Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 Dish Network Ford Fusion, sits eighth in the Sprint Cup point standings heading into Saturday night's race. He held a press conference Friday morning to discuss a variety of issues, including some of...
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 Dish Network Ford Fusion, sits eighth in the Sprint Cup point standings heading into Saturday night's race. He held a press conference Friday morning to discuss a variety of issues, including some of the reasons for this year's success.
YOUR THOUGHTS LEADING INTO THE RACE? "I really like this race track. It's a lot of fun to race at and there are a bunch of night races coming up that are really fun to race. We've had a really good season so far with the new car. We've caught on well. We ran well at Phoenix and I think we ran well at the other short tracks and I don't think there's any exception here. We're gonna continue to run good. Our engineers and everybody at Roush Fenway has done a great job. I was just in the trailer going over certain scenarios we're gonna try with a shortened practice session, so to speak, for us this weekend, so we really need to get to the point quick and feel like we have some good things to try and see if we can get the Dish Network car going good."
WHAT'S BEEN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THIS YEAR AND LAST YEAR FOR YOU AND YOUR TEAM? "A lot of things have changed at Roush Fenway. One, Robbie Reiser as our competition director has really helped all the teams. And it's our second year together with Greg Erwin and we switched around and got some new guys on the team, and we're really just having a great season. Our team has been capable of this. We struggled with splitting our time last year between the old car and the new car and were off a little bit on both of them. We honed in on it at the end of the season, for sure, with the two second-place finishes at Dover and Phoenix and that's really carried over to this season. Certainly we feel like this is what our team is capable of. We had some mechanical issues and some things go on at Texas that really, really drug us down in the points and we feel like we're better than where we're sitting right now because we finished 39th at Texas and had a great race car. We qualified 16th and went to fourth on the first fuel run and had a real competitive car, so we're kind of eager to get that lost ground back and we think we can do it here. Everybody has worked hard. Nobody has ever given up and I think we're right where we need to be right now."
YOU'VE HAD SEVERAL MONTHS TO LOOK AT THE NEW CAR. IS THERE A WAY TO LOWER THE GRAVITY OF THE NEW CAR? WHAT TWO OR THREE THINGS WOULD YOU GIVE TO NASCAR BECAUSE IF YOU HELP THE CAR, YOU HELP THE TIRES AND GOODYEAR TO MAKE THE LEFT SIDE TIRES WORK MORE, WHICH I THINK IS PROBABLY A BIG PROBLEM. "That's it. I'm not an expert by any means as far as a car building. NASCAR did basically all of the research and development on this car themselves. I don't think they consulted a lot of teams. I don't think we were consulted a great deal on what would make a great race car, so they kind of did all the research on it and have come up with this car. If we were to take a stab at changing some things, one thing that I have suggested in the past that may be feasible and may not be is to use some more light materials -- carbons, plastics, those kinds of things in the car. One thing that may make the cars more efficient -- one problem we're having is like after we get back from Richmond it's not wipe the car down and send it to the next race, take this car to Dover. We've got to go back and spend a great deal of time in the body shop making the template fit back on the car because of the splitter hitting the ground and the car moving and taking a set, if you will. It's just sheetmetal, so certainly it's gonna change some. You get a little bump from behind or beside and now it doesn't fit the template. So it's a two-part answer to that question. One thing I think we can do is if we made the top of the car all carbon, carbon is very, very light in weight. So maybe we use a carbon hood, roof and decklid and maybe the entire greenhouse of the car all carbon that is made from a mold that fits the template perfect -- absolutely, 100 percent down to a one-thousandth of an inch because it's made in a mold, it's not made by hand anymore.
"That will ensure that the car fits that three-quarters of the template that sits over top of it. Now you'd have the sides and the hood points and all the others that still move around, but that would resolve some of the weight issue possibly and it's up high. If you want to lower the center of gravity, you start with the weight that's the highest. That's the highest weight and it would speed up fabrication and lighten the car and maybe create a little more consistency for the body guys, putting that egg crate over it. But there are pros and cons to everything and I certainly don't know the pros and cons to doing that. Expense, and carbon is expensive, but a guy might be able to fit all the windows and do all that to this top shell that's sitting there and speed up production, and it might save some labor cost."
LAST WEEK YOU SAID YOU WEREN'T IN A BIG HURRY TO GET YOUR CONTRACT DONE. IS IT STILL YOUR INTENT TO WORK OUT AN EXTENSION WITH ROUSH FENWAY? WHERE DO THINGS STAND WITH YOU? "My 100 percent intent is to work out an extension with Roush. I just want to take the time necessary to get everything set up the way I'd like to see it -- from team-wise and a PR standpoint and things like that. Carl's kind of changed a little bit. Randy (Fuller) does both of his schedules -- Nationwide and Cup -- and it works really well and that's kind of what I have and I just want to make sure that all the points are covered that a person wants to do. I want to stay at Roush Fenway until I retire and they know that. I guess when I said I'm not in a hurry is I'm not panicked is what I meant, I guess, by that -- that I'm comfortable that I'm returning to Roush Fenway so that time is not really an issue for me, other than they need to secure an extension with the sponsor and all those things, which they've got time on that as well. The sponsor is extremely happy because 3M is really enjoying being back with me and back on the 16 car fulltime and our relationship I'm real confident is gonna continue for years to come, and 3M is doing well right now business-wise and we're in a good position."
ARE YOU CURIOUS TO HEAR ABOUT WHAT ELSE IS OUT THERE? "No, I'm not. I've sat back and thought about what else is out there. There are a lot of great teams and great opportunities out there, but I don't know how you look at it, but do you look at as are they better than what I have now or how are they different than what I have now? I'm making my decision kind of how Earnhardt Jr. did and it's about winning races and championships and contending for the title and having good equipment. There are lots of teams that have that, but I feel comfortable where I'm at with Roush Fenway. I've been there 10 years and we've got great equipment. There are just lots of opportunities there."
HOW LONG ARE YOU LOOKING TO SIGN FOR AND DO YOU FEEL LIKE GOING ANYPLACE ELSE WOULD BE TAKING A CHANCE? "Obviously going anywhere is taking a chance. It wouldn't matter where it is because there's always an unknown factor, so, yeah, if you go anywhere to drive there's always a chance of the unknown in that -- what if the wheels fall off or something -- so that's a consideration. Certainly going to a car that doesn't have any points, that's a big deal, that's a real big deal, but I'm real happy here and there's lots of things that go into make a decision."
-credit: ford racing