Ford Bristol 1 Friday Advance (Biffle)


Food City 500 (Friday Advance)

March 16, 2012

American Muscle

Bristol Motor Speedway

Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion is the current Sprint Cup points leader and talked about his impressive start to the season with media members Friday afternoon at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Greg Biffle, No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – HERE YOU ARE IN BRISTOL AS THE POINTS LEADER, TALK ABOUT THAT AND THE POSITIVE VIBES TO THE SEASON SO FAR.  “The team is really excited about how the season started out. We have gone from a superspeedway to a one mile track to a mile-and-a-half which is a Roush Fenway flagship kind of race track. We have run very respectable at all those places and last week I would have thought that third is nothing to shake a stick at but there were a few cars a little faster than us. We got a little bit of work to do as we go to other mile-and-a-half’s to catch up to the 14 car and the 48 car was fast as well. It was nice to see my teammate Matt Kenseth up there shaking it up there with them at one point leading some laps. We know we are real close to them. Practice today started off pretty decent. We were a little tight in the center of the corner. Typical Bristol. We will continue to work on it and work on it. Right at the very end there we got it turning pretty good. I am excited to go back to race trim to see what we found. Qualifying trim is going to help us in race trim. I am pretty sure it will. We were 11th there and I think we have a great chance to be top-10 in qualifying.”

WHAT IS YOUR IDEA ABOUT SHARED INFORMATION AND NASCAR LETTING TEAMS LOOK AT OTHER TEAMS DATA? YOU LIKE THE IDEA? “Well, I would embrace the idea of some of the data. Meaning maybe they let us see the throttle trace and the breaking or something like that. As far as letting all the teams have an open notebook on all the engine data that is probably going a little too far in my opinion. These guys spend hours and hours and lots and lots of time and effort, and that is part of competition, to get their mouse trap better than everybody else’s. When you make all that public then that work is in vain. You almost ask yourself what is the purpose in trying at that point if everybody else is going to get it, then we will just copy everybody else. There still needs to be competition. There needs to be competitiveness within the teams and maybe some of the drivers inputs we could see. I would embrace that idea, to see the throttle and brake trace. Maybe we could learn a little bit from that but going into all the engine data, I don’t know that that is the right thing to do for our sport.”

ITS BEEN A FEW YEARS SINCE YOU WON AT FONTANA AND THE LAST COUPLE TIMES HAVEN’T BEEN KIND TO YOU THERE. HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU GOING THERE THIS TIME? “I am really confident. I am really excited about Fontana. It is one of my favorite tracks to go to out west. We run normally extremely well there. We have a brand new car that has really good wind tunnel numbers and are really happy with the car. We feel its our best car in our fleet so far to date. I am really pumped up about going to California and seeing how this car drives. With the new fuel injection and all the data we will be able to keep a better eye on not burning our engine up, which is what we did there that one time. I am looking forward to it. California is going to be a good race track for us. We will run very well there.”

HOW BAD DO YOU WANT OR NEED A SHORT TRACK RACE AND WHAT WOULD IT MEAN FOR IT TO COME HERE? “It would be big for us to win here especially with the way the season has started with three third’s. I have been so close to winning here. I can’t tell you how many times I have been that close to winning here. We have always been just a tick off. A couple of cars have always been better than us. Hopefully this Sunday we will have the right set up under the car and will be able to turn in the center like we need to late in the race and have grip up off. That is where they have beat me a little bit. I have finished second, third, fourth, all over. I haven’t been able to quite catch them, but hopefully this weekend.”

DO WE READ TO MUCH INTO TEAMMATE RELATIONSHIPS AND WHETHER YOU GUYS ARE GETTING ALONG AND ALL THAT STUFF? “I don’t think so. I think there is definitely stuff to that. The thing that is weird for our sport that is unlike any other sport is that you are actually competing against your teammate. It is very odd in that case. It comes down to when you are battling for the win, do I knock him out of the way? Do I run into his bumper and take a chance spinning him out but move my way in for the win? At Bristol, things like that have to go through your mind, yet at the same time you are teammates. That is an odd situation. When it comes down to it you race each other different on lap 100 at Las Vegas than you do with eight or seven to go and I think we all kind of understand that. With seven to go we are going to race each other like we would race the 48 or the 14 or whatever else. We probably aren’t going to turn each other if the guy moves over and wasn’t clear by a couple inches. You may get a break on something like that, but typically we are going to race our teammates the way we are going to race another car.”

