Biffle, Ragan - Ford interview 2009-07-28

This Week in Ford Racing July 28, 2009 As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Pocono Raceway for the second time in seven weeks, there are some teams fighting for a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup while others are trying to improve...

This Week in Ford Racing
July 28, 2009

As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Pocono Raceway for the second time in seven weeks, there are some teams fighting for a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup while others are trying to improve so they can be in contention next year.

Ford Racing spoke with drivers who are in both of those positions. Greg Biffle moved into 11th place in the point standings after a fourth- place finish at the Brickyard on Sunday, while David Ragan is trying to find regain the form that saw him end up a career-best 13th last season.

GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 3M Ford Fusion -

HOW DO YOU FEEL GOING BACK TO SOME OF THESE TRACKS FOR A SECOND TIME? "I look forward to going back for a second time, especially the places we ran good. We ran good at Pocono and hope we can go back and run as good or better than we did. It's a pretty good race track for us. Certainly Michigan, do I want to go back there? I ended up half a lap away from winning the thing, so, yeah, I want to go back. Bristol and Richmond, we run good at those places and look forward to it. The one place I'm nervous about is Atlanta. We didn't run that good in the spring. It's a good race track for us, we just didn't run good there but we think we have an idea why, so we think that we're gonna be better when we go back."

AUGUST IS A HOT MONTH. IT'S A LONG SEASON. HOW DO YOU GET THROUGH THIS STRETCH? "It is tough. Right now, there's a lot of pressure to make the chase and we know that we're sitting on the edge just by a little bit. We know that we've got to pick it up right now through this stretch. The unfortunate part is we only have to pick it up as much as the guys we're racing for a spot, but the problem is they're all at the top of the speed chart, so we're gonna have to be on our game for these next six weeks."

THE SCHEDULE USED TO HAVE POCONO AND THEN INDIANAPOLIS, BUT IT'S THE OTHER WAY AROUND NOW. DOES IT MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE AS FAR AS ONE TRANSFERRING BETTER TO THE OTHER? "I think it's nice that these two are next to each other, but I don't think it makes a difference which way we go."

DAVID RAGAN - No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion

HOW DO YOU LOOK AT THE REST OF THIS SEASON, CONSIDERING YOU ARE OUT OF CHASE CONTENTION BUT STILL HAVE A LOT OF RACES REMAINING? "I look at it as we're going back to race tracks we've already run at this year and we should make improvements. Certainly we've been disappointed with how we've run at most of the tracks to date in the Sprint Cup schedule, but the good thing is if we're a team that's looking into the future and we see a light at the end of the tunnel, we've got to be able to improve on what's happened. So by going back to Pocono and Michigan and Charlotte and Atlanta and Texas - some of these tracks we've already been at and either struggled or had pretty good speed - we want to hurry up and get back there so we can improve on our earlier finish in the year or go back to a track that we know we'll have some speed."

IN OTHER SPORTS WHENEVER A TEAM IS IN A SLUMP YOU'LL HEAR A COACH OR PLAYER TALK ABOUT GOING BACK TO BASICS IN ORDER TO GET OUT OF IT. IS THAT WHAT YOUR TEAM IS DOING? "I think so. When you're struggling you have to go back and look at your core setups and these small things that you were doing in years past that had success. Look and see if we're still doing those things or not and what direction do we need to go to because what we've been doing we haven't had a lot of success. I think as a team it's more important now than ever to work together to try to find the solution. I think any team at Roush right now isn't sitting safe and saying, 'We've had good cars and we're fast every week.' I think all the Ford teams have a little something to work on and get better, so we've got to work together to get faster and to get better as a team, but our goals are still the same - to win races and get top-fives and top-10s and the points will take care themselves. Obviously, we've dug ourselves a pretty big hole, but we can still have a good season if we can finish off the season strong."

THERE WERE HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR YOU THIS YEAR WITH UPS COMING ON BOARD AND ALMOST MAKING THE CHASE LAST YEAR. HOW HAVE YOU BEEN DEALING WITH THIS SITUATION? "I think we've got to stay positive. The worst thing you can do is be negative and get down on yourself. Certainly it's not because of a lack of effort or trying. We've got great race cars and we've got good engines and it's just a matter of a couple small things on our chassis that we've got to make better. Our cars just don't drive well, so now is the time more so than ever to be positive and upbeat and keep everyone going. It's been tough. It's been frustrating, but all the fans and all the UPS employees give you some extra encouragement. Every now and then, getting a little glimpse of that light at the end of the tunnel that we can see when we do things that are good, or maybe we have some good laps in practice, helps -- just things like that. You have to build on the positive things."

DOES THE FACT YOUR TEAMMATES ARE HAVING THE SAME ISSUES MAKE IT A LITTLE LESS STRESSFUL ON YOU PERSONALLY? "It takes some pressure off. I'm not necessarily happy to see them running bad, but if everyone is struggling that means more people are working hard and trying to get better. I think with everybody struggling a little bit, that means everyone is working toward a common goal, versus if we were the only team struggling and everybody else was running good, it's like they've got a different agenda. So we're all on the same agenda and that's getting these cars to drive better and be faster on the race track." Back to Top

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Greg Biffle , David Ragan