Martinsville II: Biffle - Ford interview

Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus, moved into third place after last weekend's race at Lowe's Motor Speedway and is only 11 points behind leaders Johnson and Stewart. Biffle spoke about his team after ...

Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus, moved into third place after last weekend's race at Lowe's Motor Speedway and is only 11 points behind leaders Johnson and Stewart. Biffle spoke about his team after practice.

GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus

YOU CAN EITHER GAIN OR LOSE A LOT IN POINTS AT THIS TRACK. "Yeah, you can really. Martinsville, historically, has not been my best race track. We've worked really hard here to be better. We came up here and tested. I ran 400 laps here testing and got the car really where I wanted it. Now coming back, the car isn't doing really what it was doing testing. It's kind of chattering the front tires a little bit, so we'll just work on it some more here. I think we're gonna have a decent qualifying run. I think we were 13th in that practice. If we start inside the top 15, it'll be great for us and just try to stay out of trouble the whole weekend."

YOUR RUN STARTED AT THE MIDDLE OF LAST YEAR AND YOU COULD WIN THIS THING. "Yeah, here is a big race for us. Tony Stewart runs well here. The 48 runs well here, obviously. Those are two guys that we're racing real close. Mark Martin runs really good here, Kurt Busch. So a lot of the guys in the chase run really good here. I predominantly don't. I kind of overcharge the corner, so I just have to keep my head on straight and be smart the whole weekend and try to target that top 10 and keep myself in it."

DO YOU JUST RUN YOUR RACE OR DO YOU WATCH WHAT THE OTHER GUYS ARE DOING. "Here, I haven't because I know they're gonna be running well. Here, I just run the best I can. If I can get out of here with a top 10 finish, I'll be very happy. The we get to Atlanta, Texas, Phoenix and Homestead, where I think I can put some pressure on the guys."

HOW BIG OF AN IMPACT DID LAST WEEK HAVE? "Well, Martinsville isn't over yet, either, so there may be three wildcards in the chase. We'll see. That shook it up a lot. We knew that Lowe's was gonna be a big race for us. We crashed two cars there testing and were in some bad shape, so we were prepared for Lowe's. I kept my head on straight. I knew what I had to do all night long. I drove my car the way I thought I needed to drive it. I got a flat tire on Friday night and hit the wall. You can't do anything about that. You try to avoid that on Saturday night and not make any mistakes personally. That's what we did there and that's what we're gonna try and do here."

HOW MUCH CAN THIS RACE SHAKE IT UP? "It can shake it up a great deal more. You get caught up in something and anything can happen here. You can be sitting in the pits working on your car."

DID YOU DO MOST OF THE TESTING FOR ROUSH DURING THE OFF SEASON? "Yeah, I did. And what that was it was more for us. What we did, we finished up Homestead. We won Homestead and we won at Michigan, and we felt we liked that build of car. The company was kind of going in a little bit of a different direction on downforce and yaw movement and things like that, so what we did was we took a car that was a little bit different than our car, we took our car and we took and old 6 car - which we'll probably do again this year, unless NASCAR limits testing, which it looks like they may. Maybe we'll do that prior to the new year starting, but I didn't do any testing for the 6 or the 99 or anything like that. It was more for our team, to figure out, 'OK, we're getting ready to build five new cars. How do we want to build them? Let's go to Kentucky and take a variation of cars and see which ones we like.' Of course I liked the ones I won with at Michigan and Homestead with the best, so we kept going down that road."

WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL HAPPEN WITH TESTING AND HOW WILL IT AFFECT THINGS? "I think it's gonna affect things a great deal. I don't know exactly how it's laid out yet. I'd like to see an overview of it, but, for instance, Martinsville is not one of my good race tracks. I need to come here and test. Let's say that Richmond is on there or Darlington or somewhere like that, I don't need to go there and test - or Michigan. I don't need to test Michigan because it's not gonna do anything for us. We know our shock package and we feel pretty comfortable when we go there. We need to go test where I don't run good - Sears Point, here, maybe at Bristol or whatever, but we can't do that anymore. Now you're forced to go test somewhere where you may or may not need to test. They want to restrict the amount of teams going to every race track within the company. Say Penske Racing can only test at five race tracks, or Roush Racing can only test at five race tracks, and Hendrick, but it's your choice. That's essentially what they're doing, but let us decide where we want to go. Limit us so the 99 can't go to five different ones, I go to five different ones and the 6 goes to five different ones. Let us hash it out between ourselves if we feel company wide that we need to go test Martinsville."

