By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Correspondent
For the first time in 15 years, Greg Biffle will compete in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.
The 2000 Series Champion will step behind the wheel of the No. 51 Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports. In eight races, the truck as visited victory lane five times, all with team owner Kyle Busch behind the wheel.
Biffle last competed in NASCAR in the 2016 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Although he never officially retired, the veteran driver often said he was waiting for the right opportunity to step back strap back into the seat.
“I always said it was the right opportunity to come back into NASCAR,” Biffle explained. “I’ve been talking to Kyle since I got out of the Cup car about maybe running some races, and he had a need for this particular Truck [Series] race and the 51 didn’t have a driver and we talked over a sand dune trip and decided that I’d come run this one race for him.”
Earlier this season, at Texas Motor Speedway, Biffle climbed behind the wheel of Busch’s Toyota Tundra for 12 practice laps in preparation for the SpeedyCash.com 400.
“That was my biggest question when we decided to do it,” Biffle admitted. “I asked if there was any chance I could get a few laps in at the spring [March] Texas race, just to see what these things feel like, get an idea of the new configuration of the race track.
“I was able to make about 12 laps, just get a rough idea of what the truck drove like, what it felt like. That will help me going out for practice one, just to have an idea of what the track and the truck will feel like.”
The last time that Biffle competed in the Truck Series was the 2004 season finale at Homestead in the No. 44 Ford Racing Ford F-150 for Tom Mitchell. He started 24th and finished eighth that day. The last time he competed full-time in the series was his Championship winning season in 2000.
Biffle explained the difference between how the trucks drive now compared to the last time he competed in the series.
“The difference between when I drove the truck and when I drove in [March], quite a bit of difference, obviously. But what it reminded me of, it reminded me more of what I’ve been doing over the last 10 years in the Cup car.
“The truck felt really similar to that, obviously I was by myself, I wasn’t around other trucks, but it kind of gave me that impression of bump-stops and similar to what the Cup car is. Granted, the aero is a lot different and around traffic it will be a tremendous amount different, but I felt pretty good.”
In 81 Truck Series starts, Biffle has 16 victories, 42 top-five and 54 top-10 finishes. The 49-year-old also has 12 pole positions in the series.
After Biffle won the Truck Series Championship in 2000, he advanced to the Xfinity Series where he won the 2002 Championship. In 2003 he became just the sixth driver to have a win in all three of NASCAR’s National Series, a list that now includes 31 drivers.