Fontana: Biffle post-qualifying interview

GREG BIFFLE -- No. 16 National Guard Ford Fusion (Qualified 2nd) "It was a great lap. We hadn't been that good. I hadn't been real comfortable in the car and we didn't leave ourselves enough time to switch to qualifying trim and just was kind...

GREG BIFFLE -- No. 16 National Guard Ford Fusion (Qualified 2nd)

"It was a great lap. We hadn't been that good. I hadn't been real comfortable in the car and we didn't leave ourselves enough time to switch to qualifying trim and just was kind of disorganized and didn't really get a good fast lap in. I think 39.40 was the fastest we went or .50, somewhere in there, so just not real happy with it. We found some things that we really needed to get back to ground zero. I think we got screwed up when we're used to qualifying in impound and then we're allowed to change everything to qualify, so we kind of missed that a little bit and didn't get enough things changed over. We didn't have the front shocks on it to hold the nose down real good and didn't have some things on it that we needed to do now that we can change it all back to race tomorrow. So I didn't really know what to expect out there. I think I left a little bit on the table in one just because I didn't want to overdrive because you can overdrive and lose a half-second or underdrive and maybe lose a tenth, so I chose to be a little more cautious -- and a late draw certainly helped us. I was looking forward to going and eating Mexican food and come back to watch the truck race, so it didn't help my dinner plans, but I think starting second for the race is gonna be better than going and eating dinner and coming back and watching the race."

DOES VEGAS HELP AS FAR AS LEARNING FOR CALIFORNIA?

"I don't know about Jimmie, but last year when we tested both -- we tested here and Vegas -- my test at Vegas was not very good and I came here and was phenomenally fast. Unbelievable. We felt like we were two or three tenths faster than everybody and didn't know why. So I think the tracks are medium different from each other, at least I can't reference anything as a driver. I can reference some, but not as much carries over for me and our team. Downforce and balance and all of those things when you get to any mile and a half and two-mile, you can through them all in the same category a lot of times. I'm kind of contradicting myself, but I didn't find as much stuff to cross over for me."

DOES IT MATTER WHERE YOU START HERE?

"It's certainly easier to pass here than it is obviously Richmond, Bristol, Martinsville -- things like that. But track position means a lot and getting your car handling well. It's kind of a vicious circle because sometimes you start up front here and run up front for most of the day and then something happens -- a pit stop, lose a tire across pit road or something and you end up in the back or 25th or 30th and have to come from the back and then your car is handling way different. I've had that happen and be stuck. I've gotten back in the pack in 15th and couldn't pass a car and had been running up front all day in clean air in the top five. It does help to start out front, but sometimes that can bite you if you get back in the pack for some reason and your car won't turn at all with air off the nose or something like that and you had it set up for running out front in the top five all day. But anytime you can start up front it's better."

YOU HAD THE HIGHEST DRIVER RANKING AT THIS TRACK LAST YEAR. HAVE YOU SEEN ANY OF THAT INFORMATION?

"I didn't know anything about it. How much do you get paid for that? I didn't know, but I guess I'd have to say that obviously finishing first and second, probably, I don't know if it's rated off of speed and how many cars you pass or whatever, but that obviously has a lot to do with it. A guy who finishes 15th obviously is not gonna be up in the front tier unless he had something happen on the last lap or something like that, but I didn't know anything about that. I suppose with the loops around the track it's just a matter of gathering the data and putting it into a graph of some kind that can tell everything."

YOU'RE RUNNING THE SAME SPEED HERE AS DAYTONA. HOW MUCH MORE INVOLVED ARE YOU HERE THAN DAYTONA?

"That's hard because you can't say it doesn't take a driver to run up front at Daytona or do whatever because it certainly does and it takes a good handling car. Dale Earnhardt tried for 20 years to win that race or however many years he tried. He tried a long time and he's a great driver, so I don't know. Here it's a whole different skill level and handling package and stuff. It takes a lot from the driver here. It takes a heck of a lot. It takes probably a different skill set or different category of skills at Daytona -- where you position your car or how the air is and how fast your car is, so it's just a lot different. Here you don't want friends. Everybody get away from me. I want to be by myself."

-ford racing-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt