GREG BIFFLE -- No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Qualified 2nd) "I'm really excited about the lap. The last time we had a restrictor plate car this good was 2004 at the Daytona 500. The thing about it is we're basically qualifying in race trim, so I...
GREG BIFFLE -- No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Qualified 2nd)
"I'm really excited about the lap. The last time we had a restrictor plate car this good was 2004 at the Daytona 500. The thing about it is we're basically qualifying in race trim, so I feel good about the race tomorrow. We've got a really fast car and an opportunity to run up front and stay up front. It's a big confidence boost for the team because they spend a tremendous amount of time working on these cars, and the engine shop. The straight line testing out in Arizona for the last couple of years is starting to pay off for these guys. It's a lot of work on the team guys' part. The driver has it pretty easy qualifying here, so it really just tells how hard they've worked."
CAN A TOP-FIVE START MEAN A HIGHER FINISH COMPARED TO THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS?
"I hope so, but, certainly restrictor plate race at Talladega, it truly doesn't matter where you start at this race track. At some point, you're usually throughout the field and in the wrong line or you're stuck in the middle or something. We've seen guys go from the back to the front here with only a few laps to go, but it certainly says we have a competitive car and if I can keep it up front all day, I think we have an opportunity to get another top five finish."
YOU HAVEN'T FINISHED 5 OF THE LAST 6 RACES HERE. ANYTHING YOU CAN DO AND IS FINISHING ALMOST LIKE A VICTORY?
"Yeah, it really is a victory. I tried that last year. I stayed out of the race until there was like 12 to go or 15 to go, and I could sniff the front of the pack. I think we were even with the leaders in three and four and got wrecked, so I don't think there's a safe spot. If you're out there on the race track, you're vulnerable. It doesn't matter if you're leading or not. You just try and do the best you can -- pick the right people to draft with and try and stay in a good line and just pay attention. That's about all you can do."
DID YOU GET EVERYTHING OUT OF THE CAR HERE FOR QUALIFYING?
"Absolutely. That's all she had and we were like eight-thousandths of a second different than the 42 or something. You think about what you could have done different, but you just have to be careful about how you turn the steering wheel down it the corner, not to bind the car up and slow it down. I felt like I did everything I could to get all that I could out of the car."
WHAT IS STRAIGHT LINE TESTING?
"What a lot of teams do is they go to like a five-mile oval and instead of a wind tunnel it's more like at the race track type of testing. They have load cells in the car and they'll do runs around the oval or up and down a straight line and try to learn about drag and other things like that. I don't know if our team has been much this year, but I know that year's past that's what a lot of people talk about every once in a while. At least once a year they go out there and try a handful of things that they've dreamt up over the course of the season to see if they can learn anything."
THERE'S SORT OF A RANDOMNESS TO THIS KIND OF RACE, ESPECIALLY AT THE END RIGHT?
"Absolutely. There are two parts to the race. One is making it to mile marker 498 and the rest -- literally two laps with the right line and the right push you can get a lot of positions. You can go the other way just as fast. Part of the race is making it to the end and then the other part of the race is being with the right people or the right position."
DO YOU WANT TO BE THE LEADER BEFORE THE LAST LAP IN CASE OF A WRECK AND THE RACE ENDS BEFORE YOU GET TO THE FINISH LINE?
"I think so. You say you don't want to be leading on that last lap, but, inevitably, people are pushing and shoving back there for positions and people don't cut each other breaks anymore. A lot of times what happens is throughout the race a guy will give a little way or give a position -- work together, give a little room -- and when it comes down to the last lap people don't give each other room anymore. You could fill that hole before but now it's not there anymore or a guy's not gonna let off the gas. That's where those wrecks come from the last two laps is that nobody gives anymore. That's racing."
WAS THERE ANY QUALIFYING SETUP IN THE CAR TODAY?
"It's totally race setup. There was nothing to do with qualifying one bit because we put a cover on it and that's how we're gonna race it."
IS IT EVER ACCEPTABLE TO BLOCK OUT THERE?
"I think so, but you've got to be careful how much of a run the guy has behind you and how much you want to block. That's really what it boils down to. If a guy is coming at a pretty good speed behind you, it's hard to block him, but blocking is part of racing -- you just have to be smart about how you go about it and not be too aggressive about blocking."
-credit: ford racing