This Week in Ford Racing September 30, 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Ever since Doug Richert became crew chief for Greg Biffle at Darlington earlier this month, the No. 16 Grainger team has had positive results. In their first four races together,...
This Week in Ford Racing
September 30, 2003
NASCAR Winston Cup
Ever since Doug Richert became crew chief for Greg Biffle at Darlington earlier this month, the No. 16 Grainger team has had positive results. In their first four races together, the duo has a pair of top-10 finishes (10th at Darlington and 7th at Dover) and two top-five qualifying efforts (2nd at Richmond and 4th at Loudon). Biffle spoke recently about Richert's arrival and how the team has performed the past month.
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 Grainger Taurus
JUST ABOUT EVERY WEEKEND HAS BEEN POSITIVE SINCE DOUG HAS COME ON BOARD.
"Yeah, and hopefully that will continue. I think overall we're just approaching things a little bit different. It's hard to explain because it's such small differences. It's not any one thing, it's a dozen small things. It's how we approach things. Maybe we're gonna take some wedge out instead of doing this or adjusting on the A-Frame or looking at tire temperatures. A lot can be told by reading tire temperatures. Randy never really looked at those that much. He kind of went off me and expected the tire guy to say, 'Hey, we need to take some camber out or you need to look at this.' But Doug is always computing and constantly looking and thinking about what change could help another. You have to get the whole car happy. You've got to get the right wedge. You've got to get the right camber, the right length A-Frames, the right spring package, the right shocks. He knows a lot about shocks. We're able to get the whole entire car closer and then the car technically runs longer and at a faster pace than before. I think that's probably our biggest difference - just a bunch of small ones."
NOTHING AGAINST RANDY, BUT THINGS HAVE CLICKED BETTER WITH DOUG?
"Doug just has more well-rounded knowledge. He's just been doing it a lot longer. It would be like somebody coming in here as a reporter who hasn't been taking notes as long as you have. They're not gonna know what you know. Eventually, they may be better than you, but there's no replacement for experience regardless of your profession. Being open to new stuff is important, too, because a guy can get stuck in a rut and say, 'I've tried that before and it doesn't work.' A lot of knowledge is good. A lot of background is good and being a veteran guy is good, but you also have to be cutting edge and paying attention. That's what Doug brings to the table."
YOU SAID RECENTLY THAT YOU THOUGHT YOUR TEAM COULD WIN A RACE OR TWO BEFORE THE SEASON ENDS. IS THAT HOW HIGH YOUR CONFIDENCE LEVEL IS RIGHT NOW?
"Yeah, I was a little disappointed when we went to Richmond that we weren't better than we were because we ran so good at Darlington. I thought we had something figured out. It was a good car. It was a good day. Everything worked right. The setup was good. Everything clicked for us there and it's not very often you get an opportunity like that. It's not very often you have a car that's invincible and I felt that way. It didn't matter where I started. We had a bad pit stop and re-started fifth, but I was leading in two laps. I'm sure some thought I would burn the tires off of it, but we just kept going and going and going. It didn't matter. The car was just bad fast and that doesn't happen very often. I might only be once every two years that you get a car like that. I wasn't sure what it was. I thought it was a combination of stuff and thought it would carry over. I had a weird sense that we were gonna be like that the rest of the races and you get that energy, but the stats show we're a lot better. We got the outside pole at Richmond, but we didn't run as good in the race. Phoenix is a really good place for me. Atlanta, I feel really good about, and Rockingham. We just had one of our best tests ever at Kansas City. It's the best car we've ever had in the wind tunnel, and with the exception of having some motor problems on the second day, I was pretty happy. I think we've got a pretty good car for that place, so we'll see."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE ROOKIE RACE RIGHT NOW?
"I'm a little unhappy about where we're at right now. It's kind of tough where we're at, but we're not giving up. The best runs is what's gonna gain us points - finishing in the top five and stuff like that. I don't really concern myself with the rookie battle, I just concern myself with running the best we can. Wins and top-fives and top-10s are what's gonna win us that and get us as high as we can overall in the points."