Phoenix II: Biffle - Friday media visit

Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion, is in third place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings with two races remaining. Biffle has two second-place finishes in his last six starts at Phoenix. YOU'VE GOT TWO TO GO,...

Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion, is in third place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings with two races remaining. Biffle has two second-place finishes in his last six starts at Phoenix.

YOU'VE GOT TWO TO GO, YOU'VE GOT SOME GROUND TO MAKE UP BUT YOU'VE HAD A HECK OF A CHASE. YOUR THOUGHTS? "Yeah, we have had a heck of a Chase. If I had to go back and do anything over, I think we'd do exactly the same thing as that we've done. We've came to the race track every weekend the best prepared we can. We've tested, we've digested, thought about what we needed to do. We've run our best. I think that's all we can do, is come out ever week and be the best we can and see what happens. I thought last week, we were going to definitely make up a little bit and the table turned there late for us in the race, but we still gained a little on Jimmie. We've got two races left to try and get it done."

THERE WAS SOME DISCUSSION LAST WEEK AMONG THE ROUSH DRIVERS HOW CARL WAS ABLE TO MAKE THE DISTANCE. DID YOU FIND ANYTHING OUT THIS PAST WEEK ABOUT WHAT THEY WERE ABLE TO DO? "Actually, we haven't got into that yet. Simply because the fact that we didn't have a production meeting last week. Jack wasn't there and the guys were busy. They still had there regular meeting, but we didn't have that meeting which probably would have got more in detail into that. But more than anything, we need to learn from that mileage to try and improve our other cars versus what did he have or what did they do different than everybody else. We certainly want all of our cars to get really good mileage. It was the whole race, it wasn't just the end. He didn't do something spectacular at the end to manage to save his gas to get there. They didn't start saving gas until 10 to go, which is pretty surprising that they made it considering Jeff Gordon tried to save right from leaving in to pit road and just babied it the entire way and just barely made it. We need to look at that and try and make our cars better across the board. It's positive for us as a company that we're able to get that good mileage. He got that mileage all day. We need to look back and see if we can improve our cars. We really don't know exactly yet what the difference is. Driving style will make a slight difference in mileage, usually a tenth or a half-a-tenth or something like that. There's a lot more than that there that we can definitely all learn from, so that's good."

IS THIS LIKE THE FOURTH QUARTER OF THE SUPER BOWL, TWO MINUTES TO GO AND YOU'RE DOWN A TOUCHDOWN? OR IS MORE LIKE YOU'RE DOWN A TOUCHDOWN AND THERE'S ONLY 20 SECONDS TO GO? "I would say we've still got a whole quarter to go, because next week, if we need to pick up 149 points, there's about 20 seconds left, because somebody's going to have to have a problem within the first 10 laps of the race or 15 laps of the race and finish 43rd and we're going to have a spectacular day. So, right now, we still have two races. That's still a big deficit, it's still 75 points per race, which is a lot. There again, we've talked about it all along all the scenarios, all the things, anything can happen. Anybody can get a flat tire, anybody can break a rear-end gear, anybody can have the engine fail or break a transmission on a re-start -- all of those things are out there. Or, have two ignition boxes go out at the same time. Anything can happen. We're certainly just going to worry about us and just dig as hard as we can."

YOU'VE HAD A STELLAR RECORD AT HOMESTEAD. IS THERE A CERTAIN POINT NUMBER THAT YOU FEEL IF YOU'RE WITHIN THAT NUMBER HEADING INTO THE FINAL RACE...? "Well, it depends on what happens to Carl this week because not only are we trying to beat one car, we're trying to beat two cars. So, even if I have a great race here and get closer and Carl finishes top-five down there and we win, he's still going to be ahead of us in points. But, I feel like we can make up any amount of points. Jimmie has been -- I think it's fair to say whatever the points are from 15th to 20th, and if we win the race you stand a chance of beating him. Most of the time he's going to run better than that, but that's probably point-wise your outside chance at pulling something off. That's what Tony Stewart did when we went there -- I think he finished 16th or something like that, didn't have a great night, 17th, he was a lap down at one point, and we won the race and ended up 35 short. So, I don't know what the deficit was in '05 going into Homestead, but probably 35 less than that would be the magic number."

