Steady rainfall in the Darlington, S.C., area forced the cancellation of today's South Carolina 200 qualifying session, and the field of 43 cars was set by the NASCAR rulebook. Current points-leader Greg Biffle will start tomorrow's 147-lap from...
Steady rainfall in the Darlington, S.C., area forced the cancellation of today's South Carolina 200 qualifying session, and the field of 43 cars was set by the NASCAR rulebook. Current points-leader Greg Biffle will start tomorrow's 147-lap from the pole position, while fellow Ford Racing driver and South Carolina native Jason Keller will complete the front row. Biffle currently leads Keller by 78 points in the NASCAR Busch Series point standings, but both drivers have recorded four wins each, the most by any competitor in the series. Biffle, Keller and Scott Riggs, the leading Raybestos Rookie of the Year (fifth in points), spoke about the points race and how the rain will affect their race strategies tomorrow.
GREG BIFFLE-60-Grainger Ford Taurus
WHAT DOES THE RAIN DO AS FAR AS YOUR SCHEDULE? "I'm just waiting to get this all finished; I'm going to go to Wal-Mart to see if I can't find Play Station or something. It's awful boring sitting in the motorhome over there without anything to do; I've watched about every channel there. There's not a lot to do to get prepared. We went over our notes from the spring race; we finished second to our teammate and kinda chased him down there at the end of the race. We think we were fairly decent. We need to get better through the middle parts of our run and we talked about things today -- shocks and spring pressures and stuff like that and tire pressure -- things we might be able make our car a little bit better, but it doesn't look like we're going to get a chance to do that at all. I'm just happy to be in the points lead when things like this happen and to be able to start up front. It's kind of crucial to start here up front; track position is important and just hopefully start out running in the top five. More importantly, I hope we get a little bit of practice, but it's not looking like it. Hopefully a little bit of practice before we start the race."
IS YOUR SETUP A GUESS? "Yeah, it's going to be. Thank goodness we ran decent here in the spring, so that's a little bit of a confidence builder to know we ran second here and our setup was close. We looked over it and know that we freed the car up all day and we'll probably start off fairly conservative and just build a lot of adjustment into the car and just fire off."
DID YOU TEST HERE PRIOR TO THE RACE? "It would probably be a pretty big advantage to somebody who tested here prior to this. We didn't test. We've got a test scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday, our Cup car at Charlotte, and that's about it. We did not test before this event, but we feel pretty confident. We tested last year here, and we always run fairly decent, in the top eight, top five, so I think we'll be OK, really."
DOES IT GIVE YOU A DIFFERENT OUTLOOK ON THE RACE KNOWING THAT YOU ARE STARTING NEXT TO THAT IS CAR SECOND IN POINTS? "Not really. The blue car has always started right next to me, or in front of me or behind me, and he always finishes right there. No, Jason Keller and those guys do a great job over there at the 57 car. We're used to racing around him a lot and we started side-by-side somewhere else this year, I think we qualified first and second, so we're kinda used to it, racing with him and we're in good company up there in the front. It doesn't bother me to start by points, obviously if I'm leading, but still there are a lot of good cars around us when we start like that."
JASON KELLER-57-Albertsons Ford Taurus
"Naturally, being from South Carolina, it's always nice to race in your home state. I was just hoping that we could get on the race track today like everyone, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. I've raced around this area for a lot of years even go-karts, dirt cars, asphalt cars, everything. It's my hometown track and the last couple of times here we've run real well, so I think we have some really good notes."
SCOTT RIGGS-10-Nestle Nesquik Ford Taurus
YOU RUN WELL HERE IN THE PAST IN BOTH THE TRUCK SERIES AND BUSCH SERIES. "I wouldn't say quite a good run in the spring. We had a good car and qualified fourth, and were running pretty decent, just got away from the setup a little bit; we tightened the car up a little too much. After hitting the wall about six times, we didn't quite have the car we needed to to have a good finish. We struggled around and limped around and finished the race. I think I learned a lot being back here -- what the track was going to do and conditions and things. I know exactly where the wall is. (Turns) One and two a little bit, but I really know where it is in three and four. It doesn't bother us at all, like I said, to be able to start the race without any practice. I feel that, the same as Jack (Sprague) said, that we all have really good notes and pretty good starting spots as far where we need to start on our chassis and things like that. Let's buckle down and go racing. I think it will be exciting, for sure, for everyone."
WHY DID YOU HIT THE WALL SO MANY TIMES IN THE SPRING? "In three and four, they need to move the wall over about two more feet for me, and I would have been just fine. We're happy we had a pretty good race car in the beginning of the race in the spring and the car was just a little it too free for me. It seemed like the track really tightened up right there at the end of the run and we came in made an adjustment and tightened up the car a little more, too. It just got way too tight, and when I looked at the race on tape this week, I think I was driving into the corner a little too hard, too. Trying to tame 'The Lady in Black' is not the best thing to do your first time in a Busch car. At least I learned a lot of respect where the walls were and where you can run and you can't run."