Greg Biffle has impeccable timing.
The NASCAR veteran hadn’t raced in any NASCAR series since 2016 before Kyle Busch asked him to drive his No. 51 Toyota for Friday’s SpeedyCash.com 400 at Texas Motor Speedway.
It just happened that there was a $50,000 bonus for the winner of the Gander Outdoors Truck Series race.
Biffle, who hasn’t raced full time in the Trucks series since 2001 and had made just one start in the last 18 years, won a 10-lap dash against Matt Crafton to give Kyle Busch Motorsports its sixth win in nine Trucks races this year.
“So many things went through my head about what to expect,” Biffle said. “First and foremost I didn’t want to make any mistakes. I didn’t want to run bad. First and foremost that was my worry. My anticipation was we’d be able to run in the top 5. I was hoping I could win. I certainly didn’t think it would be easy.”
It also opens up the possibility of Biffle, who last raced in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2016, of racing in the Trucks again next weekend in Iowa. While Biffle doesn’t have a ride for the race yet, a win there would earn him another $150,000 bonus.
Biffle said he hasn’t talked with Busch yet, but crew chief Rudy Fugle said he’s already received about 35 texts from Busch.
Biffle survived a record-setting 13 cautions and then won a 10-lap duel against veteran Matt Crafton for his first Truck Series win since 2001. That was the last time Biffle ran full-time in the Trucks and the Monster Energy NASCAR driver had raced just one time in the series in the last 18 years.
“I needed a few more,” said Crafton, who finished 0.953 seconds behind Biffle. It was the sixth top-10 finish in nine starts for Crafton this year.
Busch picked the right driver for his truck in Biffle. The win was his fourth at TMS, with the first coming in the Trucks in 2000. He also won twice in the Cup series.
“It feels really good to be able to come back and drive a really fast truck,” said Biffle, who led twice for 18 laps. “The second and third run I didn’t feel like I was figuring out how to get around these guys. I knew I had my work cut out to figure out how to get around these guys. They made it easy for me. The pit stops were phenomenal.”
Tyler Ankrum, who graduated from high school at the track before the race, finished third. Point leader Grant Enfinger finished fourth.
Biffle’s win came on a night when a dubious record fell. There were 13 cautions, three more than the previous mark. Many of the yellows came as results of incidents with race contenders.
Johnny Sauter, who has five TMS wins including last spring’s race, won the first stage but his chances at winning No. 6 came to an end early in Stage 2. After getting shuffled back during the pit stops after the stage, Austin Hill got loose inside Sauter and sent him into the wall in Turn 4.
That dropped Sauter – one of just three Gander Outdoor Truck Series regulars to win this year – out of contention as he finished 13th.
Polesitter Todd Gilliland’s bid for his first Trucks win also came to an end in Stage 2. Gilliand led 31 laps and got loose while running first. He hit the wall, ending the night for the No. 4 Toyota with a 27th-place finish.
Austin Hill also led 34 laps but pitted just before a caution came back and got shuffled a lap down. He ended up eighth.