BOTH MATT KENSETH AND JEFF GORDON HAVE NOT WON RACES THIS YEAR. YOU'VE GONE THROUGH A SEASON WHEN YOU HAVEN'T WON AND KNOWN YOUR TEAM WAS BETTER THAN THAT. DOES IT HAVE A PARTICULAR STING WHEN YOU DON'T GET A WIN? THE ZERO KIND OF HANGS THERE? "Yeah, it does. I've been really fortunate. I've been able to win a race every season I've been in the Sprint Cup Series so far, but I've come up short in the Craftsman Truck Series of winning in a season. And it does, it is tough. You get nervous when you get three-quarters of the way through the season -- it was Kansas last year that pulled our zero column, we were able to put a "1" in there. Then this year it was all the way until Loudon and Dover, so, yeah, it is hard. But some of the guys make it look so dang easy. Kyle Busch winning a whole bunch early in the season and now Jimmie and myself and Carl winning a bunch right in a row. It is tough. It is tough when you go a season without winning a race."

IF YOU HAD TO VOTE FOR DRIVER OF THE YEAR IN 2008, WHO WOULD YOU PICK AND WHY? "Oh, I'd pick myself. I don't know. Driver of the Year -- well, that would be really hard right now. That would be really hard because a lot of guys have done a spectacular job. One could say Kyle Busch did a magnificent job three-quarters of the season. He's been a little under the radar since then. And Jimmie Johnson has done a great job -- they've positioned themselves, they've won races, they made the Chase and they're leading the Chase, and Carl's had a great season, too. So, I think there's three or four guys that would be in a really, really tight race for that."

THERE'S TWO RACES LEFT. IS IT BONSAI TIME? DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO MAKE SOME CARL EDWARDS MOVES, CRAZY MOVES? "I've been doing that the last eight races, so I'm doing all I can do. Man, I'm just doing all I can do. I've been driving the wheels off the thing every single lap. You know, it's frustrating like at a place like Atlanta, where we normally run better than we did and we finished 10th, but, gosh, you know, that stung to drive as hard as we can and end up 10th. But, yeah, we've got to do what we can do. That's it. I can only change my outcome and not anybody else's. So I'm going to try and get a couple of wins here in the last couple of weeks, see what I can do."

WITH THE NEW CAR AND LIMITED CHANGES THAT YOU'RE ABLE TO MAKE TO IT, WITH NASCAR SAYING THEY'RE NOT GOING TO CHANGE THINGS IF THEY CAN HELP IT, GOING FROM 2008 TO 2009 IS PRETTY SAFE TO ASSUME THAT IF YOU'RE GOOS AT THIS POINT IN THE SEASON, YOU'RE PROBABLY GOING TO BE GOOD GOING INTO THE FIRST PART OF NEXT SEASON, AND IF YOU'RE STRUGGLE NOW, YOU'LL STILL BE TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT THEN? "Yeah, that's a pretty fair assessment, I think. Guys that are pretty decent now are probably going to start the season pretty decent. The only thing that I would say is although some of the guys are hit-and-miss right now, depending on what the test policy ends up being and how aggressively they test through the winter -- a lot of times track temperature and things like that play a role when you're trying to test and nobody else is there. You come out here in January and you may not have the optimum conditions and you may not figure a lot of stuff out, but some guys could hit on some things and come out of the gate super-strong nest year -- teams like Evernham, Childress, they could come out fighting next year and knock off some wins right away and be just of the heap instantly like Gibbs did this year. That's what they did. They came out with gloves up and were really, really strong. We were all looking at the Hendrick organization and we weren't looking at these guys, really. So, I think that somebody could surprise us, but I think it's going to be the regular kind of characters again."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Greg Biffle , Jimmie Johnson , Kyle Busch