Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, is third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings going into this weekend's TUMS QuikPak 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Biffle held a Q&A session on Friday afternoon at the track while the rain ...
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, is third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings going into this weekend's TUMS QuikPak 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Biffle held a Q&A session on Friday afternoon at the track while the rain continued to fall.
THOUGHTS ON THE NEW CAR AT THIS TRACK. "I have a hard time getting to most people's bumper here. I did give Jimmie a shot down there in the corner last year, though. He was leading and I was running second, so I figured I would at least have to give him a shove, but that's about it. Jeff is right. Before you would just touch the car and it would lift because it was sloped and now they're real flat. Really, the idea is to get them to lose a little traction and not to shove him forward and, really, that just kind of shoves the car forward when you bump him."
WILL THE RAIN AFFECT THE RACE? "I agree with Junior that probably the qualifying or this rain probably isn't gonna affect the race. It looks a little iffy whether we have practice in the morning time, but I think the most important thing is to get some race practice in and see what your car is gonna be like, and the track is probably gonna change a lot from the time that we practice until we race on it, so that's something we'll have to try and calculate because of the amount of rain and the lack of rubber being down on the race track from the trucks and qualifying and all that, so we'll just have to wait and see."
HOW DO YOU FEEL YOUR AGE HELPS YOU ON THESE TRACKS? "That's the first time I've been the old guy. I don't think it really makes that much of a difference. I think that morally your age probably more so experience than anything. A few years into competition, I'm gonna say like Junior and myself, I would imagine that experience at that point really doesn't matter, but you take somebody like Clint Bowyer, probably, that has less years in Nationwide and Sprint Cup, those guys could still make mistakes or do some things. I'm just using him as an example because he's just a couple years into this series, but I raced the Truck Series for three years and the Nationwide Series for two and you see a lot of things over that period of time and you learn a lot of things about what you don't want to do and how you get yourself into trouble and how to stay out of trouble, so I think that kind of experience is just real valuable. I see experience as the age thing to me."
WHAT DOES MARTINSVILLE MEAN TO YOU AND HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF IT LOST A RACE? "We've lost a lot of events that a lot of fans in our sport is known by -- one Rockingham and then Darlington losing a date, but the unfortunate part about progression, like the chase format and big business, we have a tremendous amount more of sponsors and Fortune 500 companies involved in this sport and there's gonna be change. You just have to accept that. I think it's bad when a race track loses both of its dates. I think it's bad when we leave a race track behind, but if a race track can maintain a date with being able to expand this sport or our schedule, then at least I think that's acceptable. But if Darlington lost its other date or whatever the cases are, end up in the same position as Rockingham, I don't think that's good for our sport to do that."
THERE WILL BE NO CHANGES WITH THIS CAR NEXT YEAR. ARE YOU OK WITH THAT? "I agree 100 percent with Junior on that. It's just as we talked about the race track here and new facilities or new race tracks or changing dates. I think everything stands a chance for improvement. You can improve just about anything you do and when NASCAR deems it time or necessary, I'm sure that there are small things that we can do or work on doing to the car to try and enhance it handling-wise or whatever the case might be, but I think it's a fair statement to say that you can improve anything, but I think it's a good starting platform now. Certainliy we would like NASCAR to let us move the bodies around and do all kinds of things and that's why they created this car, so I think we would welcome any opportunity to work with them on making whatever kind of changes they felt necessary, and I think they might learn something from the Nationwide cars -- switching it to the COT. If they spent enough time there, they might learn some things about that car that once they bring in that car and get it established, they might bring some of those features over to this car. That's just a guess."
DO YOU START TO THINK WHAT IT'S GOING TO TAKE TO CATCH JIMMIE WHEN HE GETS THROUGH A WRECK AT TALLADEGA LIKE HE DID AND OTHERS DON'T? "Yeah, what's that one show on TV? My Name is Earl? He's living right. Jimmie didn't make it through that wreck because of his skill, he made it through that wreck because he was at the right place at the right time and made the right decisions -- turned the wheel the right way. I'm not saying he just went through there blindfolded. Certainly, he had to maneuver around the cars, but it would have been easy for somebody to come off the wall and clip him, but he made it through and that's just luck of the draw. I wasn't gonna make it through because I was the one that got hit in the rear bumper and turned around, so I pretty much didn't stand a chance of getting through that crash because I think I was the one involved in starting it, but that could go the other way very easily. Something happened to Carl last week and something can happen to anyone of us at anytime. I'm not saying that something has to happen to Jimmie for us to catch him, but it's 86 points and we're just gonna have to finish in front of him obviously to be able to catch him, so we'll just continue to try not to make mistakes on the race track, which, knock on wood, I've been able to do so far -- I haven't made any mistakes -- so just keep after it. Hopefully, our tide will turn and it will come in our favor."
JEFF GORDON SAYS THERE ARE ONLY THREE GOOD PIT STALLS HERE? "I need to go find Jeff and find out where those three are because I sure as heck don't know where the three good pit stalls are, but, yeah, I was standing in the back of the room when they asked him what he thought about qualifying getting rained out and I'm sure he was thinking that he didn't want to see that happen -- provided we were gonna get to start up front. Carl, I don't think, has qualified real well here either, so we're all gonna get to start in front of him. But it certainly is gonna help us, I'm not gonna lie to you. Last week, I felt like we may have been able to qualify better than third. I think we had a really good car, although it wouldn't have been much better because I only had a couple spots to go, but it is no doubt going to help us. But, there again, I don't know how we would have turned out here qualifying. We'll find out tomorrow with how good our car is running, but there's no doubt it's gonna help me here."
IS THERE A BETTER WAY TO DO QUALIFYING IN THE CHASE? "I don't know what else you could do. People try to make more of it than there is. If you plan an outdoor activity and it rains, unfortunately, there's nothing you can do about it. The schedule that we have, there are other people here racing besides us and the Craftsman Truck Series needs to get on the track just as well as we do, so I don't know what you could do differently. And we certainly can't start the race without having any practice, so we've got to have at least an hour minimum of practice in order to qualify and then you take qualifying and it just doesn't leave anytime for race practice. I think it's unfortunate, but I don't know of any other solution."
DO YOU THINK SHORT TRACK RACING COULD BE A SAVING GRACE FOR THE ECONOMY? "I'm not a financial analyst, but one thing I have a hard time understanding -- you know I'm trying to pay attention to all the stuff that's going on -- and certainly the fuel prices have affected a lot of people. When gas goes to $4 a gallon, we're all panicked. We're all trying to find what kind of car we're gonna drive and the automakers can't sell a car anymore and the sales fall out and then their suppliers are laying jobs off and everything is happening. And then you see the financial analysts say that oil prices are dropping to an all-time low and oil is going back to where it was and they say that's bad, that says we're going into recession. Well, I thought that's going back where it was last year when we all paid $2 a gallon for gas, and I think that directly affects the people sitting up in the grandstands -- those folks that have to make a decision whether to go out for dinner or fill their tank up with gas so they can go to work or take their kids to soccer practice and all that -- your direct money out of your pocket everyday -- and a lot of that comes from the gas pump. So I don't know what I think but I think with the oil going back down it's helping, but there's so much other stuff going on that it's beyond repair. I think Junior hit the nail on the head. I think it could get a little bit worse before it gets better."
-credit: ford racing