Greg Biffle, the current NASCAR Sprint Cup series points leader, met with members of the media Friday after the final practice session and prior to qualifying at Richmond International Raceway.
TALK ABOUT YOUR SPONSOR THIS WEEKEND AND THE INITIATIVE YOU HAVE GOING ON WITH THE AMERICAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION. “It is really exciting to be a part of it. 3M’s dental division and Henry Shine Organization and the American Dental Association have a program called Give Kids A Smile. Millions of kids don’t get the proper dental care that they need and it is very important to successful life growing up and learning in school and all those things. It is something I am a part of and glad to be a part of and a fun thing to do. It is fun to see the kids and they have a program here where they are doing dental screening and will probably see 300-400 kids over the weekend or more. It is an exciting program and they have been doing it many years since before I was involved in it and it has been a lot of fun.”
TALK ABOUT THIS WEEKEND. “Richmond has been a fairly good place for us. We have had a few mishaps here where we missed a setup a little bit but we looked at the last race here and we ran in the top-five most of the night. We just got too tight at the end and slid back and finished 13th. It was still a decent night overall. We’ve been running good off the truck here and the lap times are decent. We are trying to get that comfort level in the car. We know there will be long runs. It is really hard to practice here during the day and then turn around and race at night. It makes it difficult. You have to work on your car and get a good balance. I feel good about qualifying here in a bit and my chances for tomorrow night.”
WHAT IS YOUR VERY FIRST MEMORY OF GOING TO A RACING EVENT AND WHAT IS IT THAT GOT YOU HOOKED ON THE SPORT? “For starters, my dad was a big influence on me getting involved in racing. We had a flat bottom boat that he worked on a lot in the garage. My dad was a car guy, grew up in southern California and moved to the northwest. Growing up I was interested in cars and had motorcycles my whole life. I begged him for a go kart about every chance I got. We didn’t really live in an area that was conducive to that. I got my first car when I was 15 and I worked for a guy that he developed a friendship with that had an automotive machine shop that had an oval track for cars. My dad and I went to the oval track race on a regular Friday or Saturday night and watched the hobby stocks and the whole show. I was excited and so was my dad and we went home and built a car. I think that is where the new fan is going to come from. The problem is that there are no cars for people to go and build today. The evolution of the automobile has changed. There are not those old cars running around that you can go get, strip the interior out of, put a roll cage in and show up on a Friday night. There is no sanctioning of that type of racing anymore. We need to create a format that can get young kids – dad can go and build a car with his son and show up at a race track and have a platform for that. I’ve thought a lot about it and think I have a good plan and idea for it. I just have to convince someone that it is the way to go.”
WHAT WOULD IT TAKE FOR YOU TO BECOME A CAR OWNER OUT HERE? “I can hardly keep track of my three dogs so keeping track of 120 employees would be relatively difficult for me. I agree with him. I don’t agree that there need to be 43 car owners but I agree that there needs to be more car owners. That has been a discussion amongst some of the drivers. We have talked about what this sport would look like without Rick Hendrick, Joe Gibbs, Jack Roush and Richard Childress today. And there are a few others, I don’t want to leave anyone out. That discussion has come up. We all see opportunities there or talk about the succession plans for those guys. I agree. I don’t know what the answer is certainly and I would have to think about it awhile. I agree to some point that there needs to be some more owners. It was disappointing to see Red Bull go out. I will admit that. They were a good funded team; they just needed maybe to be organized differently or something.”
DO YOU HAVE AN ADVANTAGE WITH WHERE YOU ARE IN POINTS AND WITH A WIN THAT YOU CAN KINDA GO FOR IT OUT THERE? “I don’t think we have quite built that cushion but we are in a pretty safe spot with where we are at in the points. We technically go for it every race. I am driving on the edge and doing everything I can to not make mistakes. I don’t know what else I could do to be better than I am. We are working as hard as we can. There is kind of that false sense that the drivers could do a little bit more if he wanted to. I don’t know if that is always the case. I think you wish you could do more but that opportunity to maybe try and drive down on the inside of that guy and make a bonzai move or something is coming down to the last 10 laps of the race. That is not the 400 miles. You only do that when it is desperate and you are trying to gain a position. I think you are still going to see people do that. Like at Kansas, I did everything I could for fifth place. I was driving my heart out and that is all I could do. As far as using some different setups and trying different things in the car if we miss it a little and finish 18th or 15th, then yeah we aren’t in that bad a position. We can take some chances like that I think.”
YOU ARE AT YOUR HIGH POINT RIGHT NOW. HOW DO YOU KEEP IT JUST RIGHT FROM HERE ON OUT? “Well, that is your opinion that we are at our high point. My high point is going to be with 10 to go.”
SO YOU ARE GOING TO BE LIKE 80 POINTS AHEAD BY THEN. “Yeah, that is what I am hoping for. No, again, we do everything we can and Matt (Puccia) and I have been talking a lot about the Chase and Matt is getting ready to start Chase cars in the next probably four weeks. We are getting ready for the Chase. We are not even in the Chase yet. We happen to be leading the points right now but we aren’t guaranteed in the Chase by any means. We don’t know – I know what you are talking about – guys get going really good. Look at Tony Stewart. He was horrible and I was right along with him. We were fighting like dogs for the last Chase spot and we were both awful. Then he turned around and won five races of the 10. It can happen at any time. This running good for us can turn off any time. All we can do is pay attention to what we are doing and try not to get behind the curve. I think that is what happens. You get comfortable thinking you are leading the points and have a win and you get comfortable not looking at the Chase like Matt is saying, ‘How are we going to be better when we get to the Chase. We need better cars than we have today when the Chase comes.’ That is what makes a team keep clicking.”