Martinsville: This Week in Ford Racing

This Week in Ford Racing March 28, 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 National Guard Ford Fusion, has never had much luck at Martinsville Speedway. In six NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series starts at the half-mile short...

This Week in Ford Racing
March 28, 2006

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series

Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 National Guard Ford Fusion, has never had much luck at Martinsville Speedway. In six NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series starts at the half-mile short track, Biffle has not posted a top-15 finish. He'll try to change that this weekend as the series prepares for Sunday's 500-lap feature.

GREG BIFFLE -- No. 16 National Guard/Subway Ford Fusion

WHY DON'T YOU LIKE MARTINSVILLE? "There's really nothing wrong with Martinsville, I just don't run well there. I don't know if it's I overcharge the corner or I'm on the brakes too much. I don't know what it is about that race track, but it's not my best-performing race track."

IT'S LIKE TWO DRAG STRIPS BUT THOSE CORNERS SLOW YOU DOWN. "Yeah, and it's about having your car turn and having enough grip up off the corner. There's so much to it. Even though it's a slow race track, it's real technical and you've got to have a car that will turn and handle and do those things. It's a really tough place to get figured out, but I think I'm getting better there. We maybe need to get our cars a little bit better because the whole Roush group didn't run that well there, so that's something we're working on as well."

IT'S NOT AN OVERALL SHORT-TRACK ISSUE, THOUGH, IS IT? BRISTOL HAS BEEN A GOOD TRACK FOR YOU AND ROUSH OVERALL. "We run really well at Bristol and I really like that race track. I enjoy going there and like on Saturday we should have won the race. I had a loose wheel, otherwise they weren't gonna beat us. There was no way. I was gonna win at Bristol another time and got a flat tire with seven to go, and finished third to Matt last year in the night race, so we've run extremely well at Bristol. Martinsville, however, is a different story. That's the only one I really don't run that good at."

NOTE: Biffle finished 29th and 20th in '05; 35th and 17th in '04; 18th and 19th in '03 at Martinsville.

***

Starting with this weekend's race at Martinsville Speedway, the top 35 drivers in the 2006 point standings will be guaranteed starting spots in the field. Kevin Lepage, driver of the No. 61 Peak Performance Motorsports Ford Fusion, goes into Friday's qualifying session 37th in the standings. As a result, Lepage will have to qualify on speed to make the race.

KEVIN LEPAGE -- No. 61 Peak Performance Motorsports Ford Fusion

THIS WEEKEND TAKES ON SOME ADDED SIGNIFICANCE BEING 37TH IN POINTS, BUT YOU'RE ONLY 15 POINTS OUT OF 35TH. "We went to Bristol and were five points out. We passed two cars that were in front of us and are now behind us, but, unfortunately, we had a mechanical problem with a sway bar issue and lost 50 laps repairing it. We ran in the top 25 all day long and were just riding. We ran almost 400 laps that way on the lead lap and then had a problem that kind of took the wind out of our sails."

YOU GUYS HAVE MADE ALL THE RACES BUT IT SEEMS TO BE ONE THING OR ANOTHER EVERY WEEK. "The last two weekends we've learned so much -- after Vegas and California -- about what these cars want with the new spring package. There are things that we're trying to do and at Atlanta we had a real good car and a solid run, but we ended up cutting a tire down going into turn one and lost two laps just limping the car around back to pit road. We lost our third lap with two to go and the only two guys that passed us were Kasey and Mark, so to go that whole race and actually lose only one lap on the race track showed us that we had a solid run there. It was the same thing this weekend. We had a real solid run. Greg and the guys made some great calls on pit road. We led a lap. We pitted when we needed to pit and ran in the top 25 for the better part of the day before having that mechanical problem with less than 100 to go. We're there and knocking on the door, but we figured we've given up 80 points the last few weeks that if we would have gotten those decent finishes, it would have put us easily in the top 35."

YOU HAVE QUALIFIED WELL SO YOU MUST FIGURE YOU CAN MAKE THE RACE THIS WEEKEND AND WORK ON GETTING INTO THE TOP 35. "I love Martinsville. I've had good runs there. It's another short track and another one that you have to keep your nose clean for 450 laps and then race the last 50. We're going there with an outlook that it's just another race. We've got to make the race and do the best job we can and let the points fall where they may. When we go to Texas the next week, that's what we're looking at. We've got a real good mile and a half program. I love the mile-and-a--halves, and whatever happens this weekend is a bonus, but next weekend is where we're gonna come out shooting."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Greg Biffle , Kevin Lepage