Biffle and Logano consider Daytona Unlimited a learning experience

Ford drivers Greg Biffle and Joey Logano finished 2nd and 3rd in the non-points event at Daytona.


“I thought about sticking it in there and it just didn’t look like it was going to work to me. It looked like it would be sparks and parts flying. He shut the door on the top. That is what Kevin needed to do to win the race. I looked in the mirror and didn’t have anyone pushing me. I figured someone might give me a shove and I could try something else. We learned a little bit and we have a ways to go in our 500 car to try to be competitive on Sunday for the 500.”

Greg Biffle, Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Greg Biffle, Roush Fenway Racing Ford

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

YOU SOUND LIKE YOU CONSIDER THE BLOCK HE MADE ON YOU PART OF THE GAME. “Yeah, really it is. Joey gave me a big shove and I tried to stay in line. I didn’t chase Kevin downhill and I got a huge run. Kevin was just barely clear of me when he came back up in front of me. When he came back up I had a little momentum so it sucked me up to his bumper. I was pushing him about as hard as I think I could and he could still drive it. I slid to the top on him and it was borderline whether there was enough room there. He was kind of moving up to block and you wish you would have tried it and kinda glad you didn’t. If we are both wrecked and in a pile of parts then neither of us get anything out of it. I was about 99-percent sure that is what was going to happen. Once you are moving up in the corner and then a guy sticks his nose right in there the air pushes the back of your car the wrong way. He was going to go up against the fence. I have been there a hundred times. There is no way that move was going to work. I was still against his bumper and was going to try to go to the bottom but there was nobody behind me at that point. These cars get separated pretty quick.”

YOU KEEP TALKING ABOUT PUSHING. NOT EVERYONE SEEMS UNANIMOUS ON IF THAT WORKS. DOES IT WORK FOR YOU? DO YOU LIKE THE CAR? “Yeah, I like the car. I like the way it drives. It drives well, maybe we will work on the aero package to try to get to where we can run the bottom. The car stalls out really fast and has a lot of drag. You can’t push somebody unless someone shoved you up to the back of them. Then you can. You can stay on them and when you get to a certain speed they just pull off you, just like magically they drive off your front bumper. Like when your engine gets enough RPM it can’t push anymore and the front guy pulls away from you. It happens on the restart and all the time. If you have someone behind you then you can get up to the guy and give him a little shove.”

WHAT IS THE TAKEAWAY GOING INTO THE DAYTONA 500 WITH THESE CARS AND WHAT TO EXPECT? “I heard some guys talk about old school racing and it is a little bit like that but when the car would get kind of a run maybe you would get sucked up there and pull out, the car would continue to kind of accelerate before it died off with its momentum. Now it seems like the car, you get a run and you side draft a guy and pull out there and it is like you put the brakes on. The thing has a bunch of drag. It is really hard to maneuver and get a run. The thing about it is that when you get 43 cars out there it is going to be a ton different. Then the bottom lane is going to work. There will be a middle. A couple people probably aren’t happy that I went up the middle a few times. The middle actually worked okay for me. I got put in the middle one time and I gained a few spots. With more cars out there I think it will be better.”

IS THE TWO CAR TANDEM OVER WITH? “The two car tandem thing is gone and you will still get some bump-drafting. When you have that bigger pack you will get shoved up to the guy in front of you. It is probably going to be that old school pack like that.”

DO YOU THINK THERE WILL BE A SLINGSHOT PASS AT THE END OF THE 500 FOR THE WIN OR IS THAT DONE TOO? “No, I think you will. We were really learning about this car still and when I was behind the 29 before the end of that last segment I tried a few runs at him. I would back up to Joey Logano and he was probably wondering what was going on. I would back up to Joey’s bumper and the air would just shove me off. I was just messing around seeing if I could do anything. It is going to take more than that. It is going to take more than that to get that pass made. But I will say that the 20, the 14 and some other cars will be able to make that pass. The 20 could drive down there by himself. There are just some cars that have more speed than others. We are going to have to work on our cars to get them where we can do that. I have been in this position before over the last few years. I have enjoyed being one of the faster cars at restrictor plate racing and we aren’t quite the fastest and have some work to do. You can’t be the fastest all the time.”

IT LOOKED YOU AND MATT (KENSETH) COULD HAVE HAD SUCCESS IF YOU COULD STAY TOGETHER BUT HE WAS ABLE TO DRIVE AWAY FROM THE CARS BEHIND HIM. WAS IT SIMPLY THAT YOU COULDN’T GET UP TO HIM? “Yeah, that whole last segment I don’t think I lifted on the throttle one time and never touched the brake. That was as fast as my car would go and he would just drive off a couple car lengths. I was going as fast as I could go.”

