Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, opened the season with a 10th-place finish in the Daytona 500. He has enjoyed quite a bit of success at California Speedway over the years, winning in the Sprint Cup Series (2005) and the...
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, opened the season with a 10th-place finish in the Daytona 500. He has enjoyed quite a bit of success at California Speedway over the years, winning in the Sprint Cup Series (2005) and the Nationwide Series ('06 and '04 twice), and scoring three top-10 finishes in three starts in the Craftsman Truck Series.
DO YOU BELIEVE IN MOMENTUM? AND, IF SO, WHAT DOES A TOP-10 LAST WEEK AT DAYTONA MEAN THIS WEEK AT CALIFORNIA? "Yes, 100 percent. Absolutely. You'll see a guy get a pole or have a good run and then it plays over to the next week and weeks to come. But, definitely our run last week was what we needed. I've re-played that race over 100 times in my head and I'm glad I've finally forgotten about it now, because I feel like we could've won that 500. I was in position to win the 500, in position to get a top-five, which would've been better than a top-10. But, I've accepted the fact we got 10th and it was a great finish and to come here top-10 in points, at a race track where we run good at and go next week to a track we run good and so on. So, I'm pretty happy, you know? And I think the momentum is on our side, definitely. You look at last year, COT only, or the new car, second, second, 12th, so those are good stats for us."
NOW, WITH THE COT, HOW CLOSE IS THE DAYTONA CAR TO THE CALIFORNIA CAR? "It's hard to put a percentage, but they definitely are closer. We probably won't see a spread in the field like we did in the past. Qualifying will probably be a little tighter. I think the racing is goingto be real similar to how it was in the past. We brag about how wide this race track is and how many multiple grooves here are, but the reality is this place is still hard to pass, and you think, 'How in the world can it be hard to pass when it's as big as a parking lot?' Well, it's how the corner is. One guy goes to the bottom, one guy goes to the top -- this (bottom) is shorter, this (top) is a little more momentum -- you meet up on corner exit and you're right back where you were. And then these cars, like we've never seen in the past, are going to draft at this style of race track. Now, when you get to the corner you don't want to be drafting. You only want to draft when you're going straight ahead. The corner, no more drafting, because the car gets aero tight or is going to push up from behind the guy in front of you. But, going down the straightaway you're going to see slingshot moves, probably three-wide, like you do in the Truck series here, because you're going to get a big run at the end of the straightaway."
MORE NOW BECAUSE OF THE COT? "Yes. Because they're a bigger, squarer car and they'll suck up like they did at Daytona. Definitely."
WILL THERE BE BUMP DRAFTING? "I think you can. I don't know. We'll have to wait and see. I think you can because the bumper is square and flat. Going down the backstretch, for instance. Now, down the front, it's a constant turn. That'll be a little too dangerous to give that a try there. You've still got to slow down for the corner. Now, at Daytona, you don't have to slow down. So, the more that guy can bump you and get you going fast, when the corner comes, then it's 'Yahoo,' you know, great. Here, you've got to slow down. So, the guy's bump-drafting you down the straightaway and gets me going four, five miles an hour more than normal, I have to start stopping earlier, and get the car slowed down to the normal corner speed. Nothing's going to make it go around the corner faster.
"So, is it really going to help or be an advantage? Probably not. If we see a little bit of it, will it make a little difference? It might make a slight difference, but I don't think it'll be something that's going to make a guy win a race. I don't know that it's going to come down to that."
A FORMER TEAMMATE, MARK MARTIN, WILL MAKE HIS 700TH CAREER START THIS WEEKEND. DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR FROM HIM? "Absolutely. It's funny, he probably wanted to block my phone number when I first started racing in the Craftsman Truck Series, because Randy Goss was real good about using our resources. He was like, 'You should call Mark and talk to him about Richmond. You should call Mark and talk to him about Richmond. Rockingham or Darlington. All these race tracks we're going to.' I was going to them for the first time -- or the second. Let's say we raced at Richmond and didn't run that well, or some race track, [he'd say] 'You know, you should call Mark and talk to him about that, and see what he has to say about it.' And I learned a tremendous amount from Mark on those race tracks and stuff. It was a big help, a big help. I learned a lot from him."
-credit: ford racing