Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion held a press conferences at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Thursday afternoon to discuss the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and other issues of the day. HOW HAS YOUR CHASE BEEN SO FAR? "It's been ...
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion held a press conferences at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Thursday afternoon to discuss the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and other issues of the day.
HOW HAS YOUR CHASE BEEN SO FAR? "It's been disappointing to this point, especially looking back where Loudon and Dover being the two wins we had last year and then Kansas and California being two strong, strong tracks for us. Obviously, Kansas we ran very well, led the most laps and finished third. Looking back on that, I wish we would have taken two tires at the end, and then California I was really, really looking forward to that. I felt like we were gonna carry something from Kansas out there and run very strong and contest for a win and just could not get a handle on the car the whole weekend. It was really weird. We were so good at Kansas and have been so good at California, but at the last minute we went back to the fall and spring setup from last year and had about 10 minutes of practice left to make maybe one or two adjustments on that setup. The rest of the time we spent trying to make something work that we've been really working on, so it showed in the race. We were about a fifth to eighth-place car and got in that accident at the end with Kurt and Kasey Kahne. That was really unfortunate. We finished 20th and had a lot better run than that going. We come here and really don't know what to expect. We're trying some new things that seemed to work very well at Kansas and put all of our cars right up front, but didn't help us a bit at California. So we come here and we'll try what we used in the spring and then try something new to see if we can find some speed out of this car. We like this track. It's a good track for us. We run well here, so I'm really looking forward to it."
WHAT HAPPENED WITH JOEY LOGANO LAST WEEK? "I probably shouldn't have run Joey out of room, or run him so tight at the end of the straightaway at California down the backstretch. It's really bumpy up there and I watched the video back on it. I squeezed him up and it looked like he hit the fence and then came back down and hit the side of me. But the week prior to that at Kansas, he drove down in the corner three-wide, smashed my fender in and smashed me against the guy on the outside of me and drove off and won the race. We were catching the 18 car and felt like we had a car to win with and I fell back and finished fifth. I could barely hang on until the end of the race and didn't have a pit stop to come in and fix my car. I talked to Joey after the race and I said, 'What's most disappointing for me is to race a young guy like yourself that has a lot of talent and a lot of ability and something like that goes on on the race track and you don't come over and say anything to a guy -- about, hey, sorry I messed your race up, sorry I ran into you, didn't think we would get together, thought we had more room -- something like that. I think you need to pay a little more respect to the veterans in this sport.' He chopped down in front of Tony Stewart at Dover and that didn't work out for him and I was pretty angry over that, so I just squeezed him out of room. I didn't run him into the fence on purpose. I just meant to put a little squeeze on him like he did to me at Kansas. I had nowhere to go and I wanted to put him in that situation and see what he thought about having nowhere to go and having to keep the wheel straight with not a lot of room to race. We made more contact than I certainly expected. You can see he bounced off the wall and came down. You can blame it on me for just plain running him into the wall, but that's not the way it happened. I shouldn't have done that. He worked on his car and fixed it, and was able to come back. Unfortunately for me, it was the last run of the day in Kansas and I didn't have an opportunity to fix my car."
DO YOU GET MORE AGGRESSIVE WITH YOUR POSITION IN THE CHASE TO TRY AND MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN OR STAY THE COURSE? "We definitely get more aggressive with things. We're taking bigger chances. We raced something at Kansas I've never raced before as far as the bump-stop configuration and geometry and really had no idea how that race was gonna turn out. We went to California with the same attitude. It worked at Kansas, obviously. Something a little bit new and different for us worked, so we thought, 'Let's continue that at California.' We worked on it right up until 15 minutes to go, until we had to park the cars for the race on Sunday and finally had to abandon ship at that point -- 15 minutes to go in practice -- and switch it back to something we knew we could at least compete in the top 10. That's what we've done this season is really just kind of been middle of the road. What's worked in the past doesn't work today, other than just everybody else has picked it up and we've kind of stayed the same. Until we start experimenting outside of that, we're not gonna get any better. That's what we're gonna do here. We're gonna experiment and then we can revert back to what we ran in the spring time, which was about a top-10 car until it rained. We were running seventh or eighth until it rained and pitted for four and finished 20th. But if you would have interviewed me after Kansas, I'm like, 'I've really got something for these guys for the rest of the year.' I was that optimistic about what happened at Kansas and how good our cars ran -- everybody. Jamie McMurray was running up there and had a loose wheel. Carl Edwards got caught for speeding. Matt was running in the top three or four when he broke an engine. Everybody ran good, our whole group, and we weren't able to continue that."
