Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, is in ninth place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings heading into this weekend's race at Pocono. He met with the media during Friday's rain delay. "I think we're going to see...
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, is in ninth place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings heading into this weekend's race at Pocono. He met with the media during Friday's rain delay.
"I think we're going to see a great race. There's been a lot of talk about this race car, and I think the racing is really pretty good, it's been getting better and better. This type of race track, it does get spread out, but it's big enough, in the corners wide enough to see a lot of side-by-side racing, you know, off of turn four and two- and three-wide getting into turn one, so I think we're going to see a good race on Sunday. I'm just tired of it raining everywhere we go and limiting our track time, but I think we're going to see a good event on Sunday."
DID YOU FIND A REPLACEMENT ENGINE YET FOR YOUR SHELBY MUSTANG? "Not yet, I'm working on that. I should find a new driver, is what I should do, and then I wouldn't have to be looking for a new engine. Yeah, I had a lot of phone over at the drag strip, and just over-revved down there at the other end of the drag strip and had a problem, but I'll get 'er fixed up and get 'er going again. I haven't really worked on it. I've been working on other little projects and stuff in my shop. I wish I was there now, instead of sitting here in the rain."
IT'S RAINING IN CHARLOTTE, TOO. "Yeah, it's raining there, but I can work inside there. I've got some stuff to work on. I could be working on my car."
WHEN YOU LOOK AT YOUR TEAM'S PERFORMANCE THROUGH THE FIRST 13 RACES AND COMPARE IT TO LAST SEASON, WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, AND WHERE DO YOU THINK THE REST OF THE ORGANIZATION IS, AS WELL? "I'm going to go just on competition and just how we've performed on the race track. I think that we're about exactly where we were last year -- maybe slightly ahead of where we were last year as a team on competition. And I listened to Denny [Hamlin] talk about when you're not running good, it's hard to get running better, but when you're running good and you have your issues that keep you out of Victory Lane or keeps you from having a better finish, that's more motivation for the next week that, 'Hey, we're running dang good, we just have to close the deal or get a better finish or be a little bit better on the final pit stop or whatever it might be. For instance, Charlotte, you know, we're making a lot of progress, just broke the top 10 and then we finished 20th because it rained out. We finished there last year. But, to answer the question, I think that us as a team are about where we were last year -- maybe a tick ahead at some race tracks. But as an organization, not quite as good. Obviously, Carl was running better last year, and so was Matt and I think David was as well. Jamie seems to be running fairly well. Again, just terrible finishes for him, but he's running good. I think we're off just a little bit to our competition, but the 16 is really, I have to say, about where we were last year, I feel."
CAN YOU PLAY DEVIL'S ADVOCATE AND TELL US WHY DOUBLE-FILE RE-STARTS ARE NOT ADVANTAGEOUS FOR THE COMPETITORS? "There's always two sides to the coin, and you see growing pains with anything -- it doesn't matter if it's racing or something outside of racing, when things get changed and updated and new and whatever, there's always a plus and a minus to it. The plus is that it's going to make it a lot more exciting at a lot of these race tracks. We're not going to have to race lap cars anymore, which a lot of times is a disadvantage to us, because when you're running fifth and the green comes out, it takes a while to get in line and get in line and try to get by that lap car and try to get where you can race the guy you're trying to race.
"So, as far as that goes, that's a positive. As far as competition, we're going to be able to race the cars right away that we're trying to race for position. The negative side of that is places Martinsville or some of these other places that are super lane sensitive, one-lane race track, is really, really hard. You get trapped on the outside, it might be 10 cars before you can get down. So, there it's going to suck, you know, and we're just going to have to deal with it. So, it's great at some places, it's not going to make a difference at some places, and then it's going to bad at some places. The good, we're going to have pay the price with the bad, and the middle's not going to matter. But, I think it's going to make it more exciting for the fans, to see the cars racing for position, racing each other all the time. Logistically, it's going to be bad for that guy that gets two laps down because he had to pit under green because he had a flat at Bristol. You know, had one of the fastest cars, ran over something, got a flat, had to come in under green, unfortunately. Now he's almost three laps down or two and a half or something like that, it could be very difficult for that guy to get a chance. Now that doesn't happen all that often, but it does half a dozen times a year -- a guy get one and two and three laps back. So, it's going to be good for our sport, I think. Time for a change. Road courses are going to be really hard because at road courses we look forward to getting single-file because at road courses we race one car at a time, and we that car for braking or we set him up for getting a better run off a corner. And when you're side-by-side you almost can't race. You've got to wait until you get single file, and then it's time to race the guy in front of you or try and protect your position behind you. So, road courses are going to be extremely difficult. But, I don't know why they would double-file the road courses because we already don't start double-file with lap-down cars anyway. And we're already two-, three-wide at the top of the S making a pass, so I think that those races, we're going to be single-file after the first corner anyway; it's not a lot of a sense in starting them double file. But, it might be a blanket type of policy."
