Loudon II: Biffle - Friday media visit

Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, is still looking for his first win of 2009 -- just like a year ago when he ended up winning this event. Biffle spoke about this weekend and what his team needs to do to compete for a ...

Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, is still looking for his first win of 2009 -- just like a year ago when he ended up winning this event. Biffle spoke about this weekend and what his team needs to do to compete for a championship.

YOUR THOUGHTS ON NHMS AND THE CHASE? "I'm really excited about being in the chase and the chase starting here in Loudon. This has historically been a good race track for us, probably with the old car we ran very, very good here. Then when we transitioned to the new car, we didn't run good for about a year or year-and-a-half -- about three or four races -- and then kind of got back on track running good again, so we're excited about that. I don't know what happened in that meantime, why we couldn't get it figured out, but we ran good here in the spring. Obviously, with the rain we didn't end up with the finish we wanted, but ran very good. I'm excited about starting out the chase here."

THE ROUSH FENWAY CARS HAVE STRUGGLED, BUT CAN YOU PULL OFF A SURPRISE HERE LIKE LAST YEAR, AND DOES THE 48 SEEM TO BE OFF FROM WHERE THEY'VE BEEN IN PREVIOUS CHASES? "It's funny because I think last year we maybe looked at the 48 team as coming into the chase not performing like they had been expected to in the past, so that question was there last year. But I don't think you can count them out. I think they're gonna run well. Everybody's got their own group of race tracks they run good at, and we haven't been as good on short tracks this year as we have in the past, but it seems like our team runs really well in the spring and the fall, so I'm excited about this being the fall race. We'll just have to wait and see. I don't know. I don't have any predictions at this point."

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE RELIEF OF MAKING THE CHASE AND HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT BEING THE DEFENDING CHAMP HERE? "It's really good. I finally got to sleep well for a few nights and got to enjoy the two days of relaxation before I had to go to New York and come here and try to defend my win from last year and get the chase started right. That nervousness is back already. We've got to go out here and practice and practice well -- get the car ready for qualifying -- qualify decent so we can get a good pit spot and then run the entire race fast. It's the same old thing -- back to racing and back to being a little bit on edge, but I'm ready for it."

DOES ANYBODY HAVE AN EDGE GOING INTO THE CHASE? "I really think, if you look across the board, I really think that everybody really, truly has the same opportunity right now. I really do. I don't feel like anybody's really got an advantage because in my perception the 14 hasn't run as well as they had when they were kind of on that firestorm of going like crazy; the 48 is competitive, but as somebody mentioned, maybe not performing up to their own standards, I guess. I would say they're still doing a pretty damn good job myself, but then you see Brian Vickers and he's running extremely well. He ran extremely well at Atlanta and ran well at Richmond, and I think the same with us. We've been able to pull out two good finishes after not running so well. I don't think we're far off from being competitive and challenging for the win. I think if you look at the 12 guys, I don't know that you could pick a favorite. I don't know that you could count any one of them out."

MARK MARTIN HAS SIGNED WITH HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS THROUGH 2011. DO YOU WONDER WHEN HE'LL RETIRE AND WHAT IS IT LIKE WHEN A DRIVER HAS THE KIND OF SUCCESS HE'S HAD THIS YEAR? "For starters, let's face it, Hendrick Motorsports and their equipment is superior right now and has been at times throughout history. Three championships in a row, Jeff Gordon has several, they're always winning races, so he's in damn good equipment and it would be hard to hang your hat up driving and winning races and performing at the level he is, so I certainly wouldn't be a betting man on when he's gonna hang his helmet up."

LUGNUTS AT TEXAS RUINED YOUR CHASE A COUPLE YEARS AGO AND KYLE BUSCH HAD A $20 SUSPENSION PART SCUTTLE HIS CHASE. HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH STUFF LIKE THAT? "It's really tough to deal with those things. Dumb things can happen and people can make simple mistakes. You can make huge mistakes, but the reality is you've got to deal with it and go on. When it happens, you have to try and recover the best you can from it. You've got 10 weeks to have to be flawless and every one of us know that, so all of us have prepared the best we can to make 10 perfect weeks. But it's tough to deal with. It really, really, truly is tough to deal with when something like that happens, and you never know if that's gonna be the deciding factor until you're down to the very last race. That lugnut deal happened three to go, we were running third and finished 20th and lost the chase by 35 points. With pretty quick math you can tell I lost 50 or 60 from that one incident. I made it through Martinsville and made it through Talladega and it got down to the wire and something happened. You just try and avoid all the things you can and if things happen, like I said, you try and recover from it and go on because Tony easily could have had something happen at Homestead and we could have won it, so you never give up."

WHY IS IT HARD TO REPEAT AT THIS TRACK? "It certainly is a tricky race track. It constantly changes and it'll change throughout an event. Track position means a lot here. It's difficult to pass because of how flat it is, so, certainly track position is important, but there are so many factors that go into what it takes to win here. I think that's why it's so difficult to repeat and we see a lot of different winners."

DO YOU THINK WINNING PAST TITLES HELPS IN A CHASE LIKE THIS? "I think being through the experience, I lost the championship by eight points in the Truck Series and 35 points in 2005. That definitely humbles you and gives you the experience of what it's like to come up a little short and how important every moment of the chase is -- from every pit stop to every green flag and yellow flag lap -- what to do and what not to do. That experience is valuable and, hopefully, it'll pay off this year."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Greg Biffle , Brian Vickers
Teams Hendrick Motorsports