WHAT WAS THE REACTION TO NASCAR'S IDEA OF CAPPING TEAMS? "We don't care. We're still gonna run the same as we always have. It's not gonna affect us."

WHAT IF THEY SAY YOU'RE ONLY ALLOWED TO RUN THREE CARS? "We'll just move into a different building. Nothing is gonna stop us from sharing information with the 38 and 88 cars. The way we build our cars, our downforce, our shock package, our springs, our shock data - nothing like that. You can't stop a team from sharing information. We could share information with Evernham if we wanted, or anybody else. It doesn't matter who owns the car. You could own the car, it doesn't matter. We'd be in a different building. Unless they get dramatic about it, I don't know how to do that."

ANY CONCERNS ABOUT TIRES AT THE REMAINING 1.5-MILE TRACKS? "No, none at all. Goodyear has got a great tire. They've done their homework. NASCAR needs to keep their fingers out of what we're doing. We haven't had any tire problems. We had tire problems at Charlotte and it wasn't because of tire pressure. I understand they were doing everything they possibly could to try to cure the problem, but they were taking a survey of tire pressure before the race and I think everybody was within reason. They could put a minimum on it, but make it so that we could still have some adjustability. At Charlotte that was a pretty high minimum. We were running one pound under that minimum, that's all. We weren't having a problem."

YOU AND TONY HAVE WON THE MOST RACES SO IT WOULD BE KIND OF FITTING TO HAVE IT COME DOWN TO YOU TWO. "Yeah, certainly I'd like to add another win to that column, but a top-five finish is what we're after. Tony is a good driver. They've got a great team. They've won a championship before. We're up against a tough competitor and we're just gonna keep our head down and do the best we can. If we come up short, we come up short, but I tell you what, it won't be from a lack of effort."

ALL 10 GUYS STILL HAVE A CHANCE. IT'S CLOSER THAN A YEAR AGO. "Yeah, it is and some guys have had trouble. We got a flat tire at Dover and we got caught up in that wreck at Talladega, so everybody has had a little bit of trouble and it's kept it really tight. We're gonna see years like that. Maybe next year the leader might be 300 ahead at this race. The race might be over, so you just never know what's gonna happen. It's anybody's game."

MARK MARTIN SAID HE'S GOING TO WIN THIS RACE SUNDAY. ISN'T THAT UNUSUAL? "It is, but, you know what, people think it's being cocky or having a big head. 'How can you do that?' I said at California I'd be leading the race by lap five. When you have a great race car and you feel good about it and you've got all this energy and adrenaline going, and you feel like you've got an awesome race car, you feel invincible. That's how you need to feel if you're gonna win. If you don't think you're gonna win and you don't think you're gonna run good, you're not."

MARK NEVER DOES THAT. "That big trophy is getting closer and closer and he probably has a great race car. The car feels really good for him. He's got a game plan. They've got their game face on. He's ready. I'm gonna go in there trying to win the race. I don't think I have as good a chance at winning as some of these other guys, but I'm gonna try and get my way into the top five. If I'm in the top five, I don't care who wins."

IS THERE AN ADVANTAGE FOR GUYS WHO WERE IN IT LAST YEAR? "Maybe slightly. They've kind of been down this road and know what to expect, but, really, I've been in tight points races for the championship before and it's just a matter of human error - no mistakes. If you get a flat, you get a flat. If somebody hits you from behind, you get hit from behind. But the main thing is you personally have to deal with the pressure and deal with the things going on around you and do the best you can."

DID THE TRUCK AND BUSCH TITLE RACES HELP FOR THIS CHASE? "Yeah, I mean I lost the championship by eight points and a lot of people forget about that. I lost by eight points and that was devastating to me. I learned a lot from that and I probably learned more from losing a championship by eight than winning my other two."

-ford racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Mark Martin
Teams Team Penske