Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, held a press conference in the Daytona International Speedway infield media center Wednesday before practice. WHAT'S YOUR OUTLOOK FOR THE 500? "The Bud Shootout, I think, was a good test for us.
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, held a press conference in the Daytona International Speedway infield media center Wednesday before practice.
WHAT'S YOUR OUTLOOK FOR THE 500? "The Bud Shootout, I think, was a good test for us. My car drove fairly well. I was a little disappointed after qualifying for the 500 that our car was as slow as it was. We're still not sure why it was so slow, but after qualifying, I was on the front row at Talladega last year, we felt like we'd be better -- certainly with the new engine and all the things and all the work the guys had put into the car. So I was pretty disappointed and the outlook wasn't that great, and then in the Bud Shootout the car drove really good. You could tell it was off a little bit on speed because the guys were pushing pretty hard from behind, and it looked like the inside row might be a little bit faster, but the car drove good and we were able to keep our track position up there in the top five fairly well, so that made me pretty optimistic for the 500. It certainly didn't end up like we wanted it to, but I think we've got a car that if we continue to work on it here, if we can get it going as good as the Bud Shootout car, I think we'll have something for the 500."
ON A SCALE OF 1-10 WHAT IS THE CHANCE RFR IS COMPETITIVE EVERY WEEK WITH FOUR DRIVERS VERSUS '09? "I would say the chances are pretty decent. It's kind of a unique situation, not only did we go to four drivers, but we already had the alliance with the Yates organization and their cars, but now that organization has been strengthened tremendously with the addition of Kasey Kahne and some others. We always shared information with Paul and those guys, and had big production meetings with everybody in the room, and I think that's actually gonna be enhanced this year over last year. Yes, we did lose Jamie, who had a lot of good input, but we also picked up Kasey Kahne and AJ Allmendinger and Elliott Sadler. So by losing one, we've kind of gained some more that we share information with -- not necessarily that we're in the same camp, but we share information. You may not get it as quick. It may not be that particular weekend, but, overall, as we move forward throughout the year, by sharing information we stand a chance of being better as a group as a whole. So weekend to weekend it might be a little bit different, just losing Jamie's input, but, overall, in a bigger picture we may be positioned better with being aligned with the RPM organization."
WHAT DID YOU SEE SATURDAY AS FAR AS BUMP DRAFTING AND WHAT DO YOU EXPECT THIS WEEK? DO YOU EXPECT GUYS TO BE PRETTY AGGRESSIVE? "Yeah, I think so. I think we're gonna continue to be pretty aggressive with it. From everything I saw on Saturday night was pretty aggressive, but, yet, everybody kind of maintained control. I saw a few times when there was concrete flying -- when a guy pushed somebody and they kind of got squirrely and hit the outside wall. I saw that once or twice in front of me and, in fact, I helped Matt at the end of the straightaway get a little bit of the concrete before we got into the corner, so we were pushing like hell and we were doing all we could do. I think you're gonna continue to see us be aggressive like that. One difference between here and Talladega is Talladega is really smooth and really wide open and a lot more room. It's a lot easier to push there, certainly around the corner, in the corner, off the corner -- things like that. My car is sideways through the tri-oval by itself -- without anybody on me -- and it's not like that at Talladega, really. At Talladega you can push about everywhere, but here you can't push in the corner, off the corner, around the corner because the cars are moving up and down and the track is so rough. It's really hard, but we're gonna continue to be aggressive and push all we can."
WHERE HAS YOUR TEAM WORKED HARDEST IN THE OFF-SEASON AND WHERE IS YOUR TEAM IN THE ADJUSTMENT GOING FROM THE WING TO THE SPOILER? "I'll start with the last question. We were one of the first cars to have the spoiler on at Texas with Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch and Brian Vickers being the other cars. I feel like the car turned a lot better on corner exit, and that's been the big problem with this car. On corner exit, the nose really wants to push and the spoiler shifts the center of pressure forward and makes the car turn better on exit, so I think it's gonna be an improvement -- not only in driving but in racing. The car is gonna race better. We're gonna be able to get underneath guys, pass more, more like the old car was, so I think that is a positive. I encourage NASCAR to make sure that we try different heights and widths on that spoiler before we put the water in the concrete and let it set up. Now is our chance to explore some of the different combinations and see what tends to be the best as far as characteristics, the way it drives, and things like that. We've worked really hard on our cars. We've made our cars a little bit lighter. We've made probably 25 improvements on our cars, but just bits and pieces everywhere -- a little bit better, a little bit lighter, a little bit lower center of gravity, a little bit better bump stops. We think we're a little better on geometry -- just a number of things that we've made them a little bit better. That's why I was surprised in qualifying that we were in the thirties."
ARE YOU USING THE FR9 THIS WEEK? WHO IS AND ISN'T AND HOW MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE IS IT MAKING? "We were hoping for big changes. Like I said, we didn't see it in qualifying and that was kind of disappointing, but we do have the FR9 engine in and we're gonna run it in the 150. I don't think we're intending to run it in the 500 yet, but I know they're doing durability tests and doing on-track testing with it now, and I really don't know their whole schematic layout -- who has it, who might be running it for the 500, if anybody. I know it's in my car because I saw it with my own eyes, and, obviously, we're gonna run it in the 150."
ARE YOU ENVIOUS OF SOMEONE LIKE MATT WHO HAS WON A CUP TITLE AND DAYTONA 500? "Yeah, I just wish it was me up there when it rained last year. He had a great car, great track position, and I'd certainly like a 500 trophy, but, more importantly I'd like the Sprint Cup trophy. That's really the one I want, so I look forward to being competitive this year and getting my crack at it, but Matt has certainly accomplished a lot. Either one of those trophies I'd be good with right now."
DID YOU HAVE A TIRE GOING DOWN SATURDAY? AND DO YOU FEEL BEING AN AGGRESSIVE DRIVER BY NATURE GIVES YOU AN EDGE WITH NASCAR OPENING THINGS UP? "It could and the edge is until the guy in front of you spins out. That's kind of the edge -- you just go as far as you can. As far as the tire going down, I had a suspicion coming to the green that the tire may have been soft, but when I went across turn one and two it felt fine, so that kind of foiled the idea that I might have had a tire going down. I wasn't sure what happened until I saw the tape and saw the replay. Things happen so fast, there's so much adrenaline, the track is bumpy, it's noisy, it's loud, but upon further review of the tape it appears that the 24 was against the bumper when I entered the corner, so it's obvious why the car spun out, I think."
DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING SATURDAY ABOUT TIRE STRATEGY THAT MIGHT HELP ON SUNDAY? WILL GUYS TAKE TWO TIRES, FOUR TIRES OR NO TIRES? "I think a little of both. My thing Saturday night was, 'I've got nothing to lose right now. There are no points or really anything on the line.' I wanted track position because I knew if something happened on that restart, which was highly likely, being out front is gonna be the place to be, especially if the caution comes out, so that's why I chose that. Yeah, we've got an idea of what my car is gonna be driving like and, certainly, the 150 will be a telltale sign, they always are, on how the track continues to rubber up and how the track condition gets later in the run. I'm looking forward to that 150 for gathering the rest of that and filling in those bits and pieces."
-source: ford racing