It was announced last week that Greg Biffle, 2000 Craftsman Truck Series champion, would return to the series and track that gave him his first NASCAR win. Biffle is slated to drive the ...
It was announced last week that Greg Biffle, 2000 Craftsman Truck Series champion, would return to the series and track that gave him his first NASCAR win. Biffle is slated to drive the #99 Roush Racing entry in this weekend's Memphis 200 at the .75-mile Memphis Motorsports Park, a one-race deal that will team him with 19-year-old Jon Wood. Memphis was the site of Biffle's first-ever Craftsman Series victory, a race he won in 1999 by .241 seconds over Kevin Harvick. Since then, Biffle has gone on to rack up a total of 16 NASCAR wins, including two wins this season in the Busch Series, where he drives the #60 Grainger Ford Taurus. Biffle spoke about his return to the Truck Series.
GREG BIFFLE-99-Roush Racing Ford F-150
YOU ARE SCHEDULED TO MAKE YOUR FIRST START IN THE TRUCK SERIES SINCE LAST YEAR'S SEASON FINALE IN CALIFORNIA.
"I'm real excited about that. I enjoy racing and I kind of missed the trucks and Memphis isn't a bad place to get back behind the wheel of a truck. Although I'll be in the No. 99 truck, I'm being told that it's one of the trucks that I drove last year. I still follow the trucks, whether it's on TV or at the track during a companion event, so it's not like starting all over again. There are a whole lot of changes and I haven't been driving the trucks, so I'm going to have to adapt quick to get up to speed."
YOUR WIN AT MEMPHIS WAS THE FIRST OF YOUR NASCAR CAREER AND YOU WENT ON TO WIN EIGHT MORE IN 1999.
"I got my first win at Memphis, so it brings back some fond racing memories. It also bit us a few times, but I'm ready to go back there. No matter what sport you're talking about, I think once you get that first win under your belt, they come a little easier. Don't get me wrong, we still had to work for each win, and I'm not sure if it's a mental thing, but once you break through it seems a little easier to back to Victory Lane. Maybe it's because your entire focus isn't on getting that first win anymore, and you don't get so caught up in that."
WILL RANDY GOSS BE THERE?
"Randy will be there, but he will act more like a consultant. Jeff Campey will be the crew chief, but Randy will be there to help bridge the communication gap. Campey worked with the 99 team last year, and while I have a good relationship with him, Randy will be there to make sure we're all on the same page."
THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE AN OFF-WEEKEND FOR THE BUSCH DRIVERS.
"I had some plans for this weekend, but I'm going to cut them short this week. I'm still planning on taking a vacation, but I will cut it a few days short to go to Memphis. I'm a racer, and any time that I can get behind the wheel, I'm going to take that opportunity. Jack asked me to do this for him and if there's something that I can help those guys with, I'm going to do that. Max (Jones, general manager) runs a real good operation in Michigan, but they haven't had the results they wanted so far. Maybe they feel that I can give them good feedback on what's happening; I'm not real sure."
YOU'LL HAVE A ROOKIE TEAMMATE THIS WEEKEND.
"I had a rookie teammate in Kurt Busch last year, so I know that territory. Everyone has said that Jon (Wood) is a very talented young driver, and I'm going to help him out as much as I can. He's got Dan (Binks) as a crew chief, so he's already in good hands."
DO YOU THINK YOU CAN GO IN AND DOMINATE?
"These trucks are so different from last year, that I want to go in on Friday and just get used to the new package; we'll take it from there. The tire deal has changed a lot, the trucks have changed a lot, the carburetor is different and the rear wing has been moved back two inches. Plus, it's obvious that the Dodge still has a distinct advantage aero-wise, and NASCAR is working on making it better, but I don't think they have it balanced perfectly. The Truck Series has a lot of talent. A few of us may have moved to the Busch and Cup ranks, but you throw in some of those rookies, and, of course, Ted Musgrave and you still have a very competitive series. Joe Ruttman is a competitor and Jack Sprague is the defending champion of that race, so we'll have our hands full."
IS THERE MORE STRATEGY INVOLVED IN THE TRUCKS?
"The trucks have a different set of rules. It definitely makes it more interesting, but they can easily turn around and bite you. You can only take on two tires under caution and strategy definitely comes into play as to which side you'll put tires on. The truck races are generally shorter than Busch and Cup, so I think those rules help to keep the race interesting from the start to the finish. There aren't make runaway race winners, and I think the rules they have in place make it that way. You always think they're great as long as you're on the winning end."
DO YOU THINK EVERYONE WILL BE GUNNING FOR YOU?
"The guys at the top of the point standings are running for the championship. This is a one-race deal for me, so if they get caught up in the fact that I'm there, they may be giving something away in their quest for the championship at the end of the season. We had Ken Schrader and Bobby Hamilton race with us last year a couple of times and I never got caught up in the fact that they were there. I just treated them as another competitor because if I worried about what they were doing, I wouldn't have been concentrating on what I needed to do."