YOU’VE BEEN PERFECT WITH THIRD PLACES SO FAR. I AM GUESSING IF YOU FINISHED THIRD EVER WEEK YOU WOULD WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP. WOULD THAT BE OKAY WITH YOU TO FINISH HIGH ENOUGH EVERY WEEK BUT NOT WIN A RACE? “Man, I tell you what, I love winning. That would be hard. I love winning races. That is what this sport is about, winning races. You cannot argue with a championship, however it comes. Any one of these guys in the garage would take that championship trophy no matter how it was presented to them and how you won it. No matter how you won it, you deserve it. If you beat them by out averaging them, then that means you were better than they were for a bigger percentage of the time versus a guy that had I suppose three or four wins. But that rarely happens. The guy with the most wins, wins the championship most commonly. Under this format, I know Matt a few years ago, but you look at Tony and Carl. Tony won five races and won the title. Carl didn’t win any in the Chase. Typically by winning that means you are running good. It is kind of an odd question but at the same time I think that anybody would not turn down that championship trophy.”

IS THERE ANYTHING IN THE LAST THREE WEEKS YOU WOULD LIKE TO GET BETTER AT THAT MIGHT MAKE THE DIFFERENCE FOR YOU? “Yeah, definitely. You have to have caution between being arrogant or cocky and wanting to be better than you are. At Phoenix, I needed to be a little better. I picked the wrong front shocks in final practice for the race. I bounced back and forth between the two and I picked the wrong, probably, the wrong thing for Sunday and I finished third. I could have been better than that I think had I picked a little different shock package for the front. I almost caught Harvick. I was about 50 feet from passing him for second and we had plenty of gas left. I had saved enough gas that I could have definitely passed him. That comes to mind. You go Monday morning quarterback and think, ‘Gosh, I could have done this different.’ At Las Vegas I was a little disappointed. A year ago there we had the fastest car and during the race and in practice the car ran really fast. Even coming down to the last 20-lap run of the day we were two-tenths faster than Carl, five laps down, because we couldn’t get gas in it. We come back this year and we have a top-five car, a third place car, but we couldn’t compete with the 14 and the 48. I was a little disappointed by that. I am not happy that we couldn’t compete with those guys because that is Roush Fenway’s, what I am going to say flagships, those mile-and-a-half tracks. Especially the 16 team, we do very well at the mile-and-a-half tracks. Do we want to get better? Sure. We are looking at every possible thing we can do to be better. That is what is going to continue making us a strong team the whole season. To not be satisfied we are running good but to look at what we can do to be better. Daytona, we beat that horse until it was completely dead. The mistake I made at Daytona was going down the back stretch I did not get on the brakes and I didn’t get five or eight car lengths off of Matt’s bumper and then make a run at him. I thought that, like everybody else in this world thought, that the 88 would be able to eventually migrate up to the rear bumper of the 17. Once I got there I would pull out or side draft him or go by him. It just never happened. I am in disbelief that we didn’t get there. I think the same thing, after talking to some guys, the same thing happened to Harvick. The 31 was pushing him  the same as the 88 pushing me and they couldn’t go by the 11 car which was by himself. The same thing happened there that happened here. I wish I could go back and do it over. I would have slowed down. When you are coming for the Daytona 500 win, putting on the brakes with the 88 pushing your back bumper, you aren’t thinking of putting on the brakes and slowing down. You are holding your mouth, going, ‘I am going to get there.’ It just didn’t happen.”

DO YOU THINK ROUSH FENWAY HAS HISTORICALLY BEEN CONSERVATIVE WHEN RUNNING FOR A CHAMPIONSHIP AS OPPOSED TO JUMPING UP AND PUSHING THE NEEDLE? “I don’t’ think so. We sit in those meetings on Monday morning and talk about how we can be better and win races. We don’t talk about how we can be more consistent or any of that. We talk about how we can qualify better, get a better starting spot and how we are going to win, versus running third. I think that we are doing everything we can to win as much as we can.”

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