It has been a whirlwind week for rookie Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 Grainger Taurus. Last Saturday night at Daytona he won the first race of his NASCAR Winston Cup career - and he already had a busy week planned. Biffle, the only driver in...
It has been a whirlwind week for rookie Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 Grainger Taurus. Last Saturday night at Daytona he won the first race of his NASCAR Winston Cup career - and he already had a busy week planned. Biffle, the only driver in NASCAR history to win both the Craftsman Truck (2000) and Busch Series (2002) championships, followed up last week's exceptional finish with a strong start at Chicago by qualifying seventh to pace all Ford drivers. He'll head into tomorrow's race in 20th place in the standings after improving five positions as a result of last week's victory.
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 Grainger Taurus
HAS IT BEEN BUSINESS AS USUAL THIS WEEK, OR HAS IT BEEN A WHIRLWIND?
"It's been pretty busy. This has probably been the busiest week we had planned all season - on top of winning. We tested at Indy for two days and then I had Grainger dinner in Minneapolis Tuesday night; I had to fly from Indy up and back. And then it was Grainger Race Day, because Grainger's headquarters are in Chicago, so I was scheduled to be there all day Thursday for that event already. So, winning Saturday night certainly put a twist on it. I've been super busy, and I can't complain, that's for sure."
HAVE YOU HAD A CHANCE TO ENJOY IT?
"I had a chance to enjoy it on Sunday. I went out to my mountain property and kind of took it easy. It was quiet. I had that planned already and I figured, 'Ah, I'm just going to go ahead with my plan. What else am I going to do?' And it was nice, really nice. It gave me a chance to reflect on the win and think about everything that we were able to accomplish as a team. So, I was really excited about it."
WHEN DID YOU START THINKING THAT NOT ONLY DID YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN, BUT YOU HAD A REALLY GOOD CHANCE TO WIN?
"About 20 to go when the DEI cars stopped - 15, 18 to go. I saw my teammate Matt [Kenseth] behind me, and I thought, 'You know, I got a good opportunity to win here.' A lot of guys get passed in the last five laps, last lap. So, I wasn't going to count all my eggs until that lap came. But, I knew we had an opportunity to win after we pitted on our last caution and came out in front of the leaders. I knew I had an opportunity to run up front. Even if it wouldn't have been a mileage thing, we still wouldn't finished second between the 8 and the 15. So, we were pretty excited about that, to be able to run up there and run second. And the pit stops and pit strategy went our direction and got us that win"
NOW THAT YOU'VE WON AT THIS LEVEL, ARE YOU VIEWED DIFFERENTLY HERE IN THE GARAGE, THAT YOU'RE ABLE TO WIN AT THIS LEVEL?
"Maybe just a little bit. Pretty standard by all these guys, but there are people that look at you differently, I guess. I just want to win again. I want to win worse now than before I won Daytona because I know our team's capable of it. I knew the team was capable of winning a race this year, I didn't have Daytona on the list, so I really feel that our opportunity to win now is even greater."
HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT TO YOU TO BACK UP THE WIN WITH A STRONG SHOWING HERE IN QUALIFYING?
"It's important, but what a lot of people don't know is we tested up here for two days two weeks ago and had a good test. And, we just got done testing Indy and had a really good teat. I mean, we're pretty excited about Indy. And I'm more excited about Indy than here, and knowing that I have two good race cars, one I'm going to take to Pocono, one I'm going to race at Indy, so, we're excited about the next five races. The Grainger team's probably going to be knocking on the door."
AS THIS TEAM CONTINUES TO GROW, WHAT DOES THIS LAST WEEK MEAN?
"It means a lot to us as a team. It gives the team a lot of confidence. It really gives us a lot of momentum. We know that we got a long ways to go. It's been good for us. We've made a few small changes on the team, guys we're bringing on the road, guys we're leaving back at the shop to get our cars ready, and trying to be better prepared for the race track, try and do a better job at the race track. I think this is going to work for us."
Eddie Wood, co-owner of the No. 21 Motorcraft Taurus, was wearing a huge smile this morning after his son, Jon, driving the No. 50 Bob Graham for President F-150, won the pole last night for this weekend's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Kentucky. Jon won the first race of his Truck Series career last weekend at Kansas.
EDDIE WOOD - co-owner, No. 21 Motorcraft Taurus
JUST HOW PROUD ARE YOU RIGHT NOW?
"Proud. Really proud. I'm just happy that it's finally working out. They're looking for money, and that's hard in today's environment, and it's comforting to know that they're running well now, both trucks, Carl [Edwards] and Jon. He's the bright spot in my day. Period."
HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT FOR JON AND THE TEAM TO FOLLOW-UP LAST WEEK'S SUCCESS WITH ANOTHER STRONG SHOWING?
"I think it's really important. They've really been good all year, qualifying and racing. They didn't get to, as Jack [Roush] says, close it. And now that they've won a race and backed it up with a pole, I think that adds a lot of stability and continuity to their team - and to Carl's team, too - because those two kids, they worry about each other, they talk to each, they really are good teammates. And, hopefully by both of them running well they can find another sponsorship to finish the year, and go on. It really makes you feel good."
WHAT'S YOUR SCHEDULE FOR TODAY?
"I'm going to go do Happy Hour. I'm going to go up top and spot for Ricky, and I'll probably stay here an hour or so and make sure that there are no problems anywhere. Then I'll try to fly down to Kentucky and fly back tonight and I'll be here in the morning."
SO YOU'LL SEE HIM RACE IN PERSON?
"Yeah, I'm going to get to go - unless we get a bunch of thunderstorms and I can't get there. Hopefully, it'll all work out where we can go down there."
(NOTE: The Truck Series race starts at 8 p.m. Eastern.)