Ford interview: Greg Biffle

Ford Racing press release

Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, is still looking for his first win of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, but as the series heads back to Kansas Speedway for the second time this weekend, Biffle feels good about his chances because he has two career wins at the 1.5-mile track. He spoke to Ford Racing about his goals for the rest of the season and how he plans on racing those drivers competing in the Chase.

Greg Biffle, Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Greg Biffle, Roush Fenway Racing Ford

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

WHAT IS YOUR MINDSET AS THE SEASON WINDS DOWN AND YOU’RE NOT IN CHASE CONTENTION? “The one thing that we’re looking for is a win. We see places like Kansas and Texas and Homestead as great opportunities for the 16 team to pick up a win, so we’re really looking forward to going to Kansas. We ran really good at Chicago and Michigan and we’re looking to redeem ourselves a little bit. It’s a fun track because it’s not real high banked. It’s a little flatter, so that makes it kind of challenging in the corners. You know you can run up and down the race track. The race track is really seasoned. It’s a little slippery, so there’s a little technique to it and that’s what makes it fun. It’s a little challenging and slippery, which makes for a good race.”

HAS YOUR ROLE CHANGED SINCE MATT PUCCIA CAME ON BOARD AS CREW CHIEF? IF SO, HOW? “A little bit because I want Matt to be able to figure it out on his own, but it’s not like I’m in charge. I won’t let him steer too far out of the herd. If I think we’re getting too far off or too lopsided on the setup we’re trying, I might say something or step in, but I still tell him what I think from the car. For instance, the car last week was pivoting off the left-front tire, so I told him I thought we needed to shift the bias. He was like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s on our list. Let’s go ahead and do that,’ so it may not have been what he picked right then for a change, but I told him how the car was driving and what it felt like so I think we’ve got good communication working together. He’s working hard and they’re preparing the changes they think the car needs, and when we change something they have an idea of what it’s gonna do and then they wait for me to confirm it.”

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A DRIVER WHEN IT COMES TO CHANGES TO THE CAR? “I think it’s 50/50. What I like now is that a lot of times is that I’ll say, ‘I think we should raise the track bar on the left,’ and Matt will come back and say, ‘Well, let’s try this bump stop on the right-front first and then we’ll go to that.’ So it’s good dialogue that we have because he’s looking for a certain characteristic or knows what that change is going to do and wants to confirm that before we do something else.”

WHAT WOULD YOU CONSIDER A SUCCESSFUL SEASON NOW? “I think winning races and we’ve got seven more chances to do that. I would be disappointed if we didn’t win this year and I think we can. I don’t know where it will come. It might be Kansas, but I think we’re capable of winning, especially after our run at New Hampshire. Loudon is not a spectacular track for Roush Fenway or the 16. We’ve won there and run decent there, but the worst we ran was sixth all day and knowing how we run on these mile-and-a-halves and knowing that Matt and I are getting that close, I feel like we’re a threat to win now every week.”

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO NOT BE PART OF THE CHASE? “It’s super-disappointing, but we know we didn’t make it because we had too much stuff go wrong with the car. We had too many issues with the fueling. We didn’t react quick enough to our shortcomings on fuel mileage and trying to get fuel mileage with this new engine because we were working on durability and power. We can sit here and say, ‘This is why we didn’t make the Chase.’ That’s good because those are all things in our control. All of those things we can fix as a team. We can fix every one of those. It wasn’t that, ‘Gosh, we’re just not fast enough. We just can’t get our cars to go good enough or we don’t have enough power and can’t keep up.’ It wasn’t any of those things. It never was, so that makes you feel good because these things we can fix. Some of those other things are a pipe dream. Like when we were behind in our simulation. No matter what we did we couldn’t be any better. We tried and tried and tried and we just weren’t there. At least we’re there now and just missed on the other part of it. You’ve got to have the whole thing. Our pit crew has done a phenomenal job the second half of the season. Matt’s done a great job. I think I’ve been executing behind the wheel and haven’t made too many mistakes. We’re still having issues with stuff breaking, but that’s part of trying to be better.”

DO YOU PAY ATTENTION TO THE CHASE NOW? “Oh yeah, I care about it because it’s my livelihood and it’s our sport. I care about what happens, but, at the same time, and the question arises about what you do different and how you approach it, and really, to be perfectly honest with you, we don’t approach it any differently since we’re not in it. I’m here to win on Sunday. I’m gonna treat all the guys with the same amount of respect as I did 10 races ago, as I did the third race of the season, as I’m going to at Homestead. I’m gonna race them all exactly the same. I’m racing for every position. I’m gonna be respectful to them and I expect them to be respectful back to me. That’s it.”

SO YOU LOOK AT THE STANDINGS REGULARLY? “Yeah, I know where they’re at. I pay attention, but I don’t have a dog in the fight, so I do the best I can for my team.”

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Greg Biffle
Teams Roush Fenway Racing
Tags biffle, ford, roush