Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, has back-to-back Top-10 finishes to start the season and finds himself third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings. Biffle spoke about the start to his season with members of the media ...
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, has back-to-back Top-10 finishes to start the season and finds himself third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings. Biffle spoke about the start to his season with members of the media before practice Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
"I've been working on this project for a few years now, a little over a year-and-a-half, but over the last couple of weeks -- since the beginning of the season -- acquired part ownership in a dirt track in the northwest. I'm gonna be part-owner in Sunset Speedway in Banks, Oregon joining the likes of Tony Stewart and some of these other guys, and we've also started a late model dirt series in the northwest call the DAA Spec Motor Series presented by Sherwin Williams, which will run 22 events throughout the season. There will be a $25,000 point fund for this series and a lot of great things are happening for the guys out in the northwest. I really felt like I wanted to get involved in grassroots racing and it's important because that's where all of our feeder guys come from -- mechanics and drivers -- for the Camping World Truck, Nationwide and Cup Series. It was important for me to get back to where I grew up and support this series. It's gonna be great. I've got a partner in the race track by the name of Jerry Schram. He couldn't be here, but will be here tomorrow. If anyone has any questions, they can ask him tomorrow. I'll make him available and you can ask him why he's crazy enough to be a partner with me on a race track. We're looking forward to that series getting going. We're gonna make a couple of appearance out there and try to get Kenny Schrader and some of those other guys that love to dirt race to come out and run a few races.
"On to Sprint Cup racing. We had a fairly good week last week after getting caught on pit road at the end and coming back to a decent finish. I'm really looking forward to here at Las Vegas. I won the Nationwide race last year and came close in the Sprint Cup race. I feel like maybe if I can get fourth in the Nationwide race and win the Sprint Cup race I'd be extremely happy."
DID YOU TALK TO GUYS LIKE TONY FOR ADVICE ON TRACK OWNERSHIP AND YOU WENT OVER $40 MILLION IN EARNINGS RECENTLY. HOW DOES THAT FEEL? "That's pretty incredible. I wish that I had a little piggy bank that I'd been putting it in over there in the corner, or been able to horde more of it. But that is pretty incredible and I'm very thankful for all the opportunities I've gotten so far and all the races I've won, including a couple runs at the title. Hopefully, I'm not done yet. We'll make a strong effort at it this year, make the chase and try to win that championship. I did talk to Tony. I talked to Kenny Schrader and Kenny Wallace a little bit about it, and got some ideas from those guys. I've been looking at this for a few years now about becoming a partner and it's more about bringing some recognition to these race tracks and kind of giving back to that series and providing a good platform for guys to come out and race on Friday and Saturday night. Both of the race tracks I won championships at are gone now. Portland Speedway and Tri Cities Raceway are both extinct. A lot of race tracks are doing that.
"It seems like dirt racing is more popular, although I prefer asphalt short track racing, but it's been a challenge for me to get behind the dirt racing because I didn't do it as much. I know a lot of guys came from that background. I've done it some and it's a lot of fun, and I really want to try and promote that racing in the northwest."
WITH JIMMIE JOHNSON WINNING LAST WEEK, DO YOU AS A COMPETITOR THINK ABOUT HIM GETTING OFF TO A GOOD START OR ARE YOU CONCERNED WITH HOW YOUR STUFF IS RUNNING? "I'm really more concerned about the way our stuff performs. Certainly, you don't want to throw darts at another guy, but the reality is they ran up front for a portion of the race and then they didn't. When he got the opportunity to leapfrog up to the front, if my memory serves me right, I think he was running around sixth or seventh and it looked like he didn't have a great chance of winning that race, or probably wasn't going to win, in my opinion. I was paying attention to my race. We were struggling to stay in the top 10 and that's about the best I could do, but when I looked up there I saw him about three or four or five cars up, so, definitely track position is important. Jimmie has a lot of driver ability and he just got lucky and got out front and got track position. They didn't have an awful car by any means, but when you get that track position late in the race, and they led earlier in the day and probably made some adjustments on the car. But it wasn't like a typical Jimmie Johnson/Chad performance where they kicked everybody's butt all day, so that is some promise for us that we're competing a little closer. Yes, he did win, but it wasn't like the normal thing where he beat everybody hands-down."
WHAT ABOUT QUALIFYING TODAY? "Obviously, it's the same as last week with the weather kind of threatening for tomorrow, so we're probably going to elect to spend a great deal of time in race trim again today. Qualifying probably won't be one of our top priorities. It obviously is because we want a good starting position and a good spot on pit road, but it's tough when you've got a 500-mile race ahead of you and your car is not that great. That makes for a long, long day, so we're gonna do the typical 'get our car as good as we can' and try to make a couple runs at the end of the day. Last week, we got trapped and weren't able to make a qualifying run and that hurt us really bad. We won't let that happen this week. We'll at least get one run in and hopefully two if the car is driving real well."
WHAT HAPPENED LAST WEEK? "We wanted to change some things around and I don't if the guys got behind in the changes, but we basically ran out of time. We were coming down off the jack to try and get out of the garage when they closed the gate, so we never got to a qualifying run. So when I went out on the race track for qualifying, that was my first lap in qualifying trim and I was just way too loose. I couldn't get the power down and I qualified 35th. That was a little embarrassing for us. We've got a better race car and better race team than that, so we'll learn from that and hopefully we won't make that mistake again this year."
IS IT FRUSTRATING TO SEE SOMEONE LIKE JIMMIE WIN AND BE LUCKY AT THE SAME TIME? "Not really because the shoe has always been on the other foot. We've won races like that and I wouldn't say they got lucky. It wasn't like somebody ran out of gas in front of them. They definitely had a fast enough car to win. We all saw the video footage. They beat that pace car by six feet and that's what it took to win that race, and it was a matter of the pit crew doing a good job and it was a matter of him being where he was at on the race track from a track position standpoint. We did the same thing. We were on pit road together with him and we restarted that race 20th. That very easily could have been both of us, or we both could have been up front and it could have been a different outcome. More power to somebody if it works out for them."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR NATIONWIDE WIN LAST YEAR HERE? "This race track is a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it before they changed it and it's been a real good race track after they changed it. Last year, we ran good the whole race and got track position and kept the car up front. There were some fast race cars around us and we were just happy to be able to hold them off. I hope to be able to repeat that performance this year with the Baker Curb car. I'm driving for a different organization, so that presents a little bit of a challenge with not having as much information -- having three or four teams -- but still I think we have good cars. We're gonna be racing the car that we ran last week and finished second with at California, so hopefully that car can continue to run well and get us a win here."
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT DANICA PATRICK? "I think it's good for our series. It's bringing a lot of attention to the Nationwide Series and NASCAR in general. I think it's gonna continue to be difficult. It's a difficult transition with these cars. It's really, really hard. This race track might be a little bit easier than California, so there's a possibility that she may run a little bit more competitive here. I welcome anybody to our series that wants to come over and race."
-source: ford racing