DOVER, Del. - Of all the lessons he has learned over his first five full seasons on NASCAR's top circuit, Greg Biffle knows that luck and success often travel hand in hand.
Biffle readily admitted that fortune smiled down on him yesterday at Dover International Speedway, where his No. 16 Ford blitzed 44 other cars to claim the pole position for tomorrow's Best Buy 400.
Biffle navigated the one-mile concrete oval in 23.193 seconds for an average speed of 155.219 m.p.h. - making second-place qualifier Kurt Busch's 153.971 m.p.h. run appear pedestrian by comparison.
In posting his sixth career pole, but first in 12 attempts here, Biffle said: "It's funny. The less time we spend on qualifying, the better we qualify. And I can't explain that at all."
With the Roush Fenway Racing team tracking a weather system that could disrupt today's practice sessions, crew chief Greg Erwin had his mechanics focus on getting Biffle's Fusion ready for the 400-mile race rather than focus on getting the most out of a one-lap run.
"We made the decision to stay in race trim . . . then right at the end of [the morning] practice, we tried a little different spring in the front of the car, and it picked [the speed] up about 1/10th of a second each lap," Biffle explained. "We left that spring in to qualify and, ironically, it probably picked the speed up for qualifying. The car was perfect."
Kurt Busch said his No. 2 Penske Racing Dodge was "very comfortable," a sensation he rarely experiences here.
"When you come to the Monster Mile, you're always a bit apprehensive [because] you don't want to be loose here," Busch said. "I was trying to chase down Greg, but he ran an incredible lap."
Biffle, 11th in the Sprint Cup Series standings, is looking to carry the momentum of Sunday night's runner-up finish at Lowe's Motor Speedway and revisit the thrill of winning here in June 2005.
Series leader Kyle Busch was a tick slower than his older brother, qualifying third at 153.767 m.p.h., while Jeff Burton, second in the points standings, struggled mightily in posting the 38th-fastest lap (150.458 m.p.h.).
Hendrick Motorsports' four-car contingent was all over the speed charts. Jimmie Johnson (fourth) and Jeff Gordon (seventh) fared well, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. (25th) and Casey Mears (39th) will have their crews scrambling to make adjustments.
Martin Truex Jr., who started on the pole and earned his first career victory here last spring, will roll off 20th tomorrow. Carl Edwards, who won the last race here in September, will start 14th.
AAA Insurance 200.
Making the transition from Formula One to the Craftsman Truck Series, rookie Scott Speed picked up his first win in impressive style and then hammed it up in Victory Lane with the Monster trophy and his Red Bull Racing team.
In just his sixth start and first visit to Dover, Speed piloted the No. 22 Toyota Tundra at the front of the field for 51 laps, including the last 21 after a strong restart to beat three-time series champ Jack Sprague to the finish line by a cushy 3.379 seconds.