This Week in Ford Racing Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, sits third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings with only two races remaining. While Biffle is still looking for his first NSCS win at this week's stop ...
This Week in Ford Racing
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, sits third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings with only two races remaining. While Biffle is still looking for his first NSCS win at this week's stop - Phoenix International Raceway - it's a track he loves racing on twice a year.
THOUGHTS ON PHOENIX. "Man, I love that race track. The very first time I ever saw it was 1989 - a long time ago - and we were running a Southwest Tour race called the Copper World Classic and ever since then I've been fond of that place. It's also kind of close to home for me. That was one of the closest tracks and then I raced at Tucson Raceway Park a lot, so I've always enjoyed going back to the Phoenix area. I love that area of the country. It's a challenging place because the two turns are completely different, so it's a big challenge to brake hard into one, make a turn, and get back on the gas as soon as you can. And then three and four is a real long entry, a real long sweeping corner, so it's unique in how different it is from end to end. That's what makes that place so much fun is how different it is from end to end, and you drive the car a little bit looser there than you would at most places, and you kind of play with the throttle a lot. That's what I like about that place."
HAS THAT TRACK CHANGED MUCH SINCE YOU FIRST SAW IT IN 1989? "It hasn't changed much other than they have done some paving patches. They put the tunnel in and they paved a piece that was old coming off of four, so that's made it unique - sort of like Pocono, where you know you can use that extra grip on that spot on the track, so that's kind of made it fun. But, overall, the surface has stayed the same over the year. Obviously, it's gotten older and older, which means less grip over the period of time, so that makes it definitely challenging as well."
YOU WERE SAYING AT ATLANTA THAT THEY SHOULDN'T EVER PAVE THAT TRACK. IS PHOENIX AN EXAMPLE OF WHY? "Absolutely. Phoenix falls into the same category as Atlanta where they shouldn't do anything to the track until they absolutely have to. The problem with Atlanta is there's just no way we'll be able to run around Atlanta on a repave without a restrictor plate. We will go just entirely too fast at Atlanta because of the way it's shaped and the way the entry into one is and how long and wide open the place is. You would just be running 220 miles an hour probably there and that would just ruin the racing, so to speak. We understand that at some point you have to bite the bullet and say, 'We have to pave it.' But until then, leave them alone."
IS THERE ANY CORRELATION BETWEEN LOUDON AND PHOENIX? "No, not really. We're carrying a little bit of that front geometry to Phoenix to try, but the race tracks are completely different. Turn three might be a little similar because of how long the corner is and the exit, but that's about it."
HOW ARE YOU PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY AT THIS POINT IN THE SEASON WITH TWO RACES TO GO? "There are two ways you can look at that. One, you look at it as 'Hey, it's getting close to the end of the season, I'm gonna have some time off coming up.' And the other part of that is the realization that we're falling a little bit short of that championship, which is not over yet, but it's getting tougher and tougher. So you shift your focus a little bit of, 'Man, this season has been tough, it's been a long year and it's gonna be over soon,' from, 'It's gonna be a busy off season if we clinch this title.' We're certainly not giving up hope, but your mind starts to shift to 'We're just gonna dig as hard as we can, but the season is over as well.'"
ARE YOU ONE OF THOSE GUYS THAT YOU'D JUST LIKE TO RACE EVERY WEEKEND OF THE YEAR? "What I would do, I enjoy my time off, so what I would do is I would race some weekly shows. I would condense the schedule and then expand the schedule. I think I would take the whole month of November and say, 'We're not racing in the month of November.' I know that competes with some other sports and we want to carry out our presence for that long, but earlier in the season we could run some Wednesday night and some Sunday races - things like that. I think that would be more fun - kind of like our version of Monday Night Football. I think it would be fun to have a little bit more of an off-season. We really don't have an off-season with the way we start testing Daytona and other tracks."
-credit: ford racing