DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Greg Biffle did something Friday night he hadn’t done in four years. Biffle won the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Coke Zero 400 and will lead the field the green Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway. It was Biffle’s first pole since Charlotte in the fall of 2012.
“We knew the car had pretty good speed from our practice but we never made a mock qualifying run,” Biffle said. “It was a little bit of unknown and we thought the car had enough speed to be top-10 for sure. If you hit your shift marks perfect and not try to put too much wheel in it entering the corner and be as smooth as you can and not make any mistakes. It is a little uneventful at Daytona but a lot of pressure not to make any little mistakes. I made two decent laps and the car has a lot of speed. We are pretty happy.”
Biffle led both of the two rounds of qualifying putting down a lap of 192.955 miles per hour as the last of 12 drivers in the final round. The pole was the 13th of his career and his second at Daytona. Carl Edwards, former teammate to Biffle, had the pole after going out ninth but lost out to Biffle.
“It’s a great starting spot – congratulations to Greg (Biffle) and all those guys at Roush Fenway, I know they work hard on this program,” Edwards said. “They just got us. We would have loved to be on the pole, but starting up front will be great and hopefully we can stay up front. I need to get a win in that column, we have a big zero there from my career here at Daytona so I would like to get a win.”
Kyle Busch will roll off third. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver had the top spot halfway through the final round but settled for third. It was quite an accomplishment considering that his qualifying laps were the first his Toyota had turned on the track the entire day. Earlier the Sprint Cup series had their lone practice session due to rain on Thursday. With 10 minutes to go in Friday’s session, Busch lost a right rear tire and crashed his Toyota hard. The team was forced to prepare the backup, the same car Busch wheeled to his third place starting spot Friday evening.
“I felt pretty good with what we had right there so I feel like we’ve got a good basis,” Busch said. “As far as what kind of pack car or drafting car, yeah, it will take a little bit to kind of figure that out. But, the balance was fine, the drivability was fine, everything was good right now.”
Biffle’s Roush-Fenway Racing teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. also had a good qualifying session and will roll off fourth. Brad Keselowski in a Penske Racing Ford will start fifth.
Austin Dillon will start sixth, Matt Kenseth seventh, followed by Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin and Kurt Busch round out the top 10. Defending Coke Zero 400 race winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start 16th. The full lineup can be found here. The full qualifying results here. The only incident in the session came early in the first round when David Ragan had to shut his engine down after smelling oil. There was a short delay for track cleaning. Josh Wise was the only driver not to qualify. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway will be run Saturday night at7:30 p.m. ET with live coverage on NBC.