Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, encountered some damage at his home in North Carolina on Friday when some gas fixtures evidently leaked and sparked an explosion to the exterior. Biffle, who just moved into the house two...
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, encountered some damage at his home in North Carolina on Friday when some gas fixtures evidently leaked and sparked an explosion to the exterior. Biffle, who just moved into the house two weeks ago, spoke about the incident between practice sessions Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
GREG BIFFLE: "What happened is it was early in the morning, it was raining, and neighbors said they heard something. They thought it was lightning. There was no lightning in the area, but it was raining real hard. The front porch has damage, the upper balcony in the front of the house. As they sat there and looked at it, one would think it maybe got hit by lightning or something like that made sense, but it was one of the gas light fixtures. We have gas lights on the upper balcony at the front of the house and one of the gas lights, something happened to it and it blew out. It had a leak in the line or something and it leaked gas into an exterior column on the front of the house. That column isn't on the house, it's outside of the house, but it leaked gas in there and exploded. Stucco and some other stuff got blown out into the front driveway. It was a hell of an explosion that people heard all the way up the street. Gas blowing up makes a pretty loud explosion, so somebody thought it was lightning. It probably sounded like lightning. There were people at the house. My pet-sitter was there with my dogs and, of course, it startled them obviously. The alarm went off and the security camera has all the footage of what took place and you can see the stuff blowing off of there. There isn't any damage to the house or inside the house, it's just an upper balcony on the front of the house that has some damage on one side. It was probably a two-foot by two-foot column that probably filled with gas on the inside because it's hollow and that ignited, so it wasn't lightning. It was a malfunction of whoever installed the stuff or how it was designed or built or something. I don't know what the answer is yet, but those are the preliminary findings. It happens, I guess."
IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE. "Yeah, it definitely could have been worse. Gas leaks are very dangerous, but it was on the outside of the house so that was a positive. It has two more gas lights, but they're down on a balcony rail that's 12-feet wide and way out from the house. I don't know what the answer is or why it happened. I'm pretty unhappy about it, but we'll get it fixed, I guess."
ANY IDEA HOW MUCH DAMAGE? "Not really. If it damaged the gas light, a gas light is a couple thousand dollars, and then some stucco work and things like that. I don't know. It's nothing significant, but when you get a fender bender on your car it costs $6000, so I imagine it's something like that."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THIS TRACK AND STARTING THE CHASE HERE? "This is a good race track for us. We had a lot of success here last year and won the first race, but we've run good and we're running good this weekend and we feel like we've got an opportunity to finish in the top five."
HOW WAS PRACTICE? "Practice is good so far. I think we were fourth or fifth on the sheet. Unfortunately, we didn't qualify where we wanted to. We're back there in 22nd, so we've got a little bit to come from but not that far back."
HOW NICE IS IT TO HAVE A CLEAN SLATE IN THE POINTS? "It feels really good to start over. There's so much pressure to get in this thing and now that we're in it, just go for it and get the best finishes we can and try to get the points lead."
IS THERE PRESSURE KNOWING YOU HAVE TO ALMOST BE PERFECT IN THIS CHASE? "Yeah, you have to be perfect. No excuses and no mistakes, and we're prepared to do that." HOW PREPARED IS THE TEAM FOR THIS? "It's obvious we have only two wins as a company, and that's unusual for us, but I feel like we're gaining on it and this weekend is a great opportunity for one of our cars to get in Victory Lane."
-credit: ford racing