Instead of ‘The Biff,’ maybe Greg Biffle should be called ‘The Sand Man’ (VIDEO)

Leave a comment

Even though he grew up in Vancouver, Wash., right across the Columbia River from Portland, Ore., Greg Biffle must have been a beachcomber in another life.

How else do you explain Biffle’s never-ending love of racing in sand? Whenever there’s some dunes to fly over or do wheelies on, Biffle will find them.

In Episode 2 of the new Roush Fenway Racing produced “Race Around America” online series, before he leaves Phoenix entirely, Biffle does some road-course racing with Jack Roush Jr. (yes, Jack’s son), and then heads north to the next Sprint Cup race the following week at Las Vegas.

But in-between the Valley of the Sun and Sin City, Biffle takes a detour to do some diggin’ in ‘da sand, man, at the Imperial Sand Dunes in Glamis, Calif.

Biffle’s play in the multi-acre sandbox is part of the second of eight eventual episodes on the web-only series that features him and fellow RFR drivers Trevor Bayne, Ryan Reed and Chris Buescher as they, well, as the title says, “Race Around America.”

“We had a lot of fun,” Biffle said. “I was lucky to get the Phoenix to Vegas leg. I love going to the sand dunes. We had a really good time for a couple of days before heading to Vegas.”

The third webisode, which should be out in a couple more weeks, will feature Buescher, as he takes the “Race Around America” Mustang from his home state of Texas to the historic Darlington Raceway.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
Leave a comment

As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”