BUSCH: Greg Biffle Nashville winners interview

Greg Biffle: "It was a great day for the Grainger Ford. Right off the green flag we were really good, just a little bit loose until the tires warmed up and then a little tight. I think a lot of guys were fighting that today, but overall, it...

Greg Biffle:

"It was a great day for the Grainger Ford. Right off the green flag we were really good, just a little bit loose until the tires warmed up and then a little tight. I think a lot of guys were fighting that today, but overall, it was great run for us. We had good pit stops, which we struggled with in the past, but today we had really great pit stops. We put a spring rubber in on the last put stops and made a track bar adjustment on the first pit stop to get the car freed up to where it needed to be. It was quite a bit tighter at the end of the race than I would have like it to. The 57 was putting pressure on me and I just needed to watch what he was doing. He was running along the bottom and I moved down against the bottom with 15 to go and took his groove away. These cars get aero-tight behind each other and I saw he was gaining a little on me on the bottom. I thought back to earlier in the race when I was trying to get by him, what it took, and I moved down there and took his groove away and he fell back a little bit, probably ran the right-front tire back. It was a great day for us. I'm so happy to be in Victory Lane for the first time in the Busch Series, and I just hope that it's not the last for us this season. I'm just excited to be back in Nashville racing."

YOU SEEM TO BE COMFORTABLE ON CONCRETE RACING SURFACES.

"Probably my first impression of the track was that it was real nice, but green. It was brand new and never raced on, and that had a lot to do with some of the problems that some of the guys had. Goodyear needs to be cautious when we come to places like this that they don't bring a tire that blisters or has problems like that, so they go on the conservative side as well. You put together a fairly hard tire and a brand new race track, and it takes a little bit for those two to come together to where there's consistent grip every lap. Towards the end of the race they was a great racing groove. The one really opened up down there, there were basically two grooves and I made a pass on the outside down there on the 98 and in Turns 3 and 4 there was a lot of grip all day. The surface is nice, but you'll see that the more races it gets, the better it's going to be. I think this tire here will be the tire to run in the future." YOU'RE IN THE HUNT FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP. "I felt that we might be a top-5 contender coming in. I knew that we were going to have good equipment, I knew that we were going to have Mark Martin and Jeff Burton for help, Matt Kenseth has been a big help, so I felt that we would be decent. Once we got testing everywhere, we were running about the same times as Jeff Green and Kevin Harvick and some of the other top guys and I thought, 'Wow, we're going to come out of this pretty strong.' Then we had some really strong runs right off the get and I shifted my focus to maybe a top 10 and win a couple of races like Kevin and Hornaday their first year and maybe win Rookie of the Year. Now, maybe we shift possibly to a points championship. Kevin is running really strong all over the place, and maybe him having to start at the back of the field for a couple of races may hinder his ability to be strong all season. But definitely you can't count out Jeff Green and Jason Keller. There's just a big group of guys up there. I'm just happy to be third in points and to be running up front and my first win." YOU SAID

YESTERDAY YOUR STRATEGY MIGHT BE TO FOLLOW THE VETERANS. WHEN DID YOU CHANGE IT?

"After Happy Hour. The car was so strong after Happy Hour. In 15 to 20 laps it drove away from the 2 and 10 probably half a straightaway. It was just an unbelievably fast race car, it just didn't qualify as fast as we wanted it to. I was pretty excited after Happy Hour. I was a little restless sleeping last night because when you have a good car, the only thing you can do is make a mistake or mess it up. That's what we didn't want to do today, make a mistake, and I'm thankful we didn't. Jeff Green, I could pull up on him, and he moved down and let me lead a lap and I felt like I needed to return the favor. He could probably see that I was better at that point, but I felt a deal's a deal. After a period of time, I said we really needed to get going out in front of him because I felt like we could put distance and I could run better out by myself. I watched and learned for at least the first 30 laps."

WITH 50 LAPS TO GO YOU GOT THREE-WIDE ON THE BACKSTRETCH. WERE YOU SURPRISED?

"No, that's racing. The 57 got great grip off of the corner and had a really good run and it's a pass for the lead. If I'm running fifth or sixth I might not have made that move, but you knew that three-wide wasn't going to last forever and we certainly weren't going to go into that corner three-wide or even two-wide. But, the 57 moved down and gave me room going into the corner and I tried to get in behind him, but the 98 dove in there and got me in the left-rear corner and got me going sideways, probably not on purpose, I didn't know he was there. After that, I just fell back in line and knew to take car of the car. When you have a car that fast, you don't need to fight for positions like that when you can flat pass them and go. You just need to take care of your stuff. I expected racing like that."

