FORD FAST FACTS – Texas
• There are 13 Fords participating in the Lone Star 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
• Trevor Bayne will pilot the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford at Texas, marking the 19-year-olds Sprint Cup debut. Bayne joins David Pearson, A.J. Foyt, Cale Yarborough, Curtis Turner and Glen Wood who all made their Cup debuts in the No. 21.
• Ford has 9 all-time NSCS wins at Texas, most of any manufacturer.
• All three Ford “chasers” have claimed victory at Texas Motor Speedway.
• Carl Edwards leads all drivers with three wins at Texas, his most recent coming in back-to-back fashion in 2008.
• Matt Kenseth is currently tied with Mark Martin and Tony Stewart with 10 top-10 finishes and with Jeff Gordon with seven top-5 finishes all-time at Texas. Kenseth was victorious in the 2002 race.
• Jack Roush leads all car owners with seven career victories at Texas.
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, is looking for his second career with at Texas Motor Speedway Sunday. Biffle talked about past success and finishing the year on a high note.
GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – HOW WOULD YOU SUMMARIZE YOUR SEASON THUS FAR AND WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO AT TEXAS TODAY? “We are going to try to qualify on pole, we have won with this Red Cross Ford Fusion car before. I love this race track. Our mile-and-a-half program has been stellar. Our Chase hasn’t been what we were hoping for. It is a win and then dead last, then fifth and then last. We are working hard to get some wins here at the end of the season and get the best finish we can.”
ANY ADJUSTMENTS FOR TEXAS IN PARTICULAR? “Not really. We have been looking at what we did at Kansas, California and Charlotte and have tried to come here with the best plan we can.”
GENERALLY IS SEEMS LIKE ROUSH FENWAY HAS SOME GROUND TO MAKE UP. YOU GUYS HAVE GOTTEN BETTER BUT STILL AREN’T QUITE THERE. ARE THERE SPECIFIC AREAS YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE LACKING? “That is a great question. We feel like we have really closed the gap on the mile-and-a-half tracks. We know that the short track program still needs to improve. We felt like our restrictor plate program is really good. I got really good finishes at Talladega, almost won the Daytona 500, then go to Talladega this last week and we were way off. It is an ever evolving cycle of being fast one week and not the next. It is like you try to figure out why because we expected to go to Talladega and be very good. We go there and qualify 34th in race trim. The car is not going to get any fast than that, and that was disappointing. We will keep working on it though and figure out why we aren’t as fast as we need to be.
AT TALLADEGA WE SAW A LOT OF GUYS PUSHING TO HELP GUYS GAIN POSITION, WOULD YOU EVER HELP PUSH THE 48 TO THE FRONT TO HELP HIM WIN A RACE? Well, we never got a chance to work with the 48 in Talladega, but we did help out the 11 quite a bit because he was going up through the field. I’ve never had that opportunity. Really, whatever will benefit you is what you do. However that works out. I wish the top lane would have went a little better than the bottom, but that is the way it goes. We ended up 19th.
WITH THINGS SO CLOSE WITH THE TOP THREE GUYS IN THESE LAST THREE RACES, THEY ARE ALL GOING TO NEED SOME HELP MORE THAN LIKELY. WHICH ONE OF THE THREE ARE YOU GOING TO HELP? “They aren’t getting any help from me. The 16 is out there to win and I am going to show all of them respect just the same as I would expect them to show me in these final races. I am going to race them all fairly and let it be decided amongst themselves.”
WHY DO YOU THINK THERE IS A SENTIMENT THAT THERE SHOULD BE A NEW CHAMPION? “I don’t necessarily feel that way. Everybody looks at it as Jimmie has won four in a row and they maybe are ready for something new. In my eyes, the best team should win. Right now, there are three of them that are neck-in-neck in how they are performing and it is going to be close when it comes down to it. We will just have to wait and see.”
EVERYONE IS GOING TO A NEW SPLITTER NEXT YEAR AND NASCAR HAS ALLOWED FORD AND DODGE TO TWEAK THEIR NOSES. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT YOU HOPE TO GAIN WITH A NEW NOSE? “We are hoping to get even with the other cars is what we are hoping to do. NASCAR has allowed a slight change in the front configuration which is good. We sort of match the other two manufacturers I think with what the car changes are going to be. Everybody has a common lower which I think is important to have that common lower. We keep our identity that we are a Ford Fusion, but we are going to get to match up the aero advantages that the other cars have. That might make a little bit of a difference, but it is such a minor change that you probably won’t see it performance wise.”
ANY LITTLE BIT HELPS THOUGH RIGHT? “Well, where it will help the most is probably the mile-and-a-half program which we are already really good at. We need help on the short tracks and it won’t make much difference there, which is what I was getting at. If it makes any difference at all. It is really more a cosmetic change than an aero change.”
FANS SEEM TO REALLY LIKE WHEN THE CARS DON’T LOOK THE SAME. IS THAT SOMETHING THAT YOU AS A DRIVER WOULD LIKE TO SEE? MORE IDENTITY? “I think so. In the Nationwide series, they have really done that. They have brought Mustang back and some of the other cars back that the consumers can really identify. They are really excited about it. The changes that are coming down the line with the Sprint Cup cars will be well recognized as well.”
WERE THERE ANY TRACKS THIS YEAR THAT YOU JUST FELT LIKE THEY CLICKED AND YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE IT FIGURED OUT NOW? “It is funny because that happens and you feel like you have something figured out and then you go to a place where you are usually really good at and then you aren’t so good. Kansas is a place we have always been good at, we have won there. Darlington is a place we have always been really good, but we weren’t good there this year. That is a little discouraging. You sort of shift the power. One track where you think you will be good you aren’t and another track where you think you will be mediocre you are good. You are always fighting to be the best at every place.”
IF YOU LOOK BACK ON THE YEAR, IS THERE ONE THING THAT YOU CAN TAKE WITH YOU INTO NEXT SEASON? “We need to continue to get our short track program better and better. Mostly Martinsville for me. We qualify well there and ran well for half of the race, but we are still working on that short track as far as I am concerned. We need to continue to be better there.”