Roush Fenway, Greg Biffle and Steve Newmark comment on contact extension
JAMIE ALLISON, Director, Ford Racing – "All of us at Ford are thrilled Greg has renewed his contract with Roush Fenway and 3M. Greg is a fierce, championship-capable competitor on the track, and also is an enthusiastic and credible spokesperson for our Ford products off the track, and that rings true with our fan base. We look forward to working with Jack Roush and all of Roush-Fenway to help Greg become the first NASCAR champion to win in all three major series."
Greg Biffle and Roush Fenway Racing announced a multi-year contract extension this morning at Talladega Superspeedway that also includes sponsor 3M staying on board. Biffle, along with Steve Newmark, Jack Roush and Bob MacDonald, held a press conference to discuss the signing, which runs through the 2014 season.
STEVE NEWMARK, President, Roush Fenway Racing
“We obviously are here to announce what may be one of the worst-kept secrets in NASCAR, which is saying a lot in this garage, although we’re obviously the culprit putting it on the car among other reasons. But we are really thrilled and excited to announce that the relationship between Roush Fenway, Greg Biffle and 3M will be continuing at least through the 2014 season, and hopefully beyond, and hopefully we can replicate the success that we’ve had on and off the track during our partnership. From the Roush Fenway perspective, it really is an honor and a privilege to be associated with individuals and an organization the caliber of Greg Biffle and 3M, so this is a monumental step for us.”
JACK ROUSH, Owner, Roush Fenway Racing
“I’ll start with Greg. Greg came in 1998, this is our 14th year, and we’ve had a great run. We’ve had five victories with 3M sponsorship on the car. I neglected to figure out how many we had total, but with 3M we’ve had five. This is our seventh year with 3M. We’ve had 117 starts with 3M and five victories. 3M has done just an exemplary job of activating behind their sponsorship to make a good return for their company. They found a satisfactory means of carrying their message to the public through our association that I think they otherwise would have had trouble through the normal media accomplishing. It’s been a great family-feeling relationship. We’ve enjoyed playing together. We’ve enjoyed working together. We look forward to a strong relationship that will be to their benefit and to ours both going forward for many years to come, not just the four years that are in the present agreement. What can I say about Greg? Greg is one of the toughest competitors that NASCAR racing has ever seen. He came in and won the first championship that we had in NASCAR’s highest series with his championship in trucks in 2000 and with Nationwide in 2002. He stands the prospect of being the first driver in history, if we can pull it off, to win the championship in all three categories. I’ve enjoyed the relationship with Nicole, with the dogs, and all the other things that go with their clan, and, of course, soon to have a new baby on the way as well. We couldn’t be happier with the chance to carry forward with Greg, and I think it’s a vote of confidence for Greg and the management team at Roush Fenway that we’ve been able to keep it together for so many years.”
We couldn’t be happier with the chance to carry forward with Greg...
BOB MACDONALD, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing, 3M
“We’re really happy to be with Jack, Greg and the number 16 Ford Fusion again for these years. These two individuals are fantastic representatives of our company. We’re proud to have our brand associated with them. They’ve become personal friends, but it’s very good for our business to be associated with competitive people that have an incredible human caliber and represent our company so well. But the real reason that we re-signed is not because of being personal friends, the real reason we re-signed is because NASCAR is a fantastic lever to grow our business. You might know that we’re in 37 different industries. We’re a very innovative company and we’ve innovated how to use the NASCAR brand, the excitement of NASCAR, Jack and Greg, to grow all of those businesses. We’re really pleased with what NASCAR has done to help grow our business. I’m really excited to be here and be a part of this. This is a great day for us.”
GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
“I’m really excited. Like Jack said, it’s been a great, long road with the truck and Nationwide championships and I feel better now than I have at a chance to win a Cup title. As you know, our cars are super-fast this season and think they will be for the next couple of years. We’re kind of on the upswing with all the things we’ve got going on with our company. 3M is a company that a lot of people probably don’t know as much about as they should. When I got the sponsorship to drive the 3M car, Post-it was on the car. I was like, ‘Oh, 3M makes Post-it.’ I thought that they just made sandpaper and tape. I think a lot of people would be surprised if they did the research what 3M actually makes. It’s a very innovative company. I am impressed because daily I find out things that they make and things that we use. Some stats they told me is that you’re never 10 feet away from a 3M product. That’s pretty interesting to think about, and the other thing I’ve learned about 3M as a company is if their name is on it, it works. And that’s something I’m kind of proud of and proud to represent that it’s a great product and it’s gonna work for what it says. I always use it for what it doesn’t say it’s gonna do and it still works. I’m definitely a 3M believer and all the products they make are amazing. I’m looking forward to the continued relationship and, like Bob said, it’s not about just friendship it’s about how it works for their business andletting all these NASCAR folks know what 3M is and what they make. That’s working well for them and I’m excited to represent the company for the next four years and teach people about 3M and, most importantly, winning races on the race track. I think it’s 52 wins total, somewhere in there. Hopefully, we’ll make it 53 and 54 soon. I’m very excited and looking forward to it.”
