Biffle discusses with Talladega media his strategy as points leader

Ford Racing

Greg Biffle, the current NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader, met with media members outside the No. 16 hauler prior to the first practice session of the day at Talladega Superspeedway Friday afternoon. Biffle discussed the upcoming race, his strategy as points leader and more.

GREG BIFFLE, No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT THE HEAT AND HIGH TEMPERATURES? “Yeah, I mean summer is hear I guess. We’ve had some cool races, hot races and then cool again. It is definitely going to be the hottest one of the season.”

WILL IT FORCE YOU TO CHANGE THINGS WITH THE CAR? “I don’t think so. I think we will find out who is in shape and who is ready for the heat though.”

WHEN YOU ARE THE POINTS LEADER DO YOU APPROACH RACES DIFFERENTLY? “No. We approach, whether we are the points leader or not, the same way as everybody else. It is kind of funny. A lot has been talked about how people might be racing careful because every point counts because of the way it came down at the end of the season with Carl and Tony. But if you really think about it, the points right now don’t count right now, provided if I make the Chase, it doesn’t matter if I finish seventh, fifth, 13th or second. The only way I can get points right now for the Chase is to win. To me, six or seventh means no difference simply from the fact that the only way I can get points for the Chase is to win. Our importance right now is to win. Yeah, we want to keep leading the points and that is important but in order to win the championship we’ve gotta win races to get bonus points for the Chase.”

ARE THE FANS HERE GOING TO SEE DIFFERENT RACING WITH THE NEW RULES AND GETTING AWAY WITH THE TWO CAR TANDEMS HERE? “I think so. Especially with it being hot. We are all anticipating this first practice session to see what the temperatures will be like in the pack and pushing a little bit. We need to see how much we can do. We don’t know what it is going to be like yet but fans are going to see a much different race here than they did before.”

DO YOU SENSE IT IS GETTING TOUGHER TO WIN AS THE YEARS GO BY THAN IT WAS FIVE YEARS AGO? “It seems like it to me. It is very tough to win in this sport. Some people make it look easy because you get on a role or get in a niche but it is very, very hard to win.”

IS IT HARD TO GO BACK TO THE MINDSET OF PACK RACING SINCE YOU HAVEN’T DONE IT IN AWHILE? “A little bit. We’ve all done it so much that I would say it is second nature but we have done it a lot and we kind of did it at Daytona. I think this will be like Daytona and maybe even more pack racing.”

WHY IS IT SO HARD TO WIN NOW? “Because everybody is getting so good. The spread between the competition is getting closer and closer together. It makes it more difficult, even if you have the fastest car. You are running fifth and it is so difficult to pass the fourth, third and second place car to get to the current leader and race him for position. Everybody is so good and the competition level is so good. That is what makes it so difficult now. You will see a guy get out front that doesn’t have the fastest car and he wins because of track position or because something happened. That is why it is so hard to win now.”

WHAT HAPPENED WITH YOU GUYS LAST WEEK AND DID IT CATCH YOU BY SURPRISE THE WAY YOU RAN AT RICHMOND? “Yeah it really caught us by surprise. One is qualifying. We are much better than that qualifying. The race, I was a little frustrated by the race. We ran way better there in the fall. We ran second, third, fifth the whole night in the fall. We went back with something similar. Another thing that Kasey Kahne and I were talking about on the telephone is the fact that there was no second groove. Really Richmond was single groove. The only way around it was the bottom. If you started on the outside, you lost position until you could get to the bottom. Richmond wasn’t like that before. That could be one of the contributing factors why we weren’t as good as we had been. Not that we ran the top, but just the track changed.”

DID THE TRACK JUST AGE? “Maybe, or the cars just got more grip and the bottom is faster. I really don’t know why. That is a good question. I don’t know why.”

WE’VE SEEN A LOT OF GREEN FLAG RUNS. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE OF THAT FOR YOU? “The challenge is just keeping your concentration inside the car. You have to keep up on the chassis and you still have to communicate to the team what you need and what the car is doing. At the same time you have to be getting all you can get every lap. There is no time out. You can’t take a break. That is probably some of the challenging things that a lot of fans don’t see and understand that goes on in the car. They think it is boring, but it isn’t for the guy holding the steering wheel and pushing the gas. It is hard stuff and it doesn’t ever stop. You can’t take a break. You have to be going.”

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY ABOUT LONG GREEN FLAG RUNS? “Just the strategy of it. Let’s face it, you hate long green flag runs if you car is no good. If you car is decent you like them because it give you a chance to keep working on it and getting better. If you car is no good you hate to see it because you can fall a few laps down before you get a caution.”

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags biffle, ford, roush