Greg Biffle has led the most laps of any Ford driver in the field for this weekend's Lifelock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway with 77. Biffle led 34 laps of the 2005 lap before finishing 11th and 43 laps in 2008 before posting his best Chicago ...
Greg Biffle has led the most laps of any Ford driver in the field for this weekend's Lifelock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway with 77. Biffle led 34 laps of the 2005 lap before finishing 11th and 43 laps in 2008 before posting his best Chicago finish of fourth. Biffle took time to discuss where he feels his car is at this weekend, Fords frustrations this year and issues with race tracks with members of the media Friday afternoon.
TALK ABOUT YOUR PERFORMANCE SO FAR AND WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO BE THERE AT THE END. "Well we haven't had the performance this year that we have wanted, we all know that, but this weekend we seem to be better. We have a little different front suspension package, more like what the No. 9 and RPM cars have been running. Our car seems to be fairly competitive. I like the way it is turning. It has pretty good grip on the race track. I think we were third or fourth in practice and I am happy with how it felt in qualifying trim. I am looking forward to tomorrow night because I think we can have a good run. I am anxious for tomorrow night to start."
MATT KENSETH MENTIONED EARLIER THAT THEY ARE STRUGGLING WHEN THEY GET TO THE TRACK AND ARE PLAYING CATCH-UP. JACK SAID EARLIER THIS YEAR THAT HE FELT THAT WAS A MAJOR ISSUE THE TEAMS WERE FACING. IS IT A MAJOR ISSUE YOU FEEL YOU ARE FACING? "A little bit. When you decide to come to the race track with something you haven't raced before or something different than what you have been doing, and let's face it, what we have been doing isn't working, so we have to try something different. If that doesn't work, or is close but you have to continue to work on it, you are then behind automatically. We unloaded today and were terrible tight. We had the lowest track bar we have ever had in the car at a race track. We raised that a little bit and changed things around and got the car running pretty well. About three-quarters of the way through the first practice I got the car driving really well. I felt like it was extremely fast and the easiest car I have had to drive with speed. We went into qualifying trim and instantly the car had good speed and was fairly comfortable to drive. Those are good signs for me going forward. This is the first time we have had a difference suspension package too."
HOW MUCH OF THE ISSUE IS FIGURING OUT THE SIMULATIONS? "Like I said, this was completely different than we have ever run before or raced at this race track before, so it was zero here today. This was an experiment. When you experiment you are normally not going to be right on, but we were damn close. Within a hour-and-a-half of practice we were able to get it going. That last half hour, in the heat of the day, we got the car driving and I am pretty happy about that."
THE FORD FRUSTRATIONS ARE WELL DOCUMENTED BUT AS OF NOW YOU HAVE THREE DRIVERS IN THE CHASE. COMPARE THAT TO A SITUATION LIKE GANASSI WHERE THEY HAVE FAST CARS AND CAN'T GET THE FINISHES AND ARE LOW IN THE POINTS. IS THAT MORE FRUSTRATING? "Yeah that can be more frustrating when you have fast cars and nothing to show for it. We are graded off of our finishes. The perception of how we are running is based on the speed of our cars, which is not that great. We have great durability in our cars and smart drivers that are giving us the best finish we can get each weekend. That has kept us alive. I feel really good about tomorrow night's race. I feel like I have a car I can win with tomorrow night if it is as fast as I think it is. When I get out there with the other 10-15 cars that are running up there we will see. Half of it is confidence and I have that part."
IN THE GROUP INTERVIEW WITH SPORTS ILLUSTRATED YOU WERE VERY CRITICAL OF POCONO. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE DONE THERE? "It is not my job. The track hasn't responded. It is clear we have come close to hurting people there in the past. If you saw Dale Jr. and Steve Park upside down going down the guardrail and they haven't changed the race track there. It is a matter of time. That is all there is to it."
WHOSE JOB IS IT? "I would guess it is the race tracks job. I guess at some point if the race track decided they were going to take half of turn three and four out then NASCAR would step in. That grass, at 200 mph, you can't control your car if you end up there. There have been several spectacular crashes there and they are pretty scary wrecks. Kasey Kahne just about got over the top of that wall and into those trees. Kevin Harvick had tree limbs in the trunk of his car from debris flying around. That is a bad spot on the race track right there. They would be better off putting an inside wall there like they have at Indy. They you can't go off into the grass."
ARE WE BUILDING CARS THAT ARE TOO MUCH FOR THE MENTAL CONDITION OF THE DRIVERS? "We can only work with the tools that are given to us. The shovel, the pick, whatever we have to do our work with is all we've got. When you sit in a room and put a bigger spoiler on or with the restrictor plate it might sound like a great idea. We can formulate plans to make more side-by-side action or more passing or whatever, but we have to put it out on the race track and see. Last week, what happened in Daytona, we won't have that situation again because the track is being repaved, but it didn't seem like a great situation for competitiveness because the tire couldn't hold the race car. It is man and machine. We keep making these race cars better and better and Goodyear is always changing the tires. We never go back to a race track with the same tires it seems like. We go from a win to a spoiler and so on. It is just evolution. We keep refining what we have and I am excited to see how Daytona turns out. I think we will have better racing. I didn't want the race track changed originally when they said they were going to repave it. Now that I have looked at it, I think it will be a lot better place after it is repaved. I think we will see more side-by-side and more cars in it."
-source: ford racing