GREG BIFFLE – WHAT HAS WORKED FOR YOU AT ROUSH FENWAY RACING? “That’s a good question. There are several reasons. All a driver wants is the ability to win races and be competitive, and if you feel you can’t win races and be competitive, then you need to look elsewhere because that’s truly what this sport is about is who is gonna win the race today. I felt like our company has been competitive throughout the entire time that I’ve been here, and I take some pride at some point in us being the underdog and coming back and winning races. Maybe we weren’t the best at times and I think it’s a cycle. You look at Childress a few years ago, they hadn’t won any races and missed the chase and trying to finish on the lead lap, and we experienced the same exact thing. Carl and I missed the chase and we just weren’t competitive, but we didn’t give up and we came back and now we’re super-competitive. We’re winning races and the cycle is back in our court, so that’s the main reason -- can I win races here. They’ve been fair to me over the years and that’s part of staying, and consistency. I know what to expect. I know what the policy is with our company, and I think that has a lot to do with it. If you go somewhere else, you don’t know what to expect. I feel like I’ve got a little job security where I’m at because I’m embedded in the company and I know a lot about the way it works and the way it operates and what we have to do to get better. So I think that’s been the main reason.”
BOB MACDONALD – 3M HAS ANNOUNCED SOME EXPANSION FROM A BUSINESS STANDPOINT. IS THIS A SIGN THE ECONOMY IS REBOUNDING SOME? “The U.S. economy is still tough, but the global economy is coming back. We’ve lived through the downturn really well because we’re very diversified. We’re in health care. We’re in electronics. We’re not just an industrial company. We introduced 1,200 new products last year, so with that kind of performance in a downturn economy, we’ve got a lot to sell and we’ve got new stuff to sell. People really like the innovation part of our company. We’ve been rated the third-most innovative company in the world recently, so we’ve actually powered through the downturn. We’re investing all around the world. We’re investing overseas as well, so we’re growing.”
STEVE NEWMARK -- WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO GET THIS OUT OF THE WAY AND MOVE FORWARD BY WORKING ON CARL AND UPS? “I think our goal from the beginning has been continuity. I think that we’re extremely fortunate to have a stable of drivers the caliber that we do, and sponsors that we do. So what our goal has been from the outset is to have dialogs with all of those to see if we can continue those partnerships into the future. I think continuity in this sport, in my mind, is very underrated and it’s something we’ve tried to focus on recently, so, obviously, signing up Greg and 3M for an extension is the first step in that process. I think our goal will be to continue that, but we do have regular dialog with all of those partners and hopefully at the end of the day we can have several more press conferences just like this.”
JACK ROUSH – “I line up squarely behind Steve. They don’t let me do the money and, happily, I get to work on the spark plugs and the rest of it, but if you look at where we’ve come from and where we’ve been, we’ve tried to build for ourselves and take care of our own and promote from within as it relates to crew and to staff. We certainly think we’re on track to keep that going. The economy, as seen by me as part of the automobile industry both here and in Detroit, is on the rebound and we think there are great days coming for our economy. I don’t know our economy will regain the shine that it had in 2007, but, certainly, we’ve got much better times than 2008 and 2009. For sponsors to be associated with a race car team and NASCAR gives them a chance to be exposed to the world’s most brand loyal fans. There’s a chance for market share there. The conclusion we had to the 2010 year and the start we’ve had in 2011, we’re hoping we make a compelling reason for the drivers that have been with us to want to stay and to realize their success here as part of our program.”
... the plan is to, I believe, finish my career driving for Roush Fenway.
STEVE NEWMARK – IS THIS FOR ALL 36 RACES EACH YEAR? IS THE LEVEL OF SPONSORSHIP THE SAME, MORE OR LESS THAN PREVIOUSLY? “As you know, we generally keep the economic details between the parties up here, but I think we’re all extremely pleased with where we ended up from a financial perspective and then as far as the number of races, it’s fair to say that 3M will be our primary sponsor. For all practical purposes they will be Greg’s primary for all three seasons. We have retained a few races for RFR to match with other partners, but they will be the main partner that we’ll have on this car.”
GREG BIFFLE – IS IT FAIR TO SAY YOU WANT TO END YOUR CAREER WITH ROUSH FENWAY? “Yeah, I think so. I definitely do. There’s been a little bit of talk about that. Let me be clear that this isn’t my last contract. I’m planning on that. I would certainly feel like I’d be able to, and, hopefully, this guy over here (Bob) will come back in a few years and bring the 3M brand back for a few more years. We’ll see, but that’s definitely the plan is to, I believe, finish my career driving for Roush Fenway.”
STEVE NEWMARK – “And let me just chime in that from our perspective that would be our hope as well and we hope we’ve got several more contracts with Greg, particularly after he finishes the triple crown at some point.”
-source: ford racing