Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 U.S. Census Ford Fusion, has registered four straight top-10 finishes to start the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and comes into this weekend's race ranked third in the point standings. He spoke with the ...
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 U.S. Census Ford Fusion, has registered four straight top-10 finishes to start the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and comes into this weekend's race ranked third in the point standings. He spoke with the media on Friday afternoon before practice.
"I love this place. It's a lot of fun. We run extremely well here and have been really lucky so far, hopefully that continues and we can get good track position, stay up front and qualify well. It's overall been a great track for us and I really enjoy coming here. It's a lot of excitement and a lot of fun - a lot of racing - and I'm looking forward to Sunday."
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT TO COME OUT OF THE CARL AND BRAD MEETING TOMORROW? "I think maybe a little clearing of the air and a little understanding between the two drivers that maybe they need to give each other a little bit more room and anticipate a little bit more on what's gonna happen when they tangle next time, probably. I doubt whether that's gonna happen, obviously, but they've got little issues and they'll get it ironed out, I think."
HOW CLOSELY WILL NASCAR WATCH EVERYBODY ON SUNDAY? "From the looks of it, I don't think they're gonna be looking at us any differently."
WITH THE ADDED SAFER BARRIER TAKING UP MORE OF THE TRACK, WILL THE GUYS WHO RUN NATIONWIDE HAVE ANY SORT OF ADVANTAGE? "Maybe a tiny bit, but I don't think it's gonna be that big of a deal. We've got all day today and two practice sessions tomorrow, so by then we're gonna be pretty comfortable with the narrower race track. I think where it would possibly be a slight advantage is if the Nationwide practice was first today and getting a chance to see it before Cup practice started, but I think we're gonna adapt pretty quick."
HAVE YOU MAILED YOURS BACK YET (CENSUS FORM)? "Yes, I did. I did it today before I came."
AS A TEAMMATE TO CARL DO WE SOMETIMES HAVE THE WRONG IMPRESSION OF HIM? IS HE MORE INTIMIDATING THAN WE SEE OR MORE CALCULATING, OR WAS IT MORE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES? "I really don't know. Carl lives in Missouri, and I'm not saying that's bad, but unlike me spending a little time because we're teammates behind the scenes, I'm not going to Missouri anytime soon and I don't think he's coming to Mooresville anytime soon. It's not by choice, just by different areas of where we live. Like for instance, David Ragan lives over on the other side of town and we don't really see each other. We see each other at the shop sometimes, but on a personal note I really don't know Carl a lot more than being in team meetings with him and doing Christmas party functions and all that kind of stuff. He seems fine to me, so I don't know. I'm not with him all the time, so I don't know what to say."
WHAT DOES THE TERM, 'HAVE AT IT BOYS' MEAN TO YOU? "I really feel like they were talking about restrictor-plate racing because that's the start of the season at the Daytona 500. 'Have at it. Bump draft. Do whatever you want. Police yourself.' That's really what I think they meant by it and then by the way I interpreted it. We're gonna do what we're gonna do on local short tracks or at Atlanta or wherever else. We're gonna race hard and we're gonna do what we can do. Now, maybe they've backed off of it. They've never really penalized people before. If you get into a guy and spin him out, they don't put you a lap down. So, unless it's intentional payback, they've always done that, so I don't really see anything different than what it's been - other than restrictor-plate racing. They're like they've washed their hands of the deal. It's like, 'You guys are on your own. You police yourself. Bump draft all you want and do all your business and don't come whining to us.' That's the message I got on that, and wait until Talladega. It will be interesting, I promise."
