Biffle: I feel like we will qualify in the top-10

Greg Biffle stands just one point behind Sprint Cup points leader Jimmie Johnson with four races left before the Chase begins. Biffle, spoke to media members prior to qualifying Friday for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Greg Biffle, Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Greg Biffle, Roush Fenway Racing Ford

Photo by: Jackie Buys

Talk about the new tires and how they are different from June. “Well, we have struggled a little bit so far since we have been here today. We did really good at the tire test, the open test, but today we are having some trouble anchoring the back of the car down. I can drive down on the corner and the back of the car is getting out from under me and I am chasing it up the hill a little bit. We worked a lot in practice on trying to keep the back of the car under it. That is the less grip of the left side tire.

Some guys are having trouble with it and some guys aren’t. I think Matt (Kenseth) and I are having a little bit of trouble getting it going but Carl (Edwards) seems to be decent with it. We will keep working on it. We are back here looking at our notes and we are a little different than we were here before so we are kind of back tracking a little bit to see if we can get the back of the car a little more grip”

How big a deal will it be for the race if you aren’t able to get up front in qualifying? “It will be a fairly big deal. We want to start in the top little bit. Right now we are like 15th in qualifying trim. We are a lot faster than that in race trim. I think we are going to back up to where we were before. I feel like we will qualify in the top-10 that way.”

Guys are saying there is one line right now where typically this track has multiple grooves. “Yeah, the track is real narrow for some reason. The reason why is because it doesn’t have a lot of grip so when you go down out of the groove a little bit, or a little lower, it slides you back up to where you were. If you slide out of the groove you have to protect it to get going again. It has narrowed the groove up but I think that will widen out over time.”

Greg Biffle, Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Greg Biffle, Roush Fenway Racing Ford

Photo by: Adriano Manocchia

Is there anything you learned in June that will carry over to this week? “I think so, yeah. We were just up there trying to digest our notes and get back more to where we were in June. We are compensating a little bit for that left side tire. We have developed our package over the test and Indy and Pocono. We have gotten a little better. The right side skirt is up even higher. We are looking back at undoing a few things that may have worked at Indy and Pocono that may not be working here for us. We were so fast here in June.”

Other drivers are talking about contenders but they aren’t mentioning your name. “Good. That is good. We will do the best we can and see what happens when we get there. It doesn’t bother me at all. It keeps people from asking me questions. Go talk to them about it. It keeps the pressure off me. We don’t want the pressure.”

What are your thoughts on Bristol next week? “I just hope that they didn’t screw it up. It is a shot in the dark if you will. You are just sitting back trying to make a plan and you don’t know if it will work or not. It is that simple. Who knows if that is going to work? You don’t. We just have to wait and see when we get there. I think it is going to be exciting either way. I heard they ground the corner more down the straightaway so that when you come up off the corner you will go across that patch coming on to the straightaway, which may be difficult to go from the bottom groove. They carried it around maybe further than it needed to be but we will have to wait and see when we get there how the race track drives now. I hope it is good.”

Greg Biffle, Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Greg Biffle, Roush Fenway Racing Ford

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

How have things changed here since the repave? “The track is completely different but one thing that hasn’t changed is that our organization seems to be pretty good with high speed race tracks. Roush Fenway has been good on 1.5 and two-mile fast race tracks. This is still that type of race track even though it is quite a bit different now. Our cars are still pretty good here.”

Does it bother jack not to have won here in recent years more than other tracks? “Yeah, I like this race track. I feel like when we come here that I have it marked on the calendar or in my head anyway that this is a place that we can definitely dominate and win. There is a little frustration this morning in practice trying to get the car driving the way I want it to. I have full confidence that we just need a little more time. We had two problems with oil on the race track so we literally had about nine minutes of practice. Tomorrow we have a couple hours so we will get it dialed in. We did have speed. We were top five in race trim on speed. I am confident that we have the speed, we just have to get it driving good and we will be fine for the race.”

Do you ever have team meeting where jack emphasizes Michigan? “No, he says that about everywhere.”

You’ve led more laps here recently than anybody else but haven’t closed the deal. What is the reason for that? “Well, we pitted and a caution came out. We ran out of gas twice. We botched a pit stop. Other than those four nothing. You lead the most laps and something happens and you don’t win. It is that simple. That was the old 16 team. Now we don’t make those kind of mistakes anymore.”

Greg Biffle, Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Greg Biffle, Roush Fenway Racing Ford

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

So are you due? “Yeah, we are. We are definitely due. We will see this Sunday.”

Is it an advantage to have extra seat time by running nationwide races? “I think it kind of keeps your skill sharp a little bit. I would love to run some Nationwide races but we just haven’t been able to sell any sponsorship at Roush Fenway for Nationwide cars. I know that Carl was able to do a little bit there with one of his sponsors but we would certainly love to run some Nationwide races. I would be on the race track any change I got. I enjoy racing the Nationwide series, it is a lot of fun.”

What is it about getting in the seat, cause we see guys doing it with sprint cars and dirt tracks and everything. “Anything that burns gas and has tires on it we love it. It doesn’t matter what it is. I love to ride motorcycles, drive race cars, take my sand car to the sand dunes which I did on Wednesday. Any chance we get to do stuff like that we are on it.”

Are you running a similar setup to carl this week? “We are close I think. Obviously something is a little different in our car. Our car is not real happy right now. It goes down in the corner and it loose and then it isn’t and back and forth. I am like swatting flies in there. I have to get it more consistent in the corner. It has the speed. I can tell it has the speed; I just can’t force it to get the speed out of it because it is not making a smooth corner. We are just looking at whether we have some gaps wrong or whatever we might have going on. We are working on it and fine tuning it. We will find it. There is a little gremlin in there somewhere.”

Source: Ford Racing

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Article type Interview
Tags biffe, fenway, ford, kenseth, michigan, nascar-cup