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Biffle Says It’s Time To Tend To The Roots

Jeff Hood | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, February 27 2010
Greg Biffle thinks better times are just weeks away for him and his Roush Fenway team. (RacinToday file photo by Tony Bush)

Greg Biffle thinks it's time to give back to short-track racing. (RacinToday file photo by Tony Bush)

Las Vegas, Nev. – Sprint Cup driver Greg Biffle is doing his part to breathe life back into racing at the grass roots level.

The driver of Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 16 Ford announced Friday morning that he has acquired partial ownership of Sunset Speedway, a 1/3-mile clay oval just outside of Portland.

He’ll also play a key role in a new 22-race Late Model circuit that will compete at tracks throughout Oregon and Washington. It will be known as the DAA Spec Motor Series presented by Sherwin-Williams.

Biffle joins the ranks of Dave Blaney, Ken Schrader, Tony Stewart and Kenny Wallace as Cup drivers who have made an investment in racing at the local level.

“I really felt I wanted to get involved in grass roots racing,” said Biffle, a native of Vancouver, Wash. “It’s important because that’s where all of our feeder guys come from, the mechanics and drivers for the Camping World Truck, Nationwide and Cup Series.

“It’s important to me to kind of get back to where I grew up and support this series. It’s going to be great.”

Clint Bowyer cut his teeth on dirt tracks throughout the Midwest. The Emporia, Kan. native continues to be a fixture at dirt facilities throughout the nation as his NASCAR schedule permits.

Bowyer has first-hand experience when it comes to recognizing the value of, in baseball terms, the Class A level of racing.

“I’m just a huge fan of short track racing and your local grass roots level racing,” Bowyer said. “I think it’s very important to this sport even today.

“Most of our core fans enjoy weekly racing throughout the country, and I’m not an exception. I love going to any short track, asphalt or dirt or whatever.

“I just like the level of competition and seeing the Saturday night specials show up and put on a good show. I still think it’s some of the best racing we have.”

Biffle admitted that seeing the demise of tracks where he learned his trade in the 1990s contributed to his decision to become an owner. And he wasn’t shy when it came to seeking advice from his peers.

“I talked to Tony (Stewart).  I talked to Kenny Schrader and Kenny Wallace a little bit about it, and got some ideas from those guys,” Biffle said.

“I’ve been looking at this for a few years now about becoming a partner. It’s more about bringing some recognition to these race tracks and kind of giving back to that series and providing a good platform for guys to come out and race on Friday and Saturday night.

“Both of the race tracks I won championships at are gone now. Portland Speedway and Tri Cities Raceway are both extinct.  A lot of race tracks are doing that.”

As the economy continues to struggle and make it difficult for participants in all forms of racing to acquire sponsorship, Jeff Burton applauded Biffle’s decision to support racing at the grassroots level.

“These are guys that we define as real racers that race at the local level,” Burton said. “They race their whole lives at that race track and they’re not doing it for the money. They’re not doing it to get on television. They’re not doing it to buy a big house.

“They’re doing it because they love to race. That’s a real special thing.”

– Jeff Hood can be reached at jhood@racintoday.com

Jeff Hood | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, February 27 2010
2 Comments

2 Comments »

  • Bobby Jr and The Highland Rim make for a perfect match. 3/13 Let the Races Begin. Bobby Jr and his family are truly working hard everyday to rebuild, revive, and create an amazing family racing experience at Highland Rim Speedway. Please check out http://www.highlandrim.com as we update wkly. Questions, ideas, special events, please email Laurie Guzman; lgwstory@gmail.com, 615-210-9907

  • Terrell Davis says:

    It’s great to see another NASCAR driver become involved with a short track as an owner.
    Bobby Hamilton, Jr. stepped up to the plate and acquired historic Highland Rim Speedway, located just north of Nashville, TN.
    I applaud anyone, including drivers, who put their money up to help the short track effort.
    Hamilton’s first race is scheduled for March 13th.