Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 U.S. Census Ford Fusion, stands fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings and trails leader Kevin Harvick by only 24 points. "I thought practice went pretty good. We weren't that happy in race trim...
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 U.S. Census Ford Fusion, stands fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings and trails leader Kevin Harvick by only 24 points.
"I thought practice went pretty good. We weren't that happy in race trim but I think we were pretty far off considering how we ended up with our qualifying setup. We got a lot better toward the end of that practice and then when we switched into qualifying the first couple of runs weren't that great. The guys worked on the car really vigorously and got it turning on the corner good and good on the brakes. I got myself up there in the top 15 or 17 in practice, so I finally feel like I am figuring this place out a little bit. I know that's not anything to celebrate, we will wait until Sunday to see."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU CAN SEE WHAT THIS CAR REALLY IS LIKE NOW WITH THE SPOILER AND THE ENTIRE PACKAGE TOGETHER? "What I have seen so far, and it holds true a little bit at Charlotte test but I noticed it even more at Texas, is that the car turns better from the corner exit or is looser on corner exit and that is really where we have struggled on this new car. We have skewed the axle housing and done all these things to try getting the thing to turn, but it seems like from center out the spoiler turns a little bit better. I felt that was the case when we tested Charlotte. We will have to wait and see if that is truly just a matter of coincidence or what, but visibility is a little bit better out of the car. I think the car looks better with the spoiler on it and I'm sure it's going to drive different. I am anxious to get to a mile or mile-and-a-half to see what the car drives like behind another car. I know it's going to be different."
NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY IS CELEBRATING 20 YEARS, WHAT HAS THAT TRACK MEANT TO YOU? "That track has changed a tremendous amount since we've started racing there. I remember in the old truck days almost winning my first race there. Andy Houston beat me on the white flag lap. I've love that place and run good there ever since I first saw it. When we first switched to the new car I remember battling with Matt (Kenseth) in '05 for 3rd and 4th but when we switched to the new car there were a few years where we were terrible there. More recently we have gotten better there again. It has been a fun track. They have changed the apron, you used to run down on the apron but then they made the track different. It has been a fun place for me. I enjoy it."
WHAT MAKES IT HARD FOR PEOPLE TO GET USED TO DRIVING HERE AT MARTINSVILLE? "I think it is actually the slow speed. We go tremendously slow here. Speed definitely has something to do with it. It has a really super slow corner speed. There is a lot of technique to the brake, when you brake, coming off the corner. If the car doesn't have bite with the front tires and won't stop straight and wants to pull hard to the left or slide that left front tire ^a if the car won't do those things, then there is nothing the driver can do to mask them because the speed is so slow. We can't arc it out and get a different angle because the speed is so slow. If that car won't do its thing, then you don't stand a chance. I think that is a lot of it. A lot of it is that this place doesn't necessarily fit the driver's feel and what they are used to. Some teams have figured it out a lot better than other teams."
WHAT DO YOU THINK TALLADEGA WILL BE LIKE WITH THIS SPOILER CHANGE WHEN YOU GET THERE? "It is going to be crazy, not because of the change, but because at that race track we can bump draft all the way around because it is smooth enough. When NASCAR said they were taking the gloves off and we should police ourselves, it didn't really show up at Daytona because you can't really do anything. And then a rule was made because of Talladega. Now we are going back there for the first time and it will be interesting to see what happens with guys pushing each other all the way around that place. I am almost willing to bet it will be the most exciting race of the season. I don't know how the spoiler will affect that. It might effect how the car drives to the point where you can't push guys all the way around the track. I didn't do the test there, so I don't know. I am willing to bet you are going to see some action there though."
ROUSH STRUGGLED AT SHORT TRACKS LAST YEAR, BUT THERE WAS SUCCESS FOR THE ROUSH TEAM AT BRISTOL. HOW GRATIFYING WAS THAT AND HOW MUCH HAS THE TEAM WORKED ON SHORT TRACK SUCCESS? "It is a big boost for us as a company because we blew up last year at Bristol and I didn't really think that was possible. It must be something about that race track. It is nice to go there and have all of us run fairly well. This weekend here and when we get to Phoenix and Richmond will be our test on short tracks and how well we are running and what we have improved on. I think the alliance with the Evernham/Petty organization is going to benefit us in the long run too."
ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH THE WAY YOUR TEAM IS WORKING TOGETHER RIGHT NOW? "This year I wouldn't say we've been lucky, but we haven't been the best. Communication has been decent. In Atlanta we struggled a little bit. The car got really fast. I was running the top and working on running the car up along the fence but I hit the fence and we had to get the backup car out. So that was a scramble. Last week at Bristol it wasn't until about five minutes left of practice that we really got the car going. At the Charlotte test we struggled huge. We were arguing with each other and trying all kinds of stuff to get the car going better and at the end of the day we were able to get it. The communication has been good, but it has been like really trying for us this season. It has been right at the last minute that we have excelled. I think that is from working together for the last three years and knowing each other really well. We were third from the bottom on the speed chart when we started practice today and worked our way up toward the top 15, which is a huge improvement. That is what it is about. I have to tell them how the car is driving and they have to try to fix it. Communication is key."
WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON PAUL MENARD'S GREAT SEASON SO FAR? "What I was going to say before I saw him walk in here was that they have done a remarkable job this season. Paul has shown skill all along that he can drive. It has been apparent in the Nationwide and the Cup Series. They have gotten the car to his liking this season and, to be perfectly honest with you, we copied his entire set-up into our car at the Lowe's test. I think there are a lot of factors to why they are running well. I am really happy to see it happening."
DO YOU SEE ANY PARALLEL WITH WHAT MATT IS DOING NOW TO WHAT YOU WENT THROUGH A COUPLE YEARS AGO? "Yeah, I think so. I knew in the beginning that the crew chief change would help him. Matt is a very skilled driver. It shows more and more how important our cars are. Matt and Paul both have good cars and those guys are running well. Matt is the kind of guy where you aren't going to break him. He is going to try and try and try and I am glad to see him running well."
-source: ford racing