Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion has started the season with three straight Top 10 finishes. Biffle sits sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings. "Competition-wise, I'm glad to be back in Atlanta. This has been a...
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion has started the season with three straight Top 10 finishes. Biffle sits sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings.
"Competition-wise, I'm glad to be back in Atlanta. This has been a great race track for us, although we've had a few obstacles the last couple times we've been here. One we got in an accident and that was not good, but we've always run very well here. We feel like we've gained on it over the winter and our cars seem to be running better at California and Vegas and, hopefully, we continue our top 10 runs here this weekend."
A FEW YEARS AGO YOU SAID AT THIS RACE THAT YOUR THIRD PLACE FINISH WAS THE WORST DAY OF YOUR LIFE. HAVE THINGS CHANGED AT ALL FROM THAT PERSPECTIVE? "It has some, but we are just racers to the bone. It's just bred into us that you want to win and you want to try hard to do the best you can and win races. There's a great third-place finish and there's a worst-day-of-your-life third-place finish. The one is when you led the whole day like Jeff Gordon did and didn't win, and then there's the other one where you've been running 10th all day and you end up finishing third or fourth. Certainly, there are two sides to that coin, but we try hard every week and it's important for us to get top-five finishes and run for the title and when they slip away they hurt. I've had a few worst days since that day here in Atlanta. Kansas last year was tough when Tony beat us and we took four tires, but that's what racing is about. That's why there are fans in the grandstands and that's why there are all these people here, because it's exciting and it's never easy and we struggle a lot of the time."
DOES IT STILL HURT? "That particular race, no, but when you come and you run and you come that close, ask Jeff Gordon. It stung last week when he had that good of a car and ran up front for that period of time and then missed it by that much. It hurts when you come that close and it always will. Like I said, there are always different circumstances. If Jeff Gordon would have run 15th all day, and then he got up there and duked it out and didn't win, it's like, 'Aw, we came close. It was a good day for us.' But when you lead every single lap and have the best car all day, and then lose by that much, that's what stings more than anything is thinking you had it the whole time. When it shows up at the pay window for the trophy and the points and it's not your ticket anymore, that's what stings."
THERE ARE THREE RFR CARS IN THE TOP 10 BUT THERE'S NOT A LOT OF TALK ABOUT YOUR GROUP. WHO IS PULLING FOR GREG BIFFLE OR ARE YOU JUST UNDER THE RADAR GETTING THE JOB DONE? "It's always been like that a little bit, but I don't really want to be under the radar anymore. We want to be talked about at the front of the field. We were third in points last week and got a 10th-place finish and fell back some, but we feel like we're here to stay in the top 10 and we just hope they talk about us and we make enough noise on the race track that they continue to recognize us and talk about us."
WHAT ABOUT HAVING THE SPOILER BACK ON THE CAR SOON? "I'm really looking forward to the spoiler back on the race car. I had the opportunity to test it at Texas, along with Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch and Brian Vickers, and I think we all had the same feeling that the car turned a little bit better on corner exit. The car had a little bit more front grip, it seemed like, than the wing. Now, we'll just have to wait and see when we get around a big group of cars, and that test will be coming at Charlotte the end of this month. I think we're all looking forward to that to see how the cars react around a bunch of other cars, but what I think you're gonna see is better racing on the race track. That's what I think. The racing is pretty good from where I've been sitting these first two downforce race tracks. It looks pretty exciting to me, or at least it has been from my vantage point, so if we improve on that at all, it's gonna be a really exciting year."
WILL YOU BE AT MY DOOR WITH A CLIPBOARD FOR THE 2010 CENSUS SINCE IT'S ON YOUR CAR THIS WEEKEND? "If you don't send your form back, I'm gonna be at your doorstep (joking). You kind of take it for granted that some of the things that go on in this country that for every one percent of people that don't send the form back costs the taxpayers $85 million because somebody has to go knock on that door and get that form with the clipboard and ask the questions. It's really amazing when you start thinking about the stats about how important this form is to send back. They're trying to build awareness. They're trying to say, 'Hey everybody, don't forget about the census form. Send it back this year and let's save the taxpayers money.' This is how all the different places get funding for schools and taxes and all kinds of things. I learned a lot about it with them being on the race car and it's an important deal."
WHAT KIND OF RACE PENALTY WOULD BE ASSESSED IF YOU DON'T SEND IT BACK? "A stop-and-go penalty under green if you don't send it back."
LOOKING AT MARTINSVILLE IN A FEW WEEKS, HOW TOUGH IS THAT TRACK ON EQUIPMENT? "I don't know if that track is tough on equipment, but it's tough on me. Everybody knows that hasn't been the best race track for myself. We look forward to being better and better everytime we go there. It's a short track, it's slow speed and I've finally been good enough on the brakes that we've been able to finish all the races there lately. We just need to improve performance-wise. I know we're doing a little bit of testing coming up at Little Rock to try and get ready for Martinsville, so I'm looking forward to the spring race there -- that we run better than we have. I think I've got a 12th and a top 10 there as a career best, so we would like to at least match that."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT GOING TO LITTLE ROCK AND WHAT YOU CAN LEARN THERE? "Really, the only thing you can learn there is if your car turns better or worse. You'll put a bump stop on it and go out and warm up -- go with a baseline setup -- change this spring, change that spring, change the truck arms, and see how the car drives different. You're comparing one run to the other, not necessarily 'is this gonna be better at Martinsville.' So you're just simply comparing whether it's gonna be better at that particular race track and hope that it all transfers over to the other race track. You could put this bump stop on and say, 'Oh, that's way better,' and go to Martinsville and actually the other one was better at this particular surface, so we try to get trends. It's like, 'Oh, there's a big difference between this and this. That's something we'll try at the race track, at Martinsville. There's really no difference between this and this, so we're not gonna bother with it when we get there.' We try and find trends in car -- this car reacted this way -- and just try to narrow our list down so when we show up at Martinsville we can kind of execute what we learned at Little Rock -- what affected the car one direction or the other and see if it affects the car at Martinsville the same way and try to improve on our overall speed. That's all you can do, and kind of get your mind setup for short track racing. You can kind of get that Martinsville layout in your head."
-source: ford racing