Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, is in eighth place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings heading into Saturday's race at Daytona International Speedway. Biffle won the July race at Daytona in 2003. HOW IS THE CAR? "Pretty good.
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, is in eighth place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings heading into Saturday's race at Daytona International Speedway. Biffle won the July race at Daytona in 2003.
HOW IS THE CAR? "Pretty good. It was terrible in the first run, but we worked on it and made some changes and got a lot better. We started out where we raced the Daytona 500, and the track is just a lot slicker than it was in the Daytona 500. We knew that was going to happen, but we just had to try it and see where we ended up. The car was on top of the race track, all over the place, so we were able to get it a lot better."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'VE MADE PROGRESS WITH THIS CAR, IN PARTICULAR? "I feel like we have. The car's better. That was a huge change. I was really, really comfortable driving the car after we made some changes and I think we've got a little ways to go. We've got a whole other practice session to fine-tune on it, so if we can make it a little bit better than it is now, I think we're going to have a pretty good piece."
AT THIS TIME LAST YEAR, YOU WEREN'T DOING NEARLY SO WELL IN THE STANDINGS. HOW WOULD YOU ASSESS THE TURNAROUND AND WHAT WOULD YOU GRADE YOURSELF? "I'm not going to give myself that high of a grade. I've made some mistakes the last four races -- or we have as a group, I guess, it's been both sides -- and we've given up probably 125 points, just in those finishes. It was unfortunate, but I think we've done decent. We're eighth in points, we keep bobbing back and forth between seventh and ninth. We want to run a little better than what we've been running -- we're actually running better than we're finishing, is the problem, except for Loudon. We were off for Loudon, the whole organization. We're going to work hard on that before we go back."
ARE YOU SURPRISED BY THE NEWS OUT OF GANASSI THIS WEEK, AND HOW HAS THE ENVIRONMENT CHANGED? "It's really shocking to us to see a team shut down like that -- and it's tough. You don't want to see that. Dario, I think, is a great driver. I think he's improved tremendously. He ran very well at Loudon, qualified decent, but I don't know. The organization's been having a tough time competition-wise lately, and it's said to see them have to shut that down temporarily, without having a sponsor or whatnot."
COLIN BRAUN IS IN THE NO. 16 NATIONWIDE FUSION, AND HE'S BORROWING YOUR SPONSOR FOR THIS RACE. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF BRAUN, AND WILL HE BE RACING ON THE CUP SIDE FOR ROUGH FENWAY ONE DAY? "I think we will, eventually. Colin needs to get a bunch of experience. He's doing that right now. He came over and leaned in the window and said, 'Are these things just horrible to drive?' And I said, 'They're pretty tough here.' And he goes, 'It's loose one second and shoving the nose the next.' He's having a tough time. But, these cars are tough to drive in July here at this race track at Daytona. He's got his work cut out for him."
DO YOU FEEL THAT THIS RACE IS BETTER RACING THAN THE DAYTONA 500? "I think so. This tends to be more of a handling race, and a little more execution that the Daytona 500, but when it comes down to 10 laps to go, we're all grouped up and dogfighting it out for the win."
YOU'VE WON HERE AND POSTED SOME TOP-10S. BUT, IT SEEMS LIKE YOU'RE IN THE TOP 10 OR OUTSIDE THE TOP 25. "That's it. You either miss the wreck or you don't. We run in the top-10 here, we have a good enough car, the 3M Ford Fusion runs very well here, but if you can get through all the stuff, we're typically running there. We were running third in the Daytona 500, not this last year but a year ago, and didn't make it to the checkered flag. Coming off of turn four, we could see it, but couldn't get there. That's unfortunate that stuff happens around you, and unfortunately, you get in it."
MUCH HAS BEEN TALKED ABOUT CONCERNING OPENING UP TESTING. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THAT? "I've got a great opinion on the testing. I think a perfect scenario, a win-win for everybody in the whole sport, is to give each organization five tests -- or six or seven, whatever the number might be -- give each organization that many, then they can go test whenever they want, however they want, 10 days before or whatever NASCAR wants to do, and then be done with it. That way, Hendrick has five tests, Roush Fenway has five tests, Ganassi has five tests -- it doesn't matter if you have five cars, two cars, four cars, doesn't matter. Everybody gets to go to five race tracks and collected data at their five. They can pick what five they want to go to. Us, as an organization, we want to go test at Loudon. We might want to go test at Martinsville. And Joe Gibbs Racing doesn't need to test Martinsville or Loudon, they run good there. They can pick the race tracks they want to go test at, accomplish what they want to do. The original test policy was that way, only it was per car. So, a guy with five teams could go to 25 race tracks, which we don't even go to 25, so that wasn't fair. But a way to make it fair is to give it to the organization, and then everybody's on the same playing field. Bill Davis Racinf gets five tests. They can pick whatever five they want to go to and knock yourself out -- go whenever you feel like it. And then we can use all of airplanes, we can gang up on transporters, we can take personnel -- if all of us go as an entire organization and book rooms and all of that, it's going to be the most efficient, cost-effective way to test, and it's going to be equal through the entire garage. Nobody's going to have an advantage."
SO YOU'RE SAYING, FOUR CARS GO TO ONE TEST? "Just like we do know. We have five tests, only NASCAR PICKS THEM. Have five tests and give them to the organization, so it doesn't matter how many cars you have, and then we can go wherever we want. If we want to go to Phoenix, we go to Phoenix. If we want to go over here, we go over there. Of course, Daytona, maybe Vegas, at the beginning of the year, standard tests for the entire series or something, and then the rest, leave it up to the organizations to decide. And, ultimately, that's what NASCAR's saying. And these people are saying, 'We want to decide where we want to go,' but you can't let everybody just go, all scram different directions. And that's the best solution for everybody."
-credit: ford racing