Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, is third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings with six races remaining in the season. Biffle spoke about last week's race at Talladega and his hopes for Saturday night in...
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, is third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings with six races remaining in the season. Biffle spoke about last week's race at Talladega and his hopes for Saturday night in the Bank of America 500.
GREG BIFFLE -- No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
YOUR THOUGHTS ON LOWE'S? "I'm really excited about being back here. We had a great test a few weeks back and our company runs good on mile-and-a-halfs. I've always run real good here -- two second-place finishes in the spring -- certainly try and better that by one spot. We'll wait and see what this weather does and what we're able to do with the car once we get on the race track. We think we're gonna run really good this weekend. I'm pretty happy about it."
HAVE YOU TALKED TO CARL ABOUT LAST WEEKEND AND ARE YOU MAD AT CARL FOR THAT MOVE IN THE CORNER? "We can point fingers all day about what happened. Yeah, Carl and I have talked. He understands that he made a mistake and there's nothing we can do about that now. I didn't understand at first what had happened. We had been bump-drafting -- not Carl and I -- but we had been bump-drafting in the corners a little bit throughout the race, which, done properly, hadn't been a problem all day. You've got to be real careful about it, so I had a real problem understanding what happened and why the car turned sideways like it did -- so fast that I didn't have any time to react whatsoever. I went back and once I watched the tape, then it was clear what exactly happened. Maybe Carl didn't think it was gonna be a problem, but when I went back and watched the tape -- first of all, we got a great push and we got into the beginning of the corner and he gave me another little push. It looked like we had cleared the 20. I elected not to move down because I knew I had a teammate behind me and I didn't want to hang him, not being able to move down behind me and stay in line because I wasn't sure if he was clear and I was really trying to focus on holding the wheel straight and keeping the car real stable. I knew he was back there and I knew he was gonna continued to push. Where the mistake came is, he moved down, it looked like on the video, the best I can tell, there again it's just speculation, but it looked like he moved down about four feet or so on the race track -- maybe a quarter car width, whatever -- and then still had some momentum or sucked back up to my rear bumper and tried to just come against my bumper or bump me or give me a push or whatever -- however you want to state it. And these bumpers have a slight radius to them. They're much flatter than the old car, but tapers off at the corners a little bit and so does the back bumper, so if you're not perfectly in line -- not 100 percent -- going down the straightaway you've got a little leeway, but in the corner that car has 2.5 g's on it wanting to go that direction, so if you biased yourself to the inside whatsoever and pushed that -- there are laws of physics involved. One, when he pushes the car has to go forward, the energy has to go somewhere. Well, the easiest path of resistence for that car was up the race track for the rear bumper because it got pushed a little bit to the left side and it just squirted the back of the car out, like you tried to squeeze it and it shot it that way. It's just probably a miscalculation on his part on being lined up enough, I think was the major key. We haven't really talked about that because I hadn't really seen the video and we talked Sunday night. I know he didn't mean to do it. Certainly he didn't want to wreck himself because that's what he did, he wrecked himself. Certainly that wasn't his intention and I understand that. All we can do is learn from it and go on and move forward. There's nothing I'm gonna do about it now. I've lost the points. We've wrecked the cars and it's gonna do no good to point fingers and say we should have done this or that, it's just move on and do the best we can in the future."
ANY SENSE NOW THAT IT'S JIMMIE'S CHASE TO LOSE NOW? "I think that's clear. That's a real statement because you do the math and we have to gain 11 or 12 points per race. We have to gain every single race to be tied with him at the end, so, yeah he's in the catbird's seat -- seventysome point lead. I figured there would be a points shake-up at Talladega, but I just didn't know which way it was gonna go. Unfortunately for us, I'm sure in his way he's fine with that, but I wish we could have been on the receiving end of some of that."
