Biffle climbs back in the saddle at Texas truck race

Biffle climbs back in the saddle at Texas truck race
Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images

FORT WORTH, Texas—Greg Biffle has been waiting for the right ride to come along. 
He found it with Kyle Busch Motorsports. 
The 2000 NASCAR truck champion will pilot the No. 51 Tundra in the June 7 Gander Outdoors Trucks Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. 
“We were sitting around shooting the bull, playing around in the desert together when I first steeped away in ’16,” Biffle recounted. “Kyle said I should come and run for a championship. It wasn’t what I wanted to do at that moment. 
“But when they started to get their (2019) lineup together, they didn’t have anybody to run this Texas race.”
Another discussion in the desert between Las Vegas and Phoenix during the West Coast swing, piqued Biffle’s curiosity. Sure, there had been offers to race—in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, Xfinity and truck series. But the 49-year-old racer wanted a competitive ride. 
Considering that Busch has won in his last three truck starts, it was an offer Biffle couldn’t refuse. 
“I wanted to wait for just the right opportunity,” Biffle said. “I’ve had tons and tons of offers from  trucks to Xfinity and Cup. But I want to be competitive. 
“There’s a lot of caution though. It’s only been 19 years since I’ve been in a truck. And this one has been pretty successful.”
Biffle returns to Texas Motor Speedway on Thursday, where he looks to practice the No. 51 Tundra. The last time Biffle ran a truck on the 1.5-mile track was in 2000. He won from the pole in the spring truck race at Texas that year. Biffle also has two Cup wins in the Lone Star State.
His success at the track made Biffle the ideal candidate for KBM.
“We are fortunate to be putting a driver of Greg's caliber behind the wheel," Kyle Busch said. "I've been friends with Greg for a long time and we've always joked about how it would be cool for him to drive trucks again. When this opportunity came about the talks got serious and we both decided it was smart decision. 
"Not only is he capable of stepping right in and getting another win for the No. 51 team as we work towards the Owner's Championship, he will also be an experienced teammate for Harrison (Burton) and Todd (Gilliland) to lean on that weekend as they try to secure a spot in the playoffs and pursue another Truck Series Driver's Championship for our organization. 
“Once we worked things out with Greg to race for us in the June event, we made a last-minute decision for him to get in the truck and make some laps in practice today and began working on getting all of the proper approvals and paperwork completed so that he is able to do so."
Biffle raced for three full seasons in trucks and won 16 races and 12 poles in 81 starts. He had a remarkable career-average qualifying effort of 7.4 and an average finish of 9.1.
When he moved to what is now the Xfinity tour in 2001, Biffle won five races his first season and four events the following year when he won the title. In three full years on the circuit, Biffle’s worst result was fourth in the standings his rookie year. 
Biffle graduated to the Cup tour in 2003. He was the first driver with the opportunity to capture the triple crown—titles in NASCAR top three tours. In 2005, despite winning six races—and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway—Biffle fell 35 points short of Tony Stewart.
“That 2005 season still haunts me,” Biffle said. “I can’t go to bed without thinking about it. That one loose wheel—at the fall race in Texas— we just couldn’t recover from it. I had to pit under green because the wheel was loose, and we never recovered.”

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