THERE ARE A LOT OF MIND GAMES ON RE-STARTS AS IT IS. NOW, THERE'S ANOTHER ELEMENT -- NOT JUST WITH THE GUY BEHIND YOU, BUT WITH THE GUY BESIDE YOU. HOW'S THAT GOING TO WORK OUT? DO YOU WORRY ABOUT NASCAR BLACK-FLAGGING SOMEONE BECAUSE YOU BEAT SOMEONE TO THE LIEN? "There's a lot that goes on there -- to get run on somebody and try to get beside them, it's certainly going to be a game-changer, altogether. Certainly, NASCAR's going to have to be a little bit lenient on who beats who to the stripe. There has to be a quarter car, half a car car-length, you know, plus or minus, to beating a guy to the stripe, because let's face it, when two guys put the gas down, it's the guy that got the best traction, and what RPM did he shift at, and you can't really slow down if you're going to beat the guy by a quarter of a fender, because that's going to mess up the whole rest of the straightaway and the people behind you. And, it's a give-and-take on the start. They say it in the beginning of the race, the second guy can't beat the first guy to the line. That's within reason. Now, you can't beat him by a car length or jump the start, but if you take off and that leader spins his tires a little bit -- just a little bit -- and you start getting a second, a hair advantage on him, you can't slow down and wait for him if he spun his tires or something like that. So I think there's going to be a little give and take on that."
SPEAKING OF ROAD COURSES AND A BIG TRACK LIKIE THIS, DOES IT CONCERN YOU THAT THE WAVE-AROUND CARS CAN FIGURE OUT A WAY TO GET A STRATEGIC ADVANTAGE ON PITTING LATE ONCE THEY GET WAVED AROUND? "Well, I have to be perfectly honest with you, I don't know the rule exactly how it's all going to play out. With anything there's always maybe going to be a loophole somewhere, where somebody could possibly get an advantage. Here, in road racing we do the same thing, we pit before the caution comes out and stay out; same thing if you get a lap down, can you stay out and then when you get ready to go, you get the wave-around or something if you don't pit? I know we have to take the green on the race track, you can't pit that first time by. But I'm sure at some point there might be somewhere where somebody gets some kind of an advantage. Think of Dover last week. It's just a product of the system, just the way that we do it. I'm running second, Jimmie Johnson's leading the race, I'm about maybe 20 car lengths behind Jimmie, I can't really see Carl in my mirror, he's somewhere back there, maybe 20, 30 car lengths. We go through a green-flag pit cycle, Jimmie comes out the leader, was on pit road when the caution came out, 99 was the leader, they pit, the 48's the leader. I'm in front of the leader, a full lap down, with no track position, and spent the next 200 laps getting back to the top five. I spent the whole race getting back; I was running second. Just because the caution came out, I'm like out of contention for the day. That's what's tough is those track-position penalties that you get because of where you're at or when it comes out. It's pretty tough sometimes in order to make up for that. So I think that may be true also with this. I don't know what the scenario might be, but I think we'll see one in the future where someone may get an advantage."
MORE ON HIS SITUATION LAST WEEK. "Yeah, that particular instance I would've. If we would've froze the field differently, I may have been 10th or 12th or 15th, depending on how we freeze the field under caution or whatever. So there are lots of opportunities to change things around, but that particular instance, sure, I'd have started at the back of the pack, because I ran that whole run in front of the leader, then the caution came out, pitted, now I start tail end, again, so it took me a long time. It took me the rest of the day to get back to the front and I got none of it for free. It was hard. But I'm proud of my guys, they did a great job and we got all the way back up there. And I'm excited to see how this double-file re-start plays out, and hope the fans are excited about NASCAR doing it and putting a new element, and I think they'll have something more to see."
-credit: ford racing