Greg Biffle (pictured) and Brad Keselowski will try to rally from the back of the field in today’s Sprint Cup race from Auto Club Speedway.
Biffle and Keselowski, the current championship leader, qualified second and third respectively on Friday, but will be forced to abandon their starting positions due to engine changes before that session. However, both drivers are confident that they’ll be up front before long in today’s 400-mile event.
“I started at the back at Bristol,” Biffle said to NASCAR.com’s David Caraviello in reference to last week. “We started 29th, and in 60 laps, I was ninth under green. It was a heck of a run for us. Hopefully, we can do the same thing here. This race track has a lot more room and I wouldn’t say is easier to pass, but there is a lot more opportunity to pass than last week.”
“Certainly, we aren’t going to do it in a short amount of time…It will take probably 100 laps at a minimum, or maybe 50 to 75 laps to get our way up through the field.”
As for Keselowski, he’s also aiming to race to the point; when he was told of Biffle’s “100 laps” comment, he told the AP that he felt “like [he could] do it in 99.”
Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.
The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.
Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.
“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”
Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”
Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.
The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.