Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, found himself in Victory Lane the last time he visited Dover International Raceway. Biffle, who is looking for his first win of the 2009 season, spoke about this weekend's race during his weekly...
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, found himself in Victory Lane the last time he visited Dover International Raceway. Biffle, who is looking for his first win of the 2009 season, spoke about this weekend's race during his weekly press conference.
"First of all, I came in the room when Jeff (Burton) was finishing up and I'd like to follow up exactly on what he said about the job Goodyear has done with these tires. They've done a tremendous job this year. They've come a long ways and I'm excited about the competition this weekend. Dover always puts on a great race. It's a place where we have a good tire and a lot of grip and we can really race here, so I'm looking forward to an exciting race this weekend for sure."
YOU HAD A SITUATION LIKE JUNIOR DOES NOW WITH A NEW CREW CHIEF IN THE MIDDLE OF THE YEAR. WHAT IS THE ATMOSPHERE LIKE WHEN THAT HAPPENS? "I think you're in the best-case scenario when somebody steps in like (Greg) Erwin or somebody for Junior because really the only way to go is up. That's a good thing. When you take the reins of something the graph is gonna be naturally up, so that's a good thing. The other thing is it gets the whole team excited and it gets the driver excited. It's like you see somebody qualify on the pole and then they run good. It's momentum and that's what a new crew chief does -- it's instant momentum, whether there is any or isn't any, it's started that wheel at 100 miles an hour because of the camaraderie around a new crew chief and a new program and all that. A lot of times you see a bump in performance, even when we swap crew chiefs and teams it's that energy level that always gives a team a little bump, so I think you'll see him pick up a little bit. The whole team is gonna be working hard to come up with results and I think you'll see a little bump in performance."
WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON THE DRIVE-ABILITY OF THE CURRENT NATIONWIDE CAR AND THE HORSEPOWER COMPARISON BETWEEN FORD, GM AND TOYOTA? "It's easy for us to say that the cars that are beating us -- the Toyota car and Gibbs cars in general -- have more power than we do. That's easy to say, but if you look at the stats, there are other Toyota cars on the race track in the Nationwide Series that aren't beating our pants off every week, so that tends to tell me that, A, either Gibbs' engine program is extraordinarily better than everybody else with the Toyota engine, or they're cars are handling better and they're able to keep the throttle down more than we are, and I'm probably the latter of the two. They probably have their cars handling better and not very many times an oval track or NASCAR race is won by power. A lot of times it's won by drive-ability of the car and I've seen cars on the chassis dyno that make 10, 12, 15 more horsepower than the car that won a lot of times and it doesn't matter because if you can't put the gas down, you can have all the power in the world. Our straightaways are so short that it's hard for that power to make that big of a difference, but when you start adding a good handling car with a car that has really good power, or maybe a little bit more than everybody else, that becomes an obstacle that's nearly too tall to overcome -- when you have all those things added together."
WHAT ABOUT THE DIFFERENCES IN THE CUP AND NATIONWIDE CAR? "They're definitely different, there's no doubt about that. The cars are extremely different. One thing that you notice right when you get in this car (Cup car) -- probably the most noticeable -- is the size of it and the room inside, and then the center of gravity. The car is tall and the car wants to roll more and it's harder on the right side tires."
I MEAN THE NATIONWIDE CAR AND THE RACING THERE? "To be perfectly honest with you, I think the racing is not nearly as good as it was without the tapered spacers. And the reason why I say that is because you have to lift on the throttle with a regular engine, and it puts drive-ability back in the car. You're approaching the corner faster, you've got slow down, you've got to work at getting back to the gas because you're gonna spin the tires -- they don't have enough power to do that -- so you drive way down in the corner and it's the first guy that can get the gas down. But, on the other hand, NASCAR is trying to make this series affordable and by making it affordable meant cutting the power to the engine and using that engine for four weeks. That's a huge savings in money. The unfortunate result of that is the competition side is changed a little bit because the thing doesn't have the power it used to. I think we all have driven the Nationwide car and understand that cutting the power is not a way to make -- for the future, or if you think about the Cup side, it's not something we want to do. We want to leave the power like it is, but on the Nationwide side it's a double-edged sword. We understand that they're trying to save money on the engines and we can appreciate that, but if we had our way competition-wise, we'd say, 'Hey, take the plate off it and let the racing be like it was.'"
WHAT ARE YOU EXPECTING OUT OF THE INDY TIRE TEST NEXT WEEK? "Goodyear has put a tremendous amount into this tire test to make sure that these tires run well, and they're against a big obstacle. One is a car that's hard on right-side tires and a race track that's like no other we go to, and then a lot of speed, so they're trying to balance all of those issues. What we're looking for in the tire test is we're looking to help Goodyear make a whole fuel run or close to that on a fairly green race track, and we're certainly looking for a little track time ourselves to make sure we have some kind of platform we can go back and start with. One, help Goodyear get a tire that will last and all the competitors can race on, and get a little track time."
WHAT IS YOUR IMPRESSION ABOUT THE PIT ROAD CHANGES HERE? "Certainly anytime you make pit road wide, it'll be better, safer for all the competitors and easier to get up and down. Obviously in competition will really tell the tale. Once we get into competition and we're racing off pit road, then we're really gonna see the difference of what it's like. That's really about it. It looks like they did a nice job, so we'll just have to wait and see how it races."
WHAT ARE THE RECOLLECTIONS OF YOUR FIRST WIN? "My first win came at Daytona in July. It was really exciting for me in 2003. I got the Grainger car in Victory Lane, but it's exciting no matter how it comes. Mine was sort of a fuel mileage win as well. We had track position and fuel mileage as well and won that race. David's circumstances were certainly something to that nature, but I'm just really proud of those guys. They've won good enough to win races this season and have been there, and I know what it's like. That was a big win. That was a big race for our series and that'll be a big win for him. I'm pretty happy for those guys."
-credit: ford racing