GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 Grainger Taurus "It was pretty good day for us. I got my nose knocked in on one of those re-starts maybe about lap 170ish, 200, somewhere in there, and that really hurt the car. We had to take all the tape off the front, so...
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 Grainger Taurus
"It was pretty good day for us. I got my nose knocked in on one of those re-starts maybe about lap 170ish, 200, somewhere in there, and that really hurt the car. We had to take all the tape off the front, so I lost a lot of downforce in the front. Aerodynamics means a little bit here, but now a whole lot. But when you have to untape the bottom, the cars don't drive nearly the same. Overall it was a great day for the Grainger car and the guys did a good job. We overheated, sped on pit road, had to go to the tailend of the longest line, had to stop and take more tape off. The grill's damaged and they pulled one piece of tape off so we had to come back in and take the rest of it off. Just kind of frustrating from the driver's seat, all the things that are going on and you keep getting put back and keep having to come in the pits and get put back and think you have a pretty good car. But I kept my cool and just worked my way up. There at the end, when that caution came out with 30 laps to go, it was too bad. I was the fastest car on the track and catching the 17. It's pretty unfortunate for us. Our car didn't go at all off that last caution. I don't know what happened. But there at the end it started going again and the 21 and 40 came and got tires. I thought fir sure they'd get me. I don't know what happened to the 40, must've got caught up in traffic."
ON RUNNING WINSTON CUP AT BRISTOL.
"I'm a rookie in this series, running for Reybestos Rookie of the Year, and I learned so much by following Rusty Wallace yesterday in Happy Hour. It was incredible what I learned from him. I saw Kurt Busch and I was able to see some of the guys today, Sterling Marlin and some of the other guys, the way they run around here. And I talked to Jeff Gordon and some other guys about how much to use the brakes and found out the whole time I ran the Busch car here and this Cup car, I'm using too much brake entering the corner. Maybe it's just my driving style, but I was able to adapt some of that. Although, I found myself late in the race using the brakes again, but I was catching the 17, I was the fastest car on the monitor. I don't know what you can attribute that to. I guess everybody's got to drive a little bit different. Great, great car and I'm looking forward to going to Texas."
YOU CAN HAVE SOME PROBLEMS HERE AND STILL DO WELL.
"It's survival of your race car and it just depends on how bad you get it tore up under those little bumps and bangs. I saw the whole side of the 32 got tore off when the 12 spun down there, and the 32 didn't run the rest of the day. You can handle some damage and still run good, but when you start bending fenders and knocking the toe out of the front end, that's one thing I'm pretty proud of is my car doesn't have a scratch in it, either side of it, other than the nose where this accident happened on the re-start. Kurt jumped up into the second groove all of a sudden, and I thought he was going to pass the guy, so I got back in the throttle early and come to find out that everybody was stopping, so it was kind of my fault, and knocked the grill in and that's what got us overheating. You can handle some bumps and bangs on the car and still finish well, but you got to be careful not to bend the fenders or knock the toe-in out. I never touched the suspension part or either side of the car's perfectly straight."
WHAT ABOUT YOUR PIT STRATEGY?
"This is obviously my first time doing this, running the 500 laps here. My opinion would've been not to come until you're five laps from being out of gas. And it's possible, these laps go by so fast, that if a guy had just a tiny bit different gas mileage, that could equate to 10 laps different than the next guy. I don't think they were out of gas when they started coming down pit road, 24 and the 2. I just thought everybody would come. And our car was running good enough on those old tires that we didn't feel a need to come down pit road right away. We would rather have the fresher tires at the end of the race then come in and sacrifice that track position. We were thinking about coming when the caution came out. We were going to come within the next five laps, so I think everybody was going to come in the next five, or maybe 10. Because we still had I think 20 laps to go. I'm not sure on that but I think we had 25 to 30 before we had to pit."
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU AFTER MISSING THE VEGAS RACE?
"Missing the Vegas race really helped our race team more than if we would've qualified 36th at Vegas, because we knew that we were behind. Here's the gist of it: We're behind on race cars. We're behind on people. We're behind on the building. We're behind on technology. At Roush, our cars aren't built all by the same people, the bodies aren't hung by all the same people. We run like five individual teams almost, but under one roof and working together amongst all the teams. So we're responsible for building our own race cars. And it's tough to get a group of guys together and say copy them and make everything the same. That's a tough chore, a tough thing to bite off. And we're third in line or whatever in line getting chassis out of the chassis shop, so everybody's got to wait their turn. The 99's building a bunch of new cars. So what happened is we got behind and we didn't have good enough race cars built and done. We brought one Bristol car here. We brought a backup car, but it wasn't made for this race track. Same thing, we're taking our Atlanta car to Texas that if we'd crashed that car we'd be in deep trouble. It's a new car, new race team blues to start a startup team. We're not an established team. We didn't come into running that number that was already running. We got all new guys working together and all kinds of things. I think it was a wake-up call for us to say, hey, these guys need some help over here, they're behind, they don't have any cars and maybe they need some extra help. We haven't gotten any of that yet, we've just refocused ourselves and I've tried harder. I'm going to the shop every day and try to help Randy. He's covered up. But we're doing the best we can and we haven't had any engine trouble which is great for us. I think that's all fixed now. Our engine department works harder than anybody I think to make more power and reliability for us, and there some isolated incidences that kind of compiled on us and made our program look like it was insufficient but I don't believe it is. I think going forward all the Roush cars are going to be competitive."