IS IT WEIRD WITH MATT OUT THERE NOT AS YOUR TEAMMATE? “Yeah a little bit. It is weird when I look at that car and am completely confused because Joey is driving a yellow car too. I am trying to figure out who is who and they both have 2’s on them. Yeah, it is different but there again, you are going to go with the fastest car. It doesn’t matter who it is, you are just going to try to run with whoever you can. It seemed like the 43 was pretty fast. He was sucked up on my rear bumper pretty good most of the time. They may have some s

Joey Logano, Penske Racing Ford
Joey Logano, Penske Racing Ford

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz


TALK ABOUT YOUR FIRST OFFICIAL RACE IN THE NEW SHELL PENNZOIL FORD AND HOW THINGS WENT TONIGHT. “I thought it went pretty smooth. This Sprint Unlimited race was huge for our team to get a race under our belts. I had a new spotter up there and for me and Todd Gordon to work together a lot of big things can come out of this race. I think of it as a pre-season football game or a pre-season race where you can figure things out. We did that. I would second what Greg (Biffle) said. I feel like our cars were pretty equal and we really couldn’t make the move to do anything because I didn’t feel like our car was fast enough but there were a select few cars that could do some things. I did make a move there at the end and did have enough speed that I went from seventh or so and had a good run. I went to the bottom and was able to get third but the time we got to the checkered flag. Once I got to the bottom I knew I didn’t have enough speed to get the lead and I was just hoping they would wreck each other. Overall it was a good solid finish and a good way to start my career with the Shell Pennzoil guys and I feel like we have a good list of things we can go over to help our 500 car. I think our car has good speed in qualifying and a good shot at the pole. We have momentum on our side and we are going to ride it out.”

YOU DID GET OUT FROM FOR A LITTLE BIT. COULD YOU TELL ANY DIFFERENCE AT ALL THEN? “I never quite got there because the one time I did make a move early in the race and I had a run and I drove with momentum and not with my brain. I went to make the move to take the lead while everyone was freight training up against the wall. I went for it and almost got there but didn’t get there and went all the way to the back. I was able to get back to third and that whole second segment we rode third place and I just wanted to keep the track position to try to do something at the end. I feel like we did what we could do with the car we had. I think we can make things a lot better and we will work on that. Our car handled decent and you could see some guys were having a handful but we made some adjustments to make our better but it wasn’t that big of a handful out there. Just like Greg said, it was hard to get the huge run and enough to get buy everybody. That was the real tricky part.”

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE LEARNED ANYTHING ABOUT DRAFTING YET CONSIDERING THERE WERE ONLY 12 CARS OUT THERE FOR MOST OF THIS RACE? “I could tell in the beginning of the race that we all started off fairly conservative and we were running two-wide and you couldn’t make any ground up. You need to get it three-wide to make some moves. About toward the end of that run everyone’s tires were wearing a bit and I think guys got bored and wanted to start making things happen. You could see it coming for sure. You could see both Gibbs cars were starting to go down the center and I thought, ‘alright, here we go.’ I thought it was going to happen on the front straightaway and it happened on turn one. It is just all of us finding our limit of how close we can get to each other and how hard we can drive these things before we lose control of them. Tonight really is the most grip we are going to have. It was the most we are going to get. It is really cool out and anything from there is going to get warmer and we will be racing in the day time. Grip will go away and handling will be more of a factor which I think is a good thing. We will see what happens. I had to catch it a few times and I am sure a lot of guys did too.”

YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF THE CAR? YOU WERE ONE OF THE FEW GUYS THAT THOUGHT THERE STILL MIGHT BE SOME TANDEM. HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR OPINION? “I pushed on the back straightaway a few times. I was doing it for different reasons than what I used to do it for. I used to try to stay with them to go to the front, now I am trying to shove someone out and move up in the freight train. Everyone was doing the same thing. It is just different. I think we have to figure it out. It is like Greg said. I didn’t feel like my car was fast enough to go make those moves so when I got to someone I would just push them instead of making the move. I thought that overall the cars were good. I think they are cool and they look good and they put on a pretty good race and I think there might be some adjustments to be made to them to always make it better. You never stop improving. You can always work on some things. We got what we’ve got and I think we will put on a good 500 for you.”

BOTH OF THE WRECKS (YESTERDAY AND TODAY) SEEMED TO BE GUYS THAT MISJUDGED HOW FAST SOMEONE WAS COMING UP. IS THERE A CERTAIN TIME WHERE PEOPLE ARE JUST GETTING A GOOD PUSH OR ARE GUYS NOT EXPECTING PEOPLE TO BE ABLE TO MAKE THE MOVE SO THEY THINK THEY HAVE TIME? “I think we are aggressive with the block because we know if we get shoved out of line it will be really hard to get back up there. We will do everything we can do to protect what we’ve got. I think everyone is getting back into the rhythm of it too. I think it is a product of us racing close and being aggressive and protecting what we’ve got and making sure we don’t get shuffled out.”


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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Greg Biffle , Joey Logano
Teams Team Penske , Roush Fenway Racing
Article type Press conference
Tags biffle, ford, logano, nascar-cup