With only six races remaining before the field for the 12-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is set, Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, finds himself 11th in the point standings with only a 78-point cushion on 13th-place Mark ...
With only six races remaining before the field for the 12-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is set, Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, finds himself 11th in the point standings with only a 78-point cushion on 13th-place Mark Martin.
After one of the team's strongest runs of the season last week at Indianapolis in which Biffle led two times for 38 laps and finished third, crew chief Greg Erwin opted to bring that same car to this weekend's race. That decision resulted in a lot of teamwork within Roush Fenway Racing, which Erwin talked about Saturday morning.
(Note: Biffle was the fastest Ford in Saturday's first practice session, 5th overall.)
GREG ERWIN, Crew Chief - No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
BIFFLE SAID YESTERDAY IT WAS YOUR DECISION TO BRING THE SAME CAR FROM LAST WEEK HERE TO POCONO. WHAT WENT INTO YOU MAKING THAT CALL? "With the way we ran last week at Indy there's obviously something about that car. It was a brand new car for us going to Indy, so it had no history. It's a little bit different chassis and it's got some things in the body that are maybe the next evolution of what we're doing at Roush. With the position we're in as far as points right now, plus we didn't have an exceptionally strong run here in June, and with only a handful of races to go before the chase starts, it seemed like the right thing to do -- to take the car that looked like it gave us our strongest run of the season back to the next race. Right now, the way I'm looking at it is the most important race is the next one and by bringing this car to Pocono it just eliminates one more question mark we have every week. Obviously, we go into these races week in and week out with a dozen questions, whether it's driveline or engine or chassis or body or the setup of the car. At least by making the effort to bring this car back, we can kind of put a big check mark in the chassis/body side of things and, hopefully, have a good performance here at Pocono."
SO THAT MUST HAVE MADE PREPARATION FOR THIS WEEK A BIT MORE HECTIC, RIGHT? "Absolutely. It puts us behind. The Pocono car we actually intended to bring here was done on Monday morning. The car had the actual race engine in it and the setup was done, so it was just about ready to be pushed on the truck. All of the guys came in early on Monday morning and worked a little bit late Monday night and Tuesday morning. We obviously put a little burden on the body fabrication department at RFR because that Indy car had some damage on the right side of it, so the car really spent a full day in body fab. The guys in the paint shop stayed late Monday night to paint it for us, so it was ready for us to start assembling by lunch on Tuesday, so, really, everybody at RFR contributed to make it happen."
SO WHAT YOU'RE SAYING IS THAT AT THIS STAGE OF THE POINTS RACE YOU HAVE TO DO WHATEVER IS NECESSARY TO MAKE THE CHASE, CORRECT? "Yeah, that's the most important thing. It's sort of a balancing act between having your team and your car prepared, having your guys not tired, and having the opportunity to go through your car when you're prepared early enough to do so versus how far behind you put everybody by trying to turn a car around like that. You sort of have to juggle that, but the truth of it is that we had our best run in what we think right now might be our best car, so you come to a track like Pocono that we won't say it's relatively, it's really not similar to Indy, but it is in the fact that it's got fairly flat corners and very long straightaways and I'll stop the comparisons there. That's about the end of it, but you bring your car that ran as well as it did at Indy back here and you hope that it puts you one step further ahead."
-source: ford racing