Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 60 Ford Taurus, has only six more races before becoming the first NASCAR driver to complete the full Busch Series and NEXTEL Cup Series schedules in the same season. Biffle, who will start second in...
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 60 Ford Taurus, has only six more races before becoming the first NASCAR driver to complete the full Busch Series and NEXTEL Cup Series schedules in the same season. Biffle, who will start second in tomorrow's Bashas' 200, spoke about the rigors of driving in both series and his tentative plans for next year.
GREG BIFFLE -60-Charter Communications Ford Taurus
YOU HAVE MADE IT THROUGH THE TOUGHEST PART OF THE SEASON IN YOUR ATTEMPT TO BECOME THE FIRST DRIVER TO COMPLETE BOTH THE BUSCH SERIES AND NEXTEL CUP SERIES SEASONS.
"I really love to Busch race and I enjoy the Busch Series so much. I had to make a really tough decision about two days ago to decide not to do it again next year. My options were to run again next year for every single race or not run at all. As of this point, that was the only deal we had in front of us. Certainly, I'm exploring opportunities to try and find something and run again next year. I'd like to run 15 or 20 races because I really enjoy it, but taking off and going to those other places take away from my Cup program a little bit, and we're focused on making The Chase next year. Not that I didn't this year, but I want to make sure we have no excuses and we're giving it 110 percent of our effort and I feel I owe it to the NEXTEL Cup team and the sponsor not running both again all season. I might later in the future, but not two years back to back. Physically I can do it, I just feel I lose a little bit of not being able to communicate with the crew chiefs enough. I have to run over here and do this, and I've got to do that. I can't go to the shop as much as I want to and other things."
WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE OTHER DRIVERS THINKING ABOUT ATTEMPTING THE DOUBLE?
"I didn't have any problems doing it. The weather cooperated with me. I'm pretty physically fit and I wouldn't say it was a problem physically. I guess I rate myself up there pretty good with the people in shape and the athletes in our series right now. There are guys that can do it, and the guys that need to do it are like Carl Edwards. He's a young guy coming in the sport and needs experience. Seat time is the only thing that is going to make him better, real-life experiences. A guy like that or some guys coming in our sport, especially if they're coming from the Busch Series, let them still continue to run some of those races because they're not run going to run good over on the Cup side right away."
IS IT MORE OR LESS DIFFICULT THAN YOU ORIGINALLY ANTICIPATED?
"It's about what I expected. I didn't think it was any tougher or any easier. It was really what I was expecting. I wasn't expecting to almost win two of the races where I never even sat in the car for one practice session. I won in Colorado and would have won at Memphis if the caution wouldn't had come out. We could have technically won both and I never sat in the race car for one lap until the green flag dropped. We started at the back and I didn't have one practice lap. That's saying something for a race team, how to prepare and how to adapt and overcome the situations that are presented to you. It's tough to do to come to a place like Phoenix, not make one lap and start in the back of the field and win. That's a hard to thing to do and that's what we did at two race tracks. I was looking forward to it and I was excited about those challenges - to start at the back with no practice - because what are the expectations? You don't expect me to go out there and win the race, so I'm just going to go out and do the best I can. I was kind of looking forward to the unknown and how it was going to be. I had a great time doing those races."
IS THERE A SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT BEING THE FIRST DRIVER TO COMPLETE THE DOUBLE?
"I've got a few more to go, but it does feel good to be the guy that is about to make them all. I'd like to be the iron man and do it again. I want to stress the point that I physically and mentally don't have a problem doing it; I can handle it. It's just that I want to spend a little bit more time focusing and concentrating on my NEXTEL Cup car. Once I'm out of this garage and start walking down there, unfortunately, I'm still thinking about what shocks and what sway bar I want to run. I get in that race car or coming back here, I'm thinking of both and there have been a few times where I've missed not spending enough time stopping and thinking about what set of shocks I want to run and what have they actually done to the race car. There have only been a few instances where I felt like I didn't spend enough time concentrating on one thing at hand, but I've got two really good crew chiefs and two really good teams, and they've made the difference of being able to do them all. They've had the cars really prepared on both sides. They've had other drivers in the cars, different drivers, and they've adapted to all of that, and I'm pretty proud of what they've done. They've gone through just as much work and effort as I have."
IT IS EASIER TO WALK AWAY FROM FULL-TIME BUSCH SERIES COMPETITION BECAUSE YOU HAVE A CHAMPIONSHIP UNDER YOUR BELT?
"It makes it easier to walk away, although we've got the new Yates-Roush engine package for next year. I know in my heart, I know for a fact that I could win at least 10 Busch races next season if I ran the whole series. I think I could win 10 races. We were probably in line to win that many this year before having engine failures, let along getting caught up in little things like having a wheel come loose and other instances. That's the hardest thing for me, it's not the championship, that's important, but winning races is cool."
YOUR GOAL THIS YEAR WAS TO WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP, SO WHAT WILL A THIRD-PLACE FINISH IN THE POINT STANDINGS MEAN TO YOU?
"It's all about wins to me. Third in points really doesn't mean a lot to me. I want to win the championship, and we should have won the championship. I'm after the wins, but third in points is cool, but I finished fourth in points my very first year I ran the series."
DO YOU FORESEE YOURSELF RETURNING TO THE BUSCH SERIES TO RUN A FULL SEASON OF COMPETITION?
"By the time I get to where I'm going to run them both again, I think NASCAR will have a rule in place to keep us from doing that. I wouldn't be surprised to see something in '06 to keep us from running both full time. I just don't think they want that in our sport today. That's just the way I feel, and it's my personal opinion, and I can't speak for them. That's one thing in the back of my mind that if I decide not to do it next year, which I kinda have, it may be my last opportunity to do it."