Ford Racing press release
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, continues to lead the point standings as he holds a seven-point lead over second-place Kevin Harvick. Biffle answered questions from the media Friday between practices.
“First practice, I’m really happy with the car. We’re decent on the lap tracker, which is inspiring to say the least. Granted, it’s just the first practice, but I don’t really like this schedule as much as the happy hour practice on Saturday when the track is a little bit more closer to what the race is gonna be like, so we have to do all of our race setup and qualifying setup on Friday when the track is a little greener and has a little more grip and that isn’t conducive to what we’re gonna be racing on Sunday. For right now, I’m running pretty good and pretty happy. My qualifying run, I made a little mistake and here if you make a tick of a mistake you go from 10th to 21st, so I think we’re gonna be decent in qualifying and so far I’m happy with how the car is running."
CAN YOU DESCRIBE WHAT IT’S LIKE FROM AN INTENSITY STANDPOINT AT THIS TRACK? “It’s a little bit hard to get your rhythm, but once you get going it kind of falls into place. What happens though is it’s easy to get off. If you get off a little bit, it’s so hard to get going again and get back online and hit your braking points and do those kind of things, so it is kind of a challenging track being the slowest race track we go to as far as cornering speeds and braking and accelerating. You have to be very precise even though we’re going slow. You can get your feathers ruffled pretty easily at this race track."
WHAT IS MISSING AS FAR AS GETTING TO VICTORY LANE? “That’s what we’ve been working on every week. We’ve been sitting down in the meetings back at the shop and saying at California how can we be better. We were looking at the photos and studying our cars and we see some things we need to work on. We think some of our strong suits for mile-and-a-half race tracks, so Texas coming up after the break coming up will be a place we’re looking forward to. Restrictor plate at Talladega, a couple wins at Kansas, so those are some good tracks for us coming up and we actually ran good here in the fall. We came back from three laps down to finish 11th and had a pretty competitive car. We’re just off a little bit. I think the wins will come if we keep running consistent and up front like we have been. We’re just working hard at it."
WHAT ARE YOUR OFF WEEKEND PLANS AND WOULD YOU RATHER BE RACING AS THE POINTS LEADER? “I’m hoping I’m still the points leader when we leave here because I’ve got a vacation planned. I’m going to the Bahamas, some place close, and maybe get to fish for a couple days and spend a little R&R – a chance to get away. I’m looking forward to it. I haven’t really gotten away some place quiet and turn the phone off and spend three or four days doing that and then come home and have Easter and hopefully charge the batteries up and be ready to go. I don’t mean charge the batteries. I’m ready to go every week, but I personally would rather go straight to Texas, but I’m looking forward to drinking a drink on the beach and celebrating."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT TEXAS? “I like that track. It has its unique challenges. It’s not like any other mile-and-a-half we go to. It’s fast and the tires fall off. Handling is a premium. The backstretch flattens out really fast. I like that you can run the top, the bottom and the middle of the race track. There’s just so many opportunities at Texas. I really like that track.”
CARL SAID MATT PUCCIA ALMOST KILLED HIM ONCE. HAVE YOU HEARD THAT STORY? “I think there’s two sides to that story. I don’t know exactly what happened, all the details, but I hear them throwing daggers at each other once in a while. They have a lot of fun with it, but, at the same time, I don’t know all the details. Somebody was letting the car down and somebody was underneath it. I don’t know all the details, but that’s never good. I haven’t decided who is right. I think both of them are telling a little bit of a fib on the whole deal. I don’t think either one of them is right and the truth lies somewhere in the middle."
WHAT IS THE MOST UNIQUE TROPHY YOU HAVE AND WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE GRANDFATHER CLOCK THAT IS AWARDED HERE? “I’ve cleared out a spot for the grandfather clock coming up for this weekend. I don’t know if that’s the right thing to do or not, but I have a spot all picked out for it, so I’m ready to take it home. Probably one of the most unique trophies is my Daytona trophy. It plugs in and lights up and it’s pretty neat. It has all of the grandstands, so that’s probably one of the most unique trophies I have."
IS THE SECRET TO SUCCESS HERE SO SUBTLE THAT DRIVER’S WHO ARE GOOD CAN’T RELATE IT TO OTHERS? “A little of both, I think. Racing is so unique. There’s not any one thing you can do or say or change and fix it, but I know what they’re referring to and talking about because the last few times here I kind of got it a little bit. I ran second here for quite some time in the fall and my brakes started giving up on me a little bit. That’s part of what they talk about. They brake a little bit easier getting into the corner and that’s something I’m still working on as far as being a little easier on the brake and trying to roll the momentum in the corner. I got the axle, the back of the car wheel-hopping, and got in the fence, but came from three laps down and finished 11th, so really pretty respectable. But we’re getting closer and closer on this thing and it is starting to get to be more fun when you do get it and you do run good. It starts to be more fun, so I think we’re in that transition period."
WHY IS IT SO DIFFERENT? “I think if you really overlaid the tracks, I think this track is much narrower from backstretch to frontstretch and much longer and a lot tighter corner. It drives like it has no banking, so it is a lot different. A track may have the same banking, but the way the corner entry is, it’s a little bit wider – corner entry and then you get in the gas a little bit different – so with the corner being so sharp and a curb and the fast way around it being right around the bottom most of the time, it does make it different even though it’s the same size. That makes it a lot different. I grew up racing a fairly flat mile-and-a-half race track and it’s nothing like this. It’s kind of different.