There will be plenty of fresh faces at Texas Motor Speedway Friday night competing in the SpeedyCash.com 400 Gander Outdoor Truck Series race.
And then there will be a face NASCAR fans are familiar with, just one they haven’t seen in a while.
Greg Biffle, who hasn’t raced in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series since 2016 or raced in the Trucks since 2004, will be piloting the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota in the race.
The 49-year-old Biffle’s return to NASCAR is for this race only, as of now. But it’ll be interesting to see if it leads to anything else.
“I don’t know exactly what I want to do,” said Biffle. “I think I’m using this as an opportunity to get back in the seat. It worked out with Kyle’s schedule for him for this event. Certainly all options are open for me. I said earlier, I doubt I’d do anything full time in the Xfinity or Trucks series, although in the right circumstances I’d consider returning for a year or two. I never ruled out the opportunity to come back to the Cup level for a good team in the right opportunity.”
He couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity in the Trucks than driving the No. 51 Toyota. The truck has won five of the eight races this year, with Busch behind the wheel for all five of the wins.
Now it will be up to Biffle to continue the hot streak, which isn’t out of the question considering Biffle has won 19 times in the Cup Series, won an Xfinity Series title and a title in the Trucks.
But that truck title came a long time ago, and Biffle knows that. He hasn’t raced in the Trucks at TMS since 2000, which was the year he won his title.
Biffle knows a lot has changed since then.
“To be perfectly honest I don’t remember what they drove like in 2004,” said Biffle, who made one Trucks start in 2004. “It felt more like what I’m used to driving, which is a Cup car. The thing I haven’t had a chance to do is get back in traffic and a restart, those kinds of things. Aero wise, these things will get sucked around relatively easy, that part I haven’t had a chance to really experience.”
Biffle did get to scuff some of the tires on the truck at TMS in March. But his practice time Thursday marked the first time he’s had a chance to be on the track with other trucks.
While there are no guarantees how things will go Friday night when Biffle gets racing, his name automatically raises the stakes on a race weekend in which the NTT IndyCar Series normally has the spotlight.
“Biffle is back and not only is he back, but he’s in a Kyle Busch Motorsports truck,” said TMS president Eddie Gossage. “So he’s got a truck capable of winning, and we’re going to see how much rust he has on him, but to me that’s big news. Biffle is a former truck series champion, he actually clinched the championship here in Texas the season he won. We’ll see, but logic would tell you that Biffle should go to the front and run there all night long. But he’s been out of a truck, and out of racing, for two or three years now, so we’ll have to see how rusty he is. But that’s going to be fun to watch.”
Biffle should be comfortable at the track. Over the three series he’s run at TMS, he’s finished in the top 10 21 times.
That gives him a comfort level heading into Friday’s race.
“I’m really excited to get the opportunity to get back in NASCAR,” he said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve driven the truck. Texas is a great fit for me and that was one of the deciding factors. It’s a track I like, a city I like. I’ve had success. I was looking forward to coming back to Texas.”