Biffle, Setzer suffer same fate By Brett Borden FONTANA, Calif. (Oct. 30, 1999) In racing, disappointment wears many faces. It doesn't discriminate. It doesn't care what make you drive. If you have everything to lose or nothing to lose. Greg...
Biffle, Setzer suffer same fate By Brett Borden
FONTANA, Calif. (Oct. 30, 1999) In racing, disappointment wears many faces. It doesn't discriminate. It doesn't care what make you drive. If you have everything to lose or nothing to lose.
Greg Biffle, who entered Saturday's NAPA Auto Parts 200 at California Speedway with a 21-point lead and a surfer-like 'What, me worry?' attitude, found out how painful these championship showdowns can be. Like pieces of paper, they can slice you up pretty good when yanked from your clutches.
Dennis Setzer, who was the wild card in this high stakes poker game, entering the weekend third in points and sharing Biffle's attitude, found out the same lesson early.
Biffle was in position late in the race to maintain his position atop the standings. But first Biffle lost two spots, and then Jack Sprague gained two spots, and Biffle was helpless to do anything about it with an ill-handling truck. Immediately following the race, his WAS the face of disappointment.
"We had a pretty loose truck," said the driver of the No. 50 Grainger Ford. "Jimmy Hensley didn't get a real good jump and I got beside him. Then the No. 4 truck was a little tight down there in one and two and I thought that I could get a run on him. I just didn't want to wreck anybody. I'm not sure what happened up there, but the No. 24 go the lead and that put too many spots between us. That was the best the Grainger Ford could do today and that's all the Grainger Ford had in it. The guys did a fantastic job all season.
"I want to congratulate the No. 24 team. They did a great job all season. We'll see what next year brings. I'm really proud of the Grainger guys. Look, we got nine wins this year in the series. Nobody has been able to do that.
"We did the best we could. I don't know what happened up there at the end, but we had the spot we needed. I just couldn't get any help. I couldn't get any help from my teammate and I couldn't get any help from anybody else up there. So that's the way it goes."
Sounds like Setzer's day in a nutshell.
"It was an unfortunate deal for us," said Setzer, who got collected in an accident early when Ken Schrader spun and hit the wall.
"I got tagged from behind as Schrader was spinning in front of us. I had him cleared until I got bumped and that sent me into the other trucks. This has been a great year for this Mopar team and next year we will be even better. This team has worked hard all year and today they worked hard to keep us third in the points. I am awfully proud of this race team, the Keselowskis, and Dodge. We will start working on the 2000 season tonight over dinner."
It may have a bitter taste. But it should sweeten considerably over time.