ARE YOU MAD AT CARL AT ALL AND JIMMIE SAID HE RAN INTO YOU THE OTHER NIGHT AND YOU SEEMED SURPRISED WHEN HE OFFERED CONGRATULATIONS ON THE START OF YOUR CHASE? "I've heard it throughout the garage a little bit and I don't know if I find it as a surprise, but a lot of team members from other teams and in the garage area -- and some guys that didn't make the chase -- are pulling for the 16 to win the title or were excited that we were doing so well and got two wins. So that's a pretty big boost of confidence for us -- the 16 team and a lot of people out there watching us. I appreciate the thoughts of the other drivers wanting to see us do well. Nobody wants to see anybody do bad, of course, but I'm happy that Jimmie is a supporter of ours. I'm a fan of all the drivers in this series. And, no, I'm not mad at Carl. There's nothing else you can do about it. Carl made a mistake. He said he made a mistake. I went back and watched the tape and it's obvious that he was just overanxious or excited or didn't think though -- 'I need to be lined up perfectly when I try and push him in the corner.' I don't know what else to state about it, but I'm not mad at him."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE YELLOW LINE RULE? SHOULD THERE BE A DIFFERENT STANDARD FOR THE LAST LAP? "I don't want to get NASCAR mad at me and I don't want to get Tony mad at me, but my feeling is they tell us in the driver's meeting -- first of all, NASCAR makes rules for a reason and that's to keep us in line and to keep us from acting crazy. You have to block. As the guy leading the race, you've got to block in order to win the race, so where do you cross the line at (David) Hoots telling us, 'If you force a guy below the yellow line. First of all, if you pass below the yellow line, you will be penalized.' Then he says, 'If you force a guy below the yellow line, you may be penalized.' Not 'you will,' it's 'you may be penalized,' so that's where I need clarification is when 'may we be penalized for forcing a guy under the yellow line and what circumstance?' Now, I would feel differently about it if Regan would have only had maybe a car width or a little bit more -- a car and a few feet -- and darted down there and tried to take that position and Tony would have just moved down a little bit and blocked it. Regan was up the race track and Tony was up the race track a long ways. They were three, four car widths off that yellow line, so Regan dropped to the inside of Tony and was inside of him -- clearly. He had his fender inside of him, two or three car lengths off of the yellow line, and Tony moved him down to block -- all the way down there -- and Regan just went down onto the flat to avoid the accident. It's one of those things, the last lap does anything go? When will we be penalized for forcing a guy below the yellow line? I think that's the biggest thing that needs to be answered and if we're not gonna be penalized, then we need to understand that. The other thing is we don't want to send a message to Regan Smith that the next time he tries to force you below the yellow line coming for the stripe in the beginning of the tri-oval you're supposed to spin him out and send him through the grass and have him come back out in front of 15 cars and wreck the whole field. We don't want to send that message at the same time, so I don't know what the right way is to do it and the wrong way to do it. If we're not allowed to pass below the yellow, that's fine. Two other guys have done it and won -- Junior and Benson in the trucks, so we've done it twice and it's been OK and then this time it's not. He was forced below the yellow. There are lots of things and NASCAR ultimately makes the decision, we just need to know what it is ahead of time so that we can make the right decision behind the wheel, and I think Regan felt like he made the right decision to avoid the accident and go ahead and go down on the apron. Obviously, that's not the decision that he should have made."
HOW GOOD IS IT TO BE IN THIS POSITION WHEN YOU'RE UP FRONT ALL THE TIME? "Yeah, absolutely. We have really come on strong in the last eight races, probably. We had a great run at Bristol, a great run at California. We really had a spectacular run for us at Richmond. Even though we finished 14th, I got the car up in the fence and wrecked it and the guys were able to fix it and we came back and finished 14th there. That was a great championship effort, and then to start the chase out like we did has been spectacular, and then the confidence here for Saturday night. I feel like we have one of the cars to beat on Saturday night. That's big-time confidence and a lot of momentum for these races, so I feel good about the race cars that we've been able to put together."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT A WIN MEANS HERE AT CHARLOTTE? IS IT LIKE WINNING THE HOMECOMING GAME? "Yes, it definitely would be. A win would feel good after last week as well. We were off to a great start and had a little hiccup there, so a win here would definitely be a big boost for the whole organization, certainly, because they're feeling a little pain right now with how battered we got this weekend. So, yeah, I think this certainly would be a big deal for us going to Martinsville."
YOU MENTIONED CARL MAY HAVE BEEN OVEREXUBERANT AT TALLADEGA AND WERE SOMEWHAT CRITICAL ABOUT HIS MOVE AT KANSAS. IS THAT OVEREXHUBERANCE BECOMING A PROBLEM WITH CARL? "Well, when you've got a guy that's trying hard like Carl, and to follow up from last week, I did think that it was a spectacular move to look back and it took a lot of guts to try that. I was simply stating the fact that I probably -- not in the third race -- would have been as daredevil as he was, but he felt confident in pulling it off and he did, and it worked. This week, I guess when I say he was a little overanxious or whatever, I don't know what I'm trying to say, I guess I'm kind of making excuses for him because I don't know exactly what was going through his mind when he's holding onto the steering wheel and the gas and the brake and saw my car in front of him and tried to push right there not being lined up. From what I've seen so far, I haven't seen detailed footage, but that's what it appeared to me is that he was down a little lower on the track, so I don't know exactly the mindset right there. I wasn't driving that car. Inside there you feel that urgency. You've pushed a guy all the way down the straightaway and into the corner and you bumped him and you're almost in the lead and it's like they're kind of coming back and it's like, 'We've got to go.' It's 10 to go, it's 13 laps to go. We've got to go now, so he probably crept up there and tried to give us a little push."
WHAT ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP OVERALL? "I think that Matt probably took it a little bit harder than I did because Matt was an innocent bystander in that thing and got caught up in it and he's had a rough start to the chase. But I think all of us are hard drivers and we understand that we're gonna have problems in these close quarters. Look at Dover. We were all racing our butt off and Carl told me there the next week that he barely missed my bumper cover. He asked if I saw him and said, 'When you were racing with Matt, I got down in the corner and got loose. I had to go up the race track and I missed your rear bumper by six inches,' so that's close quarters. He could have spun me out at Dover if he would have been up further on me or maybe I didn't enter the corner as hard, so when you're close quarters like that, things are happening all the time that you guys don't see and we don't see a lot of times, but things will happen in that race and you're like, 'Whew, that was a close one.' That's just part of it."
-credit: ford racing