Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus, is fifth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings and trails leader Tony Stewart by 98 points. He spoke about this weekend's race after the first practice session Friday at...
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus, is fifth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings and trails leader Tony Stewart by 98 points. He spoke about this weekend's race after the first practice session Friday at Kansas Speedway.
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus
THE ROUSH CARS LOOK STRONG HERE? "Yeah, they are. We ran really well here last year. I felt like we kind of gave it away a little bit there at the end when we had to stop for fuel after leading a lot of this race. We brought the same car back. It's a little bit different, but we're working really good on our lap times and the lap tracker looks fairly good, so we feel fairly confident that we're gonna have a top-five run."
HOW MUCH INFORMATION WAS SHARED FROM THE TESTING THAT WENT ON HERE BETWEEN THE TEAMS? "Believe it or not, we looked at their test notes and didn't really see a lot there. We came back here like we were here last year. Like I said, we led a lot of the race and we possibly had one of the best cars, but had to stop for fuel at the end and finished third, so we really started out like that. It's kind of funny because everybody tested here and tried a variety of front shocks and they ended up with the shocks we raced here last year being the best, so, really, it's four springs, four shocks and a front swaybar, so we're just tuning on the thing."
YOU'RE THE SLOWEST OF THE ROUSH CARS. WHAT'S THE DEAL? "I know it. I'm slacking (laughing). I'm just a little intimidated still by that Charlotte wreck. This is the same race car and we want to be careful. I'm being cautious and just working up to this thing because we're running really fast here. Actually, my fastest lap was the third-to-the-last-lap of the practice session with all the laps on the car. So when I want to push the throttle down and really put some wheel in it and run a fast lap the car will do it, which is positive, but I'm looking for a consistent feel lap after lap and it looks like on the lap tracker that toward the end of that session we were able to run about a tenth faster than a lot of cars and that's what we're trying to do. We want to be fast for a 25-40 lap run. I struggle sometimes as a driver, I think, with one fast lap coming off the caution, so the car looks like it's headed in the direction I want it to go."
HOW DO YOU ASSESS YOUR SPOT IN THE CHASE RIGHT NOW? "We're definitely at a deficit. Ninety-eight points is difficult to get. You figure 20 points a race and do the math, that's a lot of races and with one to go you're gonna catch the leader. That's gonna be difficult to overcome, but we're prepared to do it for sure."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT BUILDING UP TO SPEED AFTER THE CHARLOTTE ACCIDENT? "I don't think it's really fear of jumping back in the seat and pushing the gas down. It's just that this is my best race car. I want to race this car on Sunday. They just rebuilt it. It's basically brand new. It's never been on the race track before typically, so we want to be cautious with rubs and this and that. On the fifth lap the entire car was full of smoke, so I had to slow down and smell it and it was paint. The paint was burning off from all of the exhausts, so then I got back up to speed. Just being careful about things like tire rubs and kind of working back into things and making sure the car is OK and kind of working up to it. Plus the car wasn't perfect and I'm not gonna push it if the car is not perfect. I could tell without going 100 percent that the car wasn't the way I wanted it, so we came in and just kept working on it. There at the end I felt like the car was pretty good and I pushed the issue and ran a .50. That's a pretty fast lap to run with all those laps on the tires, so that gives us a lot of confidence."
ANY REASON WHY YOU HAVE THIS CAR HERE? "This is my favorite car. It's the car I ran here last year and we crashed it really bad at Charlotte with a blown right-front tire and I wanted to race that car here. The guys have worked nearly around the clock to put that car back together and get it back on the race track. Saying it was a new car, it wasn't a new car but the front is new, the right side is new and the back is new. A lot of the race car is new - the rear-end housing, all of the front suspension and all of the stuff, so it's nearly a new car. We just want to work up to it, but it's a really fast car and I'm pretty happy with it."
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THIS CAR? "It turns around the bottom of the race track with less steering wheel in it. The car is like a magnet to that white line down on the bottom. It just loves to drive down there."
COULD YOU TELL IF THAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CAR IF YOU JUMPED IN A BUNCH OF OTHER CARS? "Yeah, I could tell by about the first corner."
DOES IT FEEL THE SAME AS BEFORE? "Not quite, but I think we decided it was a little bit too tight, so we're gonna back off that now and see where we end up."
DOUG WON THE TITLE 25 YEARS AGO WITH DALE EARNHARDT. HAS HE TALKED TO YOU ABOUT WHAT IT TAKES TO BECOME A CHAMPION? "Not really. We haven't talked about that. We know what we have to do and I know as a driver what I need to do and I'm focused on it and I'm giving 100 percent. I'm not gonna let up until we're there. I feel we're gonna close in some this week in points and just continue to work on getting closer to our goal."
HE COMPARED YOUR DRIVING STYLE TO DALE EARNHARDT. "I know. A few people have done that. I'm flattered by that. I never got to race with the man much, which is unfortunate for me. I've watched a lot of what he's done in the past and learned from it. I guess it's just a style that I have, that I like to drive loose race cars kind of on the edge and that's the way I get around the race track fast. It just so happens that was his m.o. too. I think it's just people's driving styles."