By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
In a compelling development, Kyle Busch Motorsports announced Thursday that 2000 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series champion Greg Biffle will make his first series start since Homestead in 2004, driving the No. 51 Toyota Tundra at Texas Motor Speedway June 7.
Biffle was given the nod to run Busch’s truck in one of the practice sessions Thursday, in an attempt to get him back in the NASCAR swing of things after not competing in the sport since the 2016 Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead.
At 49 years old, Biffle has had success across all three national series, beginning in Trucks where he still holds the record for most wins in a season with nine in 1999. He stated that he’s always wanted to make a comeback in the sport and by making his return at the track he clinched his Truck Series title, now it was the right opportunity.
“I’ve always said that I would return to NASCAR in the right situation and when Kyle and I started talking about that KBM needed a driver for the June Texas race I felt like this was the right opportunity to return to the track and I’m thankful for the opportunity to be able to drive such good equipment,” said Biffle. “I started my career in the Truck Series and it was one of the greatest times of my life, so it’s going to be a lot of fun to get back behind the wheel of a truck.”
Owner and one of the drivers of the No. 51 truck, Busch said that he and Biffle have joked around about possibly running trucks once again, and when Texas, a track Biffle has won three times (two in Cup and one in Trucks), was one of the remaining races left to fill a driver, it was an easy decision.
“As we were putting the finishing touches on our driver lineup for this year, we found ourselves looking for someone to drive the No. 51 Tundra in the June race and we are fortunate to be putting a driver of Greg’s caliber behind the wheel,” said Busch. “I’ve been friends with Greg for a long time and we’ve always joked about how it would be cool for him to drive trucks again. When this opportunity came about the talks got serious and we both decided it was smart decision.”
As it pertains to the big picture, Busch added that having Biffle will not only benefit the entry, which has a 41 point lead over Niece Motorsports’ No. 45 truck (driven by Ross Chastain) in the Truck Series Owner’s Championship, but give full-time KBM drivers Harrison Burton and Todd Gilliland a veteran driver to depend on in both the practices this weekend and the June race.
“Not only is he capable of stepping right in and getting another win for the No. 51 team as we work towards the Owner’s Championship, he will also be an experienced teammate for Harrison and Todd to lean on that weekend as they try to secure a spot in the playoffs and pursue another Truck Series Driver’s Championship for our organization,” said Busch. “Once we worked things out with Greg to race for us in the June event, we made a last-minute decision for him to get in the truck and make some laps in practice today and began working on getting all of the proper approvals and paperwork completed so that he is able to do so.”
Busch already has three wins in as many races in the No. 51 truck, including last Saturday at Martinsville, which marked his 201st national series victory and the 54th of his career.
In 81 Truck Series starts, Biffle has 16 wins, 12 poles, 42 top-fives and 54 top-10 finishes.