Phoenix: Biffle - Friday media visit

Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 U.S. Census Ford Fusion, stands second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, just 14 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson. WHAT DID YOU LEARN OUT THERE SO FAR TODAY? "I learned that when it is hot and...

Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 U.S. Census Ford Fusion, stands second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, just 14 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson.

WHAT DID YOU LEARN OUT THERE SO FAR TODAY? "I learned that when it is hot and sunny in Phoenix the track is slick. Same old, same old here. We changed the front geometry around a little bit on our car and got it a lot better. The car drove really well at the end of practice, so I am pretty happy with it. The No. 27 car is running pretty good on the Nationwide side, so it looks like it should be a good night over there for us. I just can't wait for this day to be over, it is a busy day. I think this is the longest break I have all day, right here with you all between practices. The car is running good overall and I am pretty happy."

YOU COULD COME OUT OF HERE WITH THE POINTS LEAD, DO YOU FEEL LIKE THE NO. 48 CAR IS VULNERABLE AT ALL? "Well, they are really good. Hopefully they look vulnerable to you because they never look vulnerable to me. We are really focused on that. We would love to lead the points, but there are several other guys really, really close too. It is going to take a top-five run here. I haven't won here in the Sprint Cup car, but I have won a few times in the Nationwide and truck. I would like to get our first Cup win here tomorrow night and that would likely give us the points lead, unless he finished second and led the most laps like he probably will. We are nipping at his heels and are going to keep him honest, that is for sure."

WHEN YOU THROW IN THE ADDED DISTANCE THIS YEAR AND THE HOUR EARLIER STARTING TIME, DOES IT THROW ADDED WRINKLES TO THIS RACE? "I think so. I think it is going to be a lot different. The track is really slick during the day and cools down at night. More of the race is going to be run in the day now. Staying on the lead lap and keeping your car running good is going to be more important, but you still have to be quick at night, though, when the sun goes down. It is going to be a difficult transition for sure. One thing I remember about this track is that the sun goes down behind those grandstands, so visibility is not as big an issue as it might be in other places, but visibility will still be an issue."

DO YOU FEEL CLOSER TO VICTORY LANE NOW THAN YOU DID THIS POINT LAST YEAR? Yes and no. We ran better last year at California and Vegas than this year. This year we were decent, but this year we were better at Bristol, Martinsville and Atlanta. It has been a trade off, but I feel like we are about in the same spot. We are in position to win races right now. We need to be just a fraction better, but we are in really good shape and really close. I feel like we are capable of winning here tomorrow night, and I would say we are capable of winning at Texas and Darlington. We will just keep at it and see what we can do."

THERE IS STILL A LOT OF TALK ABOUT THE FR9 ENGINE. COULD THAT BE THE LITTLE EXTRA YOU GUYS ARE LOOKING FOR INTO THE END OF THE SEASON? "It could be. There are going to be a few things with that engine. The weight will be a hair lower and I think the engine will be slightly heavier. We are running a little bit more nose weight in these cars than before, so placement is not as much of an issue as getting the weight lower. I think it will have a little broader power range, so the combination is what has made our cars better this year. It hasn't been any one thing. We have gotten a little better in several areas. The engine will be a piece to that puzzle and we will continue on with some other things and we will be right where we need to be from the middle of the season on."

WHY CAN'T WE PUT MORE DOWNFORCE IN THESE CARS? "I don't know those answers. The only way to do those things is to test them. Put more splitter on it or some wickers on the front fenders. I would vote for putting some wickers on the front fenders because then when you scrape the wall or run into the guy in front of you, you lose that bit of down force. You just have to test it and see how it drives"

THE NEW FORD ENGINE WAS INTRODUCED LAST YEAR, WHEN WILL IT BE READY FOR EVERYBODY? "That is a good question, I don't know the answer. I know they are working hard at it and it is a logistical nightmare. There are a lot of parts and pieces that need working. You are going to have to have 16 engines a week and have to rebuild every single one of them down to the pistons and rings. There is a supply issue getting all the parts and castings and making sure it is ready for competition. I am surprised more of our guys aren't running it week to week. I haven't talked to Doug a lot lately about it though." Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 U.S. Census Ford Fusion, stands second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, just 14 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson.

-source: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Greg Biffle , Jimmie Johnson