Greg Biffle didn’t anticipate having to pit with 10 laps to go in the May 1, 2004 Busch (Xfinity) Series race at Auto Club Speedway, but he did so while running second to his Roush Fenway Racing teammate, Matt Kenseth.
“I saw the fuel pressure jump around a bit,” Biffle said according to The Associated Press. “The last two Busch Series races here, I could have won, but I ran out of gas or had to pit for gas and nobody else did. It was a flashback.”
The potential fuel pressure issue piled on to problems his No. 60 team had during the 150-lap race.
The team had to add 3 1/2 quarts of oil to the car throughout the event due to a mystery oil pressure problem.
Then with 50 laps to go, Biffle’s cooling system malfunctioned. The race was being held in 90-degree heat.
“It was like somebody flipped a switch and I had a hair dryer in my face,” Biffle said.
Biffle executed a fast pit stop on Lap 140 for his splash of gas, but returned to the track in eighth place, nearly a lap behind Kenesth.
But over the next few laps every driver in front of him had to pit for fuel.
“That explains it, I didn’t know how I got so far ahead of those guys,” Biffle said.
Biffle took the lead with three laps to go and cruised to the checkered flag for his second win of the year.
Also on this date:
1955: Buck Baker won a 133-lap race at the Charlotte Speedway dirt track. During the race, Herb Thomas was in a violent wreck on Lap 41 that saw him thrown from his car, according to “Forty Years of Stock Car Racing: The Beginning.” Thomas was taken to the hospital with a fractured leg, bruises, a concussion, a lacerated arm and shoulder injuries.
1964: LeeRoy Yarbrough capitalized on Jimmy Pardue’s mechanical failures to claim his first of 14 career Grand National wins in a race at Savannah (Georgia) Speedway.
1983: Richard Petty edged Benny Parsons by a couple of car lengths to win at Talladega for his 197th Cup Series win. Phil Parsons, making his second career start, was involved in a horrific 11-car crash on Lap 71 where he flipped multiple times in Turns 1-2, including landing on the back of Ricky Rudd’s car. After being pulled from his car by photographers located near the crash, Parsons was taken to the hospital with a broken shoulder blade.
1988: Five years after his violent wreck, Phil Parsons led 52 of 188 laps to score his only career Cup Series win out of 203 starts.
1993: Ward Burton led twice for 259 of 300 laps to win a Xfinity Series race at Orange County (N.C.) Speedway.