YOU SAID YESTERDAY THAT YOU WERE GOING TO MAKE A LOT OF CHANGES AFTER QUALIFYING. WAS THAT THE CASE?

"Yeah, that's the case. We changed three springs and added a spring rubber to the spring that we didn't change. We changed the front sway bar and the track bar height, moved the fenders. That's a lot of the common things that everyone does, but our spring changes were drastic compared to qualifying. That could have been perfectly possible why we weren't as quick as other guys when we qualified."

WHEN YOU CAME INTO THE SPORT YOU SAID YOU HAD A THREE-STEP PLAN. ARE YOU ON COURSE?

"This is what every driver dream about, doing good in the trucks and winning a championship, the most wins in a season and setting a lot of records and then come to the Busch Series and be as competitive as we are, third in points and our first win 10 races in. That's exciting. And if we can win a points championship this year then I'm ready to go Winston Cup racing, but that's kind of a stretch. We're a little bit behind those guys and we go to a lot of race tracks that we haven't been to before in a Busch car that these guys have experience at. We have Talladega coming up and the Ford struggles areo-wise on the superspeedways, we're working on making that better, so next week is out of our hands. Restrictor-plate racing is hold it to the floor and hope for the best at the end of the day and then we go to California. It's a different place and we're not sure what to do. So the guys have two to three seasons on us at places like that, we'll just do the best we can."

ANY CLOSE CALLS?

"I created a couple myself. At the beginning I was trying to catch the 10, I put the left-front tire on the apron in 3 and 4 and got the thing sideways. And then, I was doing late apex, high entry into Turn 1 and the thing got away from me pretty big and it was quite bit to get it back under me. I had some real estate behind me and in front of me at the time, I was in second, so I was able to get it together and calm down. Those were really the only close calls. That and when the 66 shoved me into the gray area on the restart when the 57 went by. I was a little concerned about that."

IS THERE ANY SIGNIFICANCE TO THE FACT THAT YOU GAVE JACK ROUSH HIS FIRST WIN THIS YEAR?

"I never really thought of that stat. Yeah, it's exciting for us to do that and be where we are in the points and being as successful as we are. We definitely have pride in that, holding the Roush flag up like that."

TALK ABOUT THE MOVE YOU MADE WITH 40 LAPS TO GO?

"I was just a lot better than the 57 at that point and these cars, if you're even four inches apart, it takes the air off of you. It kind of makes him tight and takes the air off his wing. I just got a good run off of 2 and was on the 57's spoiler running down in the corner and hooked the yellow line to keep it right on the bottom and just got as close to him as I could without touching him. When he went back to the throttle he got a big wiggle and had to check up and that's what got me the position coming off of the corner. Similar to a lot of passes you saw today, you just get so close and you get the left front out in open air underneath the guy, it just moves him out of the way."

WHAT KIND OF RACE DO YOU THINK THE TRUCK WILL HAVE HERE?

"I think it's going to be great race. The trucks are going to run well at this race track. This track was built for those types of trucks, and I'll tell you, they will run extremely well here and you'll have a heck of a race. I think the hotter temperature might help with the rubber transfer quicker, and if we didn't get that rain between the four hours of testing and the next day, the track would have been extremely different yet. The track being brand new is just going through those learning curves like a team would. Being later in the year and warmer with the sun out, it's going to be a great race."

HOW DISTRACTING WERE THE EARLY CAUTIONS?

"It's a little distracting especially when you have 25 car lengths of room behind you. Now the guy gets start all over again right behind you, and he's putting pressure on you and all that. I wasn't that good off of restarts, it took about five laps for my car to come in real good. I was just praying for no caution flags with five to go. I was hoping there wouldn't be anything, but I felt I could hold the 57 off. It just gets you off your game a little bit."

DO YOU THINK LACK OF EXPERIENCE HAS HURT YOU ANYWHERE THIS YEAR?

"Yeah, I think it put us at a disadvantage at the very first race of the year at Daytona. We were running ninth with 20 to go and pit stopped and finished 22nd because we couldn't get any track position back. That was a valuable lesson. At Atlanta, Nemechek short pitted us and put on tires about six seconds before we did, gained a lot of track position and we sort of lost the race that way. I tired to make it up, but hit the wall with 10 to go and couldn't catch them. Every where you look, we learned a lesson. At Darlington, I wrecked a good car on the second lap and at Bristol we had a terrible pit stop, we went from sixth to 26th and wrecked five laps later."

-Ford Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jeff Burton , Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Jeff Green , Mark Martin