This Week in Ford Racing: October 6, 2009 Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, is in eighth place in the Chase standings heading into this weekend's race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Biffle, who won at the two-mile oval...
This Week in Ford Racing:
October 6, 2009
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, is in eighth place in the Chase standings heading into this weekend's race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Biffle, who won at the two-mile oval in 2005, led a race- high 113 laps en route to a third-place finish at Kansas last weekend.
THOUGHTS ON GOING TO FONTANA. "Same thing as Loudon, Dover, [Kansas], California - really, the four I had check marked on the calendar. I mean, they're really, really good tracks for us. It's been a disappointing personal start to the Chase - I felt like we run better than that. We feel like we're on track, definitely, at California. We discussed that. We feel like we're going to be right on the button."
HOW DO YOU FEEL GOING INTO THIS WEEKEND? "I am sure excited right now because we've been working really hard on this car, trying to figure out what we needed to have setup-wise to be competitive, and I feel like we're starting to make some headway. You might say, 'Why wait until the chase to start stuff,' but we've been trying all year. It's not like we've just been sitting around. We tried some stuff at Dover and it kind of caught us off-guard a little bit. We aren't gonna give up on trying to make our cars better, and I finally hit on something at Kansas that made my car turn a little bit better and that's what we've really been working on. It's a bump stop-and-shock combination. It's never one thing, so you're afraid to change a bunch of stuff at one time. It's like a security blanket, so we're throwing different shocks at it, different bump stops, different wedge, and when you add all of these combinations up you get into no-man's land that I don't have a lot of experience with, so you don't really know what to expect. Obviously, the result from Kansas was very promising and we feel like we've kind of hit on something that's making our cars turn a little bit better."
IT'S NOT LIKE FLIPPING A LIGHT SWITCH AND YOU INSTANTLY GET BETTER, IT'S A PROCESS, RIGHT? "Yeah, it is a process. This front-end geometry combination that we've been trying to get worked out is something that I've never run in this car before. This is all new territory for me. I basically fired off at Kansas with stuff I've run in practice and Happy Hour before trying to get it right and adjusting it, and on Sunday morning we looked at it and made some more adjustments and said, 'Here we go.' I'm telling you what, that thing was awesome and I'm looking forward to working with it more. Now, the dilemma is I came very close to winning the spring race in California and one would have to argue that if I wouldn't have stopped on the air hose, I would have won that race. I was leading, came in, and went out 14th and finished fourth, so do I throw away that setup and just throw it in the garbage can and say, 'This isn't good enough,' and start like we did at Kansas? There's a fair amount of switching stuff over as far as shocks and bump stops and switching A-frames around, so it's a commitment we have to make."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE THERE'S NOTHING TO LOSE AT THIS POINT? IT LOOKS LIKE THE ONLY WAY TO GAIN POINTS IS TO WIN RACES IN THE CHASE. "That's our attitude. That's how we went into Kansas and I made a commitment to stick with it. It would have been easy to bail out and go, 'Okay, let's run it like we did here the last two years when we won and finished third.' But that setup has been providing us about a seventh- to 10th-place finish because other people have improved their setup. The whole thing has been, 'We're behind. We're behind.' Well, we feel like we're starting to understand it better now. It's kind of a leap of faith, so to speak, because you're taking something that's working well and now you're just gonna flush it down the toilet and start completely with a clean sheet of paper. That's sort of difficult, but that's what it's taken us to get competitive again at Kansas."
WILL THIS SETUP TRANSFER TO CALIFORNIA? "That's what we're gonna try. That's our science project for this week. What we did at Kansas and the way we ran the bump stop configurations and the A-frames, is that going to provide us with the same speed that it did at Kansas. We're going there committed to that program. We can switch it. It takes about 20 minutes for us to switch back to what I'll call a more conventional setup, but we've got a long road ahead of us. We were a bit behind and this is like the first time we've really been able to make it work. Here's the thing: McMurray was running up front until he had a pit-stop issue. Matt was running up front until he had an engine failure, and Carl was running up front until he had a speeding penalty. I'm not sure how David ran, but I think all of our cars ran fairly well and that makes me optimistic for going ahead in not just the next eight races, but the next 48 races."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY? "I love California and I'm curious to see how this program shapes up when we get out there. I'm certain we'll have what we ran in the spring if we want to try it, but if we find pretty good speed with our new front end combination, then we'll probably just stick with it and adjust on it."
-credit: ford racing