Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, opened the Chase with a win last Sunday at New Hampshire to move into third place in the standings, just 30 points behind the leaders, heading into this weekend's race at Dover. Biffle, who won at...
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, opened the Chase with a win last Sunday at New Hampshire to move into third place in the standings, just 30 points behind the leaders, heading into this weekend's race at Dover. Biffle, who won at Dover in 2005 and has five consecutive top-10 finishes at the track, spoke in the media center Friday morning.
"I knew that the Chase was going to be something fun for us, knew it was going to be tough, and we struggled to make it in - but the last five races leading up to the Chase were really good for us, and I knew we'd have some momentum going in, and we were going to use a lot of focus on the 10 races and do the best we can. Obviously, at Loudon we had a really, really good car and got track position throughout the race, just worked our way to the front, and was able to make a pass on Jimmie Johnson toward the end of the race there. We got a caution flag, grouped the field up, and was able to hold him off for 15 laps for the win. So, it was a great week for us, and was really, really looking forward to this as my first Chase race, first opportunity to win, so I feel like, hopefully, I'll be here in a couple of days talking about Dover. But, we've got to get out there and qualify today and get the car right for tomorrow and see what we can do for Sunday."
THIS WEEK THERE WAS A TIRE TEST AT ATLANTA. KYLE BUSCH GOT TO PARTICIPATE IN IT AND TWO NON-CHASE CARS PARTICIPATED. YOU WERE AT THE DARLINGTON TIRE TEST EARLIER THIS YEAR. HOW MUCH OF AN ADVANTAGE IS THERE IN BEING IN A TIRE TEST? AND, HOW MUCH OF AN ISSUE IS IT HAVING ONE CHASE CAR AND TWO NON-CHASE CARS IN A TIRE TEST FOR A CHASE RACE? "I think it's a pretty big significant deal. I've got a really bad memory, and if my memory serves me correctly that they said that they wouldn't use Chase cars to do tire testing once the Chase started. So, maybe my memory isn't serving me correctly because that's perfectly possible, but I thought that that was what I was told but I could be wrong on that. But, it does give you somewhat of an advantage, certainly. And I think Darlington was probably moreso than maybe Atlanta because Darlington was a brand-new re-pave, and nobody had ever seen the surface before, so we had a couple hundred laps on it, or maybe a hundred laps. So, that probably was a bigger deal than getting to do a tire test at Atlanta for Kyle. But no doubt that will help them because they had test data, I'm sure, on the car and were able to gather some information for going back."
YOU'VE BEEN IN THE CHASE BEFORE. IS THERE ANYTHING YOU REMEMBER FROM THAT EXPERIENCE THAT YOU WANT TO TRY THIS TIME, OR AVOID THIS TIME? "Yeah, there are several little things that you learn when you're in the Chase. And I don't think it's anything significant or any one thing I could talk about, but there are several things that play issues along the way. I'm thinking about that, what small mistakes I may have made last time and what I'm going to need to do this time to be able to win the championship and not be 35 points short when we get to Homestead. Hopefully, it'll be the other way around - 35 points to the good. Just several small things, how we execute the weekend, how we execute pit road and all those things."
ARE YOU A BIG BELIEVER IN MOMENTUM CARRYING OVER FROM ONE RACE TO THE NEXT? "I'm a big believer in momentum and I feel like that's why we started the Chase so strong. You have to have confidence and you've got to have confidence in your team, your crew, everything, your equipment, and right now we've got a lot of confidence that we've got great equipment, good guys.
"Our guys are working as hard as they ever have and so am I behind the wheel to get my cars perfect or as good as I can get them. So, yeah, I certainly believe in momentum."
YOU TALKED ABOUT COMING UP SHORT THE LAST TIME YOU WERE IN THE CHASE, AND IT IS EASY IN THIS SPORT TO SAY, "WE'LL GET EM NEXT YEAR." BUT, THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME BACK IN THE CHASE SINCE 2005, SO YOU KNOW SOMETIMES THERE IS NO NEXT YEAR. "It was certainly disappointing in 2006 and '07 to miss the Chase. I'm very thankful for the opportunity to make the Chase in 2008. The guys have done a wonderful job, and we were able to get here. Now, you're right, our time is now. We've got nine more races to close the deal, and we're focused, dedicated, mentally, physically prepared to give it our best for nine more weeks."
NINE OF THE 12 CHASE DRIVERS HAVE WON AT DOVER. WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT THE TRACK? IS EVERYONE ON THE SAME PLAYING FIELD? "Certainly, past success, that momentum thing, you feel like you can win or be successful at places you've won at the past, and the last two times here we've got a second and a third, and, of course, Kyle won the first race, the spring race here, when we finished third. So, it's a tough race track, a very tough race track - very physically, mentally demanding the whole race, 400 laps. Past success, certainly, has a lot to do with it, and I feel like you see elite number of drivers run good here because the place is so tough."
HAVE YOU EVER USED A SPORTS PSYCHOLOGIST TO HELP YOU AS A DRIVER? "I haven't. I haven't done that, but I sort of feel like, I sound, I guess, stupid, but I sort of feel like I've done that myself in the last four or five weeks, getting ready for the Chase. You go through the 10 races and what you have to do in order to win the championship, and you think about it, and kind of mentally prepare yourself for what's going to take place the next 10 weeks or nine weeks. You run through the mistakes you've made in the past and what not to do. You're going to jump from that curb to that curb, but that curb's wet, you know, I've got to make sure I don't slip when I'm jumping off this one. You've just got to go through all of those things and say, 'I'm not going to do that.' You kind of got to play all the cards. But I've never consulted somebody of that nature."
LAST WEEK YOU SAID YOU NEVER COUNTED YOURSELF OUT, BUT OTHERS LOOKED AT YOU AS A DARK HORSE OR LONGSHOT. WHY DO YOU THINK YOU'RE VIEWED THAT WAY? "I think it's easy to start looking at the guys who are always in the limelight and looking to them for success, and so some of the guys sort of get overlooked, but that doesn't really bother me any. Certainly, if we end up winning the title, they'll be talking about us, so I know that's what I need to do, is worry about the 16 car and winning there. And, we'll see if we can get that dark horse go again this weekend."
YOU VISITED WALTER REED HOSPITAL YESTERDAY. "It's something that - anybody whoever gets an opportunity to go and see what we see is pretty overwhelming. The dedication to our country and to our freedom of what you and I get to do every day, what we're sitting here doing right now, the sacrifices that those men and women have made is pretty incredible. A lot of them don't have legs anymore, a lot of them are missing one or more arms and never will be able to enjoy the things we get to enjoy. So, for them to make that sacrifice to defend what we get to do every day is pretty incredible. And those guys, they want to go back and fight for our country again. And some of them will get to, and some won't, because of their injuries.
It's pretty overwhelming to see - you know, when you think you had a bad day, got stuck in traffic or you forgot the charger for your cell phone and it went dead and you can't call anybody - to see what these guys have gone through puts into perspective what a bad day is for all of us." ARE THEY NASCAR FANS? "Yeah, all of them are NASCAR fans, and they're like, 'We don't get to see a lot of races, but we get to see some of them.' A lot of them, die-hard sports fans, in general. Mostly NASCAR, but certainly guys are passionate about some other sports. That's neat to see."
-credit: ford racing