Greg Biffle ‘Very Proud of the Year’
By Mary Jo Buchanan On Mon, Dec. 03, 2012
[media-credit name=”Gary Buchanan” align=”alignright” width=”226″][/media-credit]Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford for Roush Fenway Racing, was not just relieved when his NASCAR year-end banquet speech as the fifth place finishing driver was over. He was also “very proud of what we did this year.”
Biffle and his team scored two wins in the season, with 12 top-five finishes and 21 top-ten finishes. He led the point standings, made the Chase, and had an average finish for the year of 10.2.
“I was nervous at the beginning of this year because this was really a brand new team,” Biffle said. “It takes a while to get your legs under you.”
“Out of seventeen guys, only three of them were same from the year previous,” Biffle continued. “And they were all hand-picked by Matt Puccia (crew chief).”
“I figured we were going to have our challenges ahead of us,” Biffle said. “So to come out of the gate like we did and lead the points all the way through when the Chase started was amazing for me.”
“I was really excited about that.”
After a bit of a victory drought, Biffle scored his first win of the 2012 season at Texas Motor Speedway in the spring race, the Samsung Mobile 500. He went on to visit Victory Lane a second time in the Michigan 400 in late summer.
“It was such a relief,” Biffle said of his Texas win. “And I was so excited.”
“When you win there is so much emotion,” Biffle continued. “So much goes through you.”
“I was more excited for the team and Matt Puccia for his first Cup win,” Biffle said. “And it was the first Cup win for more than half the guys on my team.”
“I’ve won 17 or 18 times or however many,” Biffle continued. “It’s special to me each time you get there, but it’s neat every time to take people to Victory lane.”
“And it was kind of a dry spell for me,” Biffle said. “So, it was nice to get back in there to Victory Lane.”
Biffle, like most of the top-ten drivers, was honored to have finished fifth in the final point standings. But he was dreading his banquet speech, stating he just had to rely on the teleprompter to get through it.
“I’ve got too much ADD so I had to use a teleprompter,” Biffle said. “I’ll talk about one thing and forget about what’s next.”
“I’ve thought about trying to do bullet points on the teleprompter like ‘team’, ‘Jack Roush’, ‘thank the sponsors’, and ‘NASCAR’,” Biffle continued. “It just doesn’t work for me because I get rambling on and can’t transition to the next thing very well.”
“I’m better off just to write a short and simple speech,” Biffle said. “I have to write the speech because I have to put it in my words, the way I say it, instead of trying to read something that’s unnatural.”
“Then I do better with it.”
In addition to the NASCAR festivities, Biffle also enjoyed his time in Vegas by bonding with some of his team over drinks and a little gambling.
“I’ve had a lot of fun gambling and playing craps with some of the guys,” Biffle said. “Just enjoying the city, going out and enjoying a few drinks has been fun.”
“Normally, when I’m racing, Monday I might have a beer or two sometimes,” Biffle continued. “But it’s nice to come here and enjoy the city and not have to get into the race car the next day.”
While many of the drivers who have been trying their hands at the Vegas tables have lost some significant dollars, Biffle stated that he has been holding his own in the casino.
“I’m about even, which means I won because I’m having a lot of fun and I’m doing it for free right now,” Biffle said. “I don’t have a lot of money to lose and I work very hard but I’m going to have a little fun.”
“It’s like going to the amusement park and you’ve got to pay for it, but with this, you have the opportunity to win a little.”
Of the new champion, Biffle admitted that he really did not know Brad Keselowski all that well. But he also admitted to feeling a certain kinship with the new young champion.
“Brad’s been pretty busy,” Biffle said. “I’m looking forward to getting to know him a little bit better.”
“We’ve done a few things or talked about doing a few things away from the track.”
“I see a lot of myself in Brad,” Biffle said. “Brad wasn’t given anything.”
“He didn’t have anyone paying the bills all the way for him,” Biffle continued. “He worked hard.”
“I remember him at the race track when he was 14 or 15 years old helping his dad when his dad was running the Truck Series,” Biffle said. “So then Brad raced the Truck Series and Nationwide and got an opportunity to step into the 2 car.”
“They weren’t fast right away but with time and hard work, they’ve gotten up on the stage,” Biffle continued. “That’s a credit to how hard he’s worked.’
Just like the new champion, Biffle also intends to work hard in the 2013 season. And next year, he hopes to have an even more consistent season, especially with the new race car.
“I want to be in the new Fusion every day,” Biffle said. “But there again, testing is limited.”
“NASCAR is going to do a few tests at Charlotte,” Biffle continued. “But I don’t think we’ll get a lot of tests before we get going.”
“Last year, we just weren’t as prepared and weren’t as ready,” Biffle said. “We went from a good group of tracks for us to something a little different and that’s what really caught us off guard.”
“What I think we learned is that we won’t make that mistake in 2013, especially if we’re lucky enough to make the Chase next year.”