KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Out of the Chase for the Championship field for the first time since 2007, Greg Biffle figures there’s one way to stay in the limelight – get to Victory Lane.
A two-time winner at Kansas Speedway, Biffle took the first step towards that goal on Friday when he earned the pole for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400.
Biffle clocked a lap of 30.877 seconds on the 1.5-mile track at a speed of 174.887 miles per hour to edge Roush Fenway teammate and Chase contender Carl Edwards (30.993, 174.571) for the pole.
“There’s one thing you can do when you don’t make the Chase and that’s win races,” said Biffle, who won last October at Kansas. “They’re not going to talk about you if you finish second, third, fourth or fifth, but if you win they’re forced to talk about you when you’re not in the Chase.
“We know that we need to do that, we know we need to win races and we’re capable of winning races. We’ve proven it time and time again and we’re certainly capable at this level and at these mile-and-a half type of race tracks.”
Kyle Busch (30.955, 174.447) and Matt Kenseth (30.957, 174.436), who are both in the Chase, will start third and fourth on Sunday while non-Chaser Kasey Kahne (30.961, 174.413) will start fifth. Kenseth also drives for Roush Fenway, giving the organization three drivers in the top four.
Friday’s pole was the eighth of Biffle’s career and his second of 2011.
It is first pole at Kansas with his previous best start a fifth last October.
“I have to talk about how slow we were when we unloaded today and the job the team did to get in a position to be sitting here,” Biffle said.
“We were 35th or so when we unloaded the car. That says so much about this team that we started there and ended up here on the pole.
“We didn’t lose our patience, focus or confidence. We kept making changes and working with the car and we went from there to being the fastest car.”
Edwards, a Columbia, Mo. native, is trying to win his first Sprint Cup race at Kansas.