SHOULD A DRIVER DOWN BY 150 LAPS BE ALLOWED TO RE-ENTER THE RACE? "That's been a discussion all along, but the other thing that you have to keep in mind is the sponsor viewership. 3M wants their car on the race track, and if we get in a wreck on Lap 2 and it takes us 40 laps to fix it, and we just put it in the trailer and go home, the Biffle fans, the 3M fans - the 3M corporate - doesn't get to see their car going around, whether it's 150 laps down or not. That's one issue. The other thing that we've talked about is cut the points off at 30 or 35 so you don't go back to the garage and do this mad thrash and get a car on the track with bearer bond flying off of it and metal is falling off of it. It's unsafe. It's leaking whatever. It's too slow and can't get up to minimum speed. The theory is don't give any points for going back out. Cut it off at that level, so you get the same amount of points whether you go on the track or not. We get back out there for the one spot we're gonna gain on position, so that is a good point and that is a discussion that may go somewhere in the future, but I don't know."
DO YOU HAVE ANY RIGHT OF PASSAGE STORY ABOUT A VETERAN TALKING TO A NEWCOMER. DO YOU HAVE ONE? "Sterling Marlin came over to me one time after the race and was all mad and said, 'The car is only 16-feel long. All you've got to do is get out of the throttle for that much time and let a guy in line.' I was racing like you race a late model car - you race every lap because the race is only 30 laps long. Well, a Cup race is 500 miles and the moral of the story was, like Mark Martin, if a guy shows up in your mirror from a straightaway back, he's probably faster than you and you're probably not gonna race him like the devil for the next 450 laps. You've got six more pit stops and a long time to give the guy a break and get racing. That's the best criticism I've taken from a veteran guy, and I consider a veteran like Mark Martin or somebody like that. It's funny they say veteran and Carl and I have been in the sport the same amount of time. I don't consider myself too much."
WHAT DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE TRACK THE WAY IT IS NOW FROM A RACING STANDPOINT? "I like racing on the race track now, but I liked it more before. It was harder to race on before. It was a lot more difficult to get around here before. When they smoothed the corners out and smoothed the transition out, the track got wider and however they did the banking that made it easier. And then a lot of the cars became the same speed than the old Bristol. The old Bristol was a little tougher than this. They're both fun to drive and both fun to race. This is a little bit more difficult to pass because the cars run the same speed and there is sort of that preferred line, and it's hard to go around on the top of them and it's hard to get around on the bottom of them. It's difficult. By narrowing the walls and doing all those things, you're not gonna recreate something that had character like that - like Atlanta. Atlanta has a lot of character and that character will be gone when they fix it and repave the whole place. It's just evolution. That's what happens."
HAS LIFE CHANGED SINCE BECOMING A RACE TRACK OWNER? "It's gotten a little bit busier. I recently became a partner in a dirt track back close to home in Banks, Oregon - just about 20 minutes outside of Portland - and we're also putting together a small late model series that races out there - a west coast spec motor series with dirt late models - just to give those guys a little bit to race for - give them a point fund - give them $1,000 to win on Saturday night, which is not a bunch of money but it's more than what they were getting, and a little bit of structure, so it's kind of fun to do that. I care about local racing. That's where I started. That's where I grew up and where other people have to get their start, and I feel like supporting that more from a fun perspective and kind of giving back to the sport more than anything for me."
ARE YOU GOING TO MISS THE WING? DOES A SPOILER LOOK MORE LIKE A REAL STOCK CAR? "I think NASCAR changed it because the fans didn't like the look or the appearance, more than the driver. I really felt they did double-file restarts because the fans love that action on the restart. They got a lot of criticism like, 'It doesn't look like a race car. We want a spoiler back on it.' NASCAR consulted us on what our opinion was and we thought we were OK with the spoiler and thought the car might be better with the spoiler, so they pursued that and obviously determined to put it back on the car. But I think it was driven from the fans and the popularity. That's what people want to see. I have to admit, when we tested it at Texas, Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, Brian Vickers and myself were the first ones with the thing on the car and I think it's gonna be better racing. I think the car showed signs of a little better corner exit, which is where this car really struggled to get turning and racing each other was that corner exit. We'll just have to wait and see. I was by myself and felt the difference, so I think it'll be better overall. We'll know next week for sure."
DOES IT LOOK BETTER FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE? "I think it looks better, yeah. It's more of the old stock car and what we've seen forever."
-source: ford racing