HOW DO THE REST OF YOU GUYS KEEP THIS FROM BECOMING GROUNDHOG DAY WITH THE 48 WINNING AGAIN? "All we can do is be optimistic about our programs and try to figure out a way to beat him each week. We come here to Lowe's, we've got a great plan. We've sat down and talked about it. As soon as this weather gets out of here, we're excited to get on the race track and see what we can do with our cars. That's how we approach every week. Whether we can beat the 48 or the 5 or the 24, whoever it is, we'll just wait and see what happens, but that's all we can do every week is do our best."
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT MICHAEL VICK BEING BACK IN THE NFL? "I guess people in this world get second chances, but I guess it's unfortunate that all those animals don't get a second chance with the things he was doing. But I don't really have a lot on it. It's their decision. He has to live with the mistakes he made and try to be a better person from that, I guess. It's an unfortunate situation."
DID YOU SENSE SOME DEFLATION AMONG THE OTHER CHASERS WHEN JOHNSON TOOK THE LEAD LAST WEEK? "No, not at all. I mean, there was deflation with me because I finished 20th. I got wrecked and was pretty unhappy. I haven't talked to Mark or any of those other guys, so I don't know how they would be disappointed, but I'm certainly disappointed with a 20th-place finish for our team." WHAT WAS JOEY'S RESPONSE WHEN YOU HAD THAT FIRST TALK WITH HIM? WAS HE RECEPTIVE WITH WHAT YOU WERE TRYING TO TELL HIM? "Not really." HOW DISAPPOINTING IS THAT TO YOU? "That's pretty disappointing because I got talked to by Sterling Marlin and a few other guys and I learned a lot from it because there were things I was probably doing on the race track being a younger guy and not realizing probably what I was doing. But I had the best in my teammate, Mark Martin. I learned a tremendous amount from him. You have to have guys to look up to and learn things in this sport. We've all been there and all made mistakes and we all try and look to be better in the future."
THE WORST FINISHING AVERAGE AMONG THE TOP 3 IN THE CHASE IS 3.5. CAN THEY SUSTAIN THAT? "Not with Talladega coming up. Talladega is always a real wildcard. You see different cars run up front at that race. We saw a first-time winner in the spring at Talladega, and sometimes you see different car numbers up there that don't normally run up front. With that and six more races there are a lot of opportunities for people to slip and make small mistakes. I know they both had a little bit of a, let's say, lazy race where they weren't finishing second or third like they normally are every week. Jimmie Johnson finished way, way back in ninth -- a long ways back, right? So I think that's possible again -- maybe a seventh or ninth-place finish -- but to maintain that average finish, I'm not sure about. It's gonna be tough, but I'll be curious to see who can do it."
WHAT HAPPENED WITH TOM AFTER THE RACE AND HAS HE APOLOGIZED TO YOU SINCE? "No, he hasn't and I have to say that it really got taken out of context, I think. Him losing his hardcard and that whole thing was maybe a little overbearing because he was jogging down pit road heading for Victory Lane, which was right behind us where we were all coming in to stop and get the restrictor plate off the car. There was a two or three-car length gap between me and the guy in front of me and he kind of swerved out into the lane and gave me the sign that I was number one, and kind of veered back over and continued on down to Victory Lane. That was it. I waved at him when he went by. I wasn't gonna do that (give the same number one sign) because I didn't want to get fined or anything like that, so I just waved out the window and off he went. That's all he did. Maybe an official saw that and felt that wasn't conducted the way it should have been, but I think we've all done that. I don't know that it was that big of a deal, and I think a lot of people blew that up. 'He was at the window of the car. There was a fight on pit road,' and all kinds of weird stuff I heard from it, but that's that. I also want to make an announcement. I'm gonna run my first off-road race ever in the Ford Raptor. The street version is parked in front of the media center and you guys can take a quick look at it, but I'm gonna be racing in the Raptor R. It's the Best of the Desert Series in Henderson, Nevada, and I'll be co-driving with Rob McEachren on December 5. It's three laps that are 80 miles apiece. I did a little bit of exhibition stuff on the way to Phoenix in the spring and had a lot of fun, so I'm really looking forward to it. So on December 5th we'll see if I can keep it between the lines in the dirt."
-credit: ford racing