flag, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory with a wave of the chequered flag Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 20, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.