Ford Kansas Friday Advance (Greg Biffle)


STP 400 (Friday Advance) June 3, 2011

Kansas Speedway
American Muscle

GREG BIFFLE, driver No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT THE AMERICAN RED CROSS IS DOING WITH NASCAR UNITES THIS WEEKEND FOR THE MISSOURI FANS? “Yeah, you know I have seen all the pictures and looked on the internet and watched the news and it is just terrible. Nicole and I were talking about how would you like to go home where you grew up and see there is just nothing left, nothing there, let alone the people that lost lives and pets and family’s that are broken up. This weekend all of the NASCAR Foundation bracelets and NASCAR Unites bracelet proceeds go this weekend to the victims and to help the Red Cross provide services for those people, which is neat. Everybody needs to try and do their part. I am certainly doing my part. Hopefully those people can get their lives put back together and get back to some of these races.”

IT SEEMS LIKE THE GUYS THAT ARE AT THE TOP OF THE SPEED CHART AFTER THAT FIRST PRACTICE STILL AREN’T HAPPY WITH WHERE THEY ARE AT. “The first part of the session we were in qualifying trim and we were very unhappy with our race car in qualifying trim. We were a lot happier with it in race trim. The track is hot and slick. It is 92 degrees outside and the track temperature is probably in the mid 140’s. This place has gotten a little bumpier every year. It has lost a little grip. Naturally that is what race tracks do. It is hot, slick and hard to get ahold of. That typically produces pretty good racing. Everyone is kind of complaining but you look at your lap time and it isn’t that bad. It feels slow inside the car though. You feel like you are going turtle pace and that gives you the sensation, especially coming off last week where it was pretty fast, that you are a lot slower.”

A WEEK LATER, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED IN CHARLOTTE AND HOW GOOD DOES IT FEEL TO KNOW YOU GET TO BOUNCE BACK AT A TRACK THAT YOU HAVE RUN SO WELL AT IN THE PAST? “Certainly I was extremely happy with the way my car performed at Charlotte. The way it drove and the speed it had. Nobody could have predicted at the end that we were going to get that caution. The engineers felt like we were going to make it, at least to off of turn four with the fuel we had left. I think we did the right thing by pitting and getting fuel in the car and not running out of gas on the race track like a lot of other guys did. I think we did the right thing, finished 13th and salvaged a top-15. I wish we could have been top-10 and wish we would have pitted the first time we had the opportunity instead of coming with one to go. The fuel pressure was bouncing a little bit and I knew it wasn’t going to restart. I knew it was going to run out on the front stretch right in front of the whole field. That was not going to be a good outcome, so I elected to come in and get fuel. Looking back at it, I don’t know what we could have done different. I conserved as much as I could on that last run. Probably the only thing in hindsight would be to go get gas the first time it opened and not cycle myself behind the eight or 10 guys that stopped. We would have had a better shot at the end.”

HOW WAS THE TIRE TEST AT KENTUCKY AND DO YOU HAVE A LEG UP HAVING DONE THAT? “I don’t think so. The track was so dirty for the first part of the day and it took awhile to get rubber down on the race track. Then the track started coming around. It was real confusing when we started because they painted a while line on the race track around the second groove basically and said to run from there up and not run the part of the race track where everyone is running here today. That was a little confusing. We tried to run the top when we first got there and then everybody migrated back to the bottom and ran where they normally ran. It took a long time for the bottom to come in. We ran different lanes. I felt like half the day I didn’t know where to drive. Visually we were trying to find visual references and that race track is so funny how wide it is. That is what makes it unique, that it is super wide and so when you are coming into the corner you are almost driving 90 degrees to the paving lanes and you can see the division where the paver made lanes and there is a little sealer in the cracks and you can kind of see it. It is odd more than anything. It took awhile to get back used to it. I don’t think it will give us a huge advantage of how long it took us to kind of get going. We really didn’t get any testing done. We tried some springs and dropped the track bar a little. It was basically like this. By the time we got going and got a little rubber on the track and got to where the speeds picked up once we got the race track going a little better we were nearly out of time. We had to put on the Goodyear tires and do two 30-lap runs with like 25 minutes left. I don’t think we learned a whole lot.”

THIS IS THE SECOND STRAIGHT WEEKEND WITH REAL HOT CONDITIONS. WHAT IS THE BIGGER CHALLENGE, THE AFFECT OF THE HEAT ON THE RACE CAR OR HOW IT AFFECTS YOU? “During the day when the sun is out it makes the track slick. It gets hot inside these cars. The heat is manageable if you have air to your helmet which unfortunately last week I didn’t. I had hot air to my helmet last week. Today I haven’t run my air conditioner just to prove a point that it isn’t necessary even though it is 92 out. You don’t need it. What happened last week was really unique. The thing turned into a heater and was blowing scalding hot air. I mean it burned the side of my heat and I could feel the air. I had my visor open so the air would go out but I mean it was hot. It was that way from pit road, for 600 miles. That was a little tough. Today it is blowing in and it is like a fan running on you. It doesn’t have to be air conditioning, just air and you are fine. It gets hot after awhile but that is what we train for. I tested Kentucky on Wednesday and it was 98 degrees all day. I feel pretty good now.”

FOR A TEAM TRYING TO GET INTO THE CHASE, WAS LAST WEEKEND A DEBACLE OR VERY ENCOURAGING CONSIDERING EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED? “Well, we took a really fast car and finished 13th with it. We got the wave around twice and lucky dog once. If we would have had a mediocre car we would have finished about 30th. We drove from the back five times. We started at the dead back of the pack that many times. We were able to manage our way to the front. Last week we kind of saved ourselves really. Last week could have been bad and we finished 13th. That was pretty damn good. We would have loved to have a top five. We would love to win that thing and if the caution hadn’t come out we would have been really close. Coulda, shoulda, woulda.”

YOU’VE RUN SO WELL HERE OVER THE YEARS. WHAT IS THE SECRET? “If I told you, I would have to kill you. You know, I really like this race track. It is a lot of fun. It being hot and slick is kind of my favorite. It is hard to get a hold of this and it is different on both ends. This place you can run up the race track which is fun to do. You can run right up against the fence. This place has a lot of grip in the center of it too. There are a lot of options and it has a little slower corner speeds and you have to be a little technical which has played into my hands over the years I guess.”

AS WE MOVE CLOSER TO THE CHASE, WHEN DO THE WILD CARDS START TO FACTOR INTO YOUR MIND AND HOW DO THEY FACTOR IN? “Well, we have certainly been trying to win lately and all season. It is hard to sleep at night when you are right there on the verge of the points, especially when you have runs like last weekend and so on. You have to start having solid top-fives every week. If you are having solid top-five’s every week then forget about it. We aren’t there yet. We picked up another spot in points but that didn’t really do a whole lot. We didn’t move very far. A guy had a bad race is all. We have to get top-five’s to get up in there and get a little cushion. Points are really tight. A couple of wins would take the pressure off. We will just keep trying to do what we can. When it comes down to it I think that both the wild card guys are going to have wins. They will at least have one win. I feel, I really kind of do, that they will both have wins. Maybe one of those guys might have two. We will see.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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