Greg Biffle, NASCAR’s oldest active full-time driver, admits he has contemplated retirement.
The thought certainly was put on hold when Biffle, 46, won the pole Friday for Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 at the Daytona International Speedway.
Biffle completed the 2.5-mile oval at 192.955 mph during qualifying that determined the starting grid. Carl Edwards had the second-fastest speed and will join Biffle on the outside pole on the front row. Kyle Busch was third.
Driving a Ford for Roush Racing, Biffle has struggled for a while, long removed from a 2005 season in which he won six races.
The Coke Zero pole was his first in 130 races, dating to 2012, and just his second pole ever at the Daytona track.
Biffle hasn’t won a race in three years but hopes to change that.
“It does feel good for our team,” Biffle said. “Not only to win the pole, but the car is in race trim to line up for (Saturday night). This is a huge boost of confidence that our car has speed and we could be in position to win this thing.”
“They put the hard work in, they deserve it and I know how hard those guys work over there and I guess in a way, it’s cool to see them have success. You hate to get beat by anyone, but knowing those guys and knowing how much they work, it’s good to see them have this day.”
Biffle said he felt 45-year-old Tony Stewart’s win last weekend at Somona on his farewell tour was a good omen for him.
“I’m not superstitious, but I can’t help thinking about the stars lining up,” he said. “I said, ‘Sure would be nice if we could win down in Daytona Saturday.’ This would be a good place.”
Biffle said back in January that he was thinking about retiring.
“I think about it every year, every day, and every race,” he said. “I want to race forever, but I also realize I want to do other things in life, too. I want to watch my daughter grow up and pursue other things I want to do.”
Tifft expecting recovery
David Ragan won the pole for Friday night’s Firecracker 250 race — and it was a special win.
Ragan was subbing as a driver for Matt Tifft, 20, who will need surgery to remove a tumor in his brain.
The tumor, a slow-growing low-grade glioma, was discovered when Tifft was receiving treatment for a back injury. He was unable to drive in the Xfinity Series race at Iowa on June 19 and will be out indefinitely.
Tifft is expected to make a full recovery and hopefully return to racing once he is cleared by doctors.
King turns 79
NASCAR legend Richard Petty turns 79 Saturday at a familiar place.
“It’s just another year and I’m still here — that’s always a good thing,” he said. “We just keep going and don’t think too much about it.
“I can tell [it’s his birthday]; I’m always in Daytona and I always have my family around. We were racing back then and we’re still racing today. That’s my life so far.”
George Diaz contributed to this report.