Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus, comes into the weekend third in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings and trails leader Tony Stewart by 88 points. Biffle, who is tied for the series lead with five...
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus, comes into the weekend third in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings and trails leader Tony Stewart by 88 points. Biffle, who is tied for the series lead with five wins this season, spoke about some topical issues prior to Friday's first practice.
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus
IF THEY REDUCE THE NUMBER OF TEAMS AN OWNER CAN HAVE FROM FIVE TO SAY THREE. HOW WOULD THAT AFFECT TESTING? "It's not gonna affect testing because they've already made a testing rule that you can only go test at the tracks they're gonna choose. They've already chosen them. So I can't go test Martinsville because that's the race track I need to test at or that we don't run well at, we can't test there anymore - or until it's on the schedule. The testing policy has changed next year to where NASCAR picks five race tracks and those are the only five race tracks you can go test at. Take your pick. They've cut out the I can go to Kansas, Kurt can go to Phoenix, Mark can go to Atlanta. That's not gonna happen anymore. The one thing I don't like about that - for instance - Las Vegas is on the schedule. We're gonna have a new car, so we're probably gonna go to Vegas, but there are race tracks on the test schedule that I wouldn't go test at. We can't go test road races - Sears Point or Watkins Glen. We always go test at least one of them to get the driver more than the car ready to road race, so that's gonna hurt because if a team needs to improve at a particular race track, they're not gonna be able to improve there until the selected year that that track might come on the test schedule. To go beyond what I think about the teams being divided up, you've got to remember that just until the beginning of this season we were three and two anyway (at Roush). The 97 and 17 are in their own building. The 6, 99 and 16 are in their own building, so we ran like separate teams anyway. They built all their own cars across the street. They were a completely independent facility to us other than the chassis, and anybody can go buy a chassis anywhere they want. So what difference is it gonna make or what's it gonna do? I don't believe it will do anything. Depending on what rules they make, can we not share information with the Yates cars? I would have to say that with how good our cars are and how good that our teams are, if we shared all of our information with an Evernham or a Childress or any other one of those deals out there, and work together, their teams would prospectively be similar to ours, I would have to say. It's a matter of sharing information and knowing what we're doing versus who owns them. And just because somebody else owns them does that mean we're not gonna share information? That's totally impossible."
LIKE INSIDER TRADING, RIGHT? "Yeah. We could provide, and I'll just pick somebody out of the blue. We could provide Evernham - we have no ownership, no alliance, no anything - we could provide them with every bit of information that we gather. It's a totally separate owner and separate manufacturer. Obviously, we wouldn't do that, but what difference is it gonna make? I don't know. I understand what they're trying to do to make some of these other two car teams - Penske has both of their cars in the chase. Evernham has one in there. Childress doesn't have any in there. I suspect that next year he will. I don't think who owns the car has to do with it. And I said our five teams - we run like five individual teams sharing information. We build our own race cars. We don't have separate shops build our cars and put all the sheetmetal on them and all that. We do that ourselves. We have our own body guys. The 17 has their own body guys. The 6 has their own body guys. So we run like independent teams, we just share information."
SOME PEOPLE SHARE ENGINES. SOME PEOPLE SHARE OTHER THINGS. "And you know what, it's not gonna make a difference two years from now anyway. One guy could own every team. NASCAR could own every car. They're gonna make them like IROC cars, so every car is identical. That's gonna be really bad. That's exactly when the sport will makes its turn (motions with his hand going down). Right now it's like this (hand pointing up). It's been like this with TV ratings, fan participation - audience - it's just straight up and it has been forever, and it's gonna stop at some point or level off. Our job is to maintain that intensity so those viewers that we have right now come back year after year, week after week and watch. IROC racing is boring."
LETTING A TEAMMATE LEAD A LAP BECAME AN ISSUE LAST WEEK BETWEEN MATT AND KURT. IS THAT GOING TO BE A PROBLEM FROM HERE ON OUT OR DOES EVERYBODY UNDERSTAND? "Everybody understands, but another thing you've got to look at is what are the chances of two of us running first and second - and one guy being close enough to the other guy and it really being a factor. It may not happen the rest of the year."
BUT YOU GUYS ARE STRONG ON THESE MILE AND A HALVES. IT COULD BE AN ISSUE AT SOME POINT. "It might be. We'll just work it out amongst ourselves when we get there. Like I told Mark. Mark called me and talked to me about it. Last week at the end of the race was a perfect example. That was as close as I could get to him. What was I, 15-20 car lengths behind him? That's as close as I could get. I could not get any closer. I was driving my butt off and he was driving his butt off. Now let's say that's lap 75 and I say, 'Mark, let me lead a lap.' Can he afford to slow down that much on the race track and let me lead one lap and then try to take off again? He can't do that. He cannot give up that much track position."
HAS IT HAPPENED? "Sometimes, depending on when it is. We'll give up four or five car lengths to let a guy lead a lap, or one if a guy is right there maybe. But it's unrealistic to give up that much to let a guy lead a lap, and the way that we need to race is like Matt. Kurt couldn't pass Matt. I went up there and got beside Matt, and the minute I got my tire inside of Matt he let me go. He didn't race me anymore. That's what teammates are supposed to do right there. If I can get my nose alongside of him - he could have raced me down into the next corner and pulled the air off me and we could have raced side-by-side for nine laps, but he didn't. He let me go and just got back going about our business. Now if I'm two car lengths behind him, he's not gonna slow down and let me pass him for fun."
THOSE FIVE POINTS COULD PLAY A ROLL AT THE END. "They do. If you want to lead a lap, you better have a good enough car to lead a lap."