Ford Michigan Friday (Greg Biffle)

Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:
Party in the Poconos 400 Advance (Pocono Raceway)
Friday, June 14, 2013

Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 Give Kids A Smile 3M Ford Fusion, has three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins at Michigan International Speedway.  He spoke to reporters before practice about having Give Kids A Smile on his 3M Ford Fusion this weekend, in addition to some other topics.

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 Give Kids A Smile 3M Ford Fusion – DID YOU KNOW JASON LEFFLER WELL?  “I did know Jason fairly well.  We had kind of somewhat drifted apart in the last four or five years since he was doing other stuff.  Probably what weighs on me the most, and even this morning I was thinking about it, is his son Charlie.  Somebody tweeted a picture of the two of them standing by a fence at the race track and I just can’t quit thinking about how tough that’s gonna be for him.  The other thing I was thinking when I was coming here is one of the funniest memories I have is I think there were six or eight of us playing Uno right outside our bus here in the motorhome lot at Michigan.  I think it was Jamie (McMurray) and Matt (Kenseth) and him and Alison, so we did some stuff together and dinners and different things, but then when he moved to the Nationwide Series and moved on we sort of lost touch a little bit, but still stayed in contact.  It’s just horrible.  I don’t know what else you can say about it.  We don’t know what happened really.  I think we can try and learn something from it to try and make those cars safer, head-and-neck restraints.  That’s typically where the injuries come from in those kind of accidents, so I don’t know what else I can say.”

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American Muscle

YOU HAVE DENTAL HEALTH ON YOUR CAR THIS WEEKEND FOR KIDS. “Yeah, it’s a great thing that 3M does with the American Dental Association with the Give Kids A Smile program.  A lot of children go with less than a satisfactory level of dental care and this is a good way to build awareness for that.  They do a tremendous amount of screenings here at the race track for kids  and build awareness around the country about how important it is to have proper dental health, so we’re excited to have them on the car.  I think this is the third or fourth year and we’ve done it at different race track. Last year it was Richmond and this year it’s here at Michigan, so we’re certainly excited about the program.   3M does a lot to build awareness for a lot of different causes and this is a good one.”

THIS IS A BIG WEEKEND FOR ROUSH AND FORD.  IS THERE EXTRA INCENTIVE TO WIN THIS RACE?  “Definitely and coming off our second-place run at Pocono last week, we definitely didn’t probably have a second-place car, but I’m gonna say we were close to it.  We hopefully feel like we’ve learned a few things last week that we can apply here today with the amount of practice we have.  Hopefully, we can continue to learn and make our cars a little bit better, which we need to continue to do.  This is one of my favorite places – a fourth and a win here last year – so we can hopefully do at least the same this year, if not better.”

AT FORD YESTERDAY BRAD WAS ASKED ABOUT WHY FORD WAS STRUGGLING AND HE SAID IT WAS BECAUSE GIBBS AND HENDRICK HAD HIRED AWAY SOME KEY EMPLOYEES, INCLUDING THE ROUSH AERO DIRECTOR GOING TO GIBBS.  DO YOU HAVE A COMMENT ABOUT THAT?  “I know about that.  Things take time in this sport.  That happened a year-and-a-half ago and it’s probably showing up.  People move around in this sport, but we tend to promote from within at Roush and that’s a good model a lot of times.  Sometimes you can leapfrog your learning curve by hiring somebody that already knows or may have more information.  A lot of times that will jumpstart you on whatever you’re working on.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s racing or something else, so that’s cost us a little bit.  It may have possibly, one, maybe set us back; two, helped the competition, whether it be different organizations.  We recognize that as one issue, but there is more to that, I’m sure.  I doubt whether it’s all aero that we’re off.   It could be more items than that.  It could be some suspension and chassis and lots of other things.”

BRAD ALSO SAID IT MIGHT HURT THE ABILITY FOR ROUSH AND PENSKE TO SHARE IF THEY KNOW OTHER TEAMS COULD COME AND POACH YOUR EMPLOYEES.  “It always hurts because secrecy doesn’t hardly exist.  It’s so hard because these guys are neighbors or these guys are buddies.  They’re fishing together and, unfortunately, information gets slipped between teams a lot of times.  We know that is part of this sport.  We’re pitted next to each other in the garage.  It seems like everybody has spy photographers that are around taking pictures of everything.  It’s hard to stay in front of the competition quite honestly.  We were the ones that pioneered the skewed axle housing and we had that for a total of about five weeks in our arsenal before we were competing against it.  That’s not enough time to perfect something and gain an advantage from it.  It’s hard to come up with creative things in this sport that fit the rules today and that was one thing that we came up with that we lost very quickly and that is a problem.”

BRAD WAS KIND OF OUTRAGED THAT THAT HAPPENS.  DO YOU JUST ACCEPT THAT AS PART OF THE GAME WHEN TEAMS HIRE EMPLOYEES FROM EACH OTHER?  “We don’t like to see that.  We don’t necessarily do that ourselves, which I’ve been vocal about that in the past.  We could go hire one of the best guys from somebody else.  It’s a free market, right?  Unless they’re under contract or whatever, so I don’t know if that’s the right way to do it or not, but it does get aggravating when everything you’ve worked hard for and have developed goes away.  And I’m not saying the axle housing skew thing.  That was more of the guys playing golf, or fishing or sitting at the bar is how I think we lost that information.”

CONSIDERING YOUR SUCCESS HERE AND JACK’S SUCCESS HERE AND WITH FORD AT 999 NASCAR WINS.  WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO DELIVER A WIN HERE?  “There are a lot of things on the line for us as far as that win.  One, it would be our first of the season; two, it would propel us towards the Chase; and three, the 1,000th win for Ford Racing in NASCAR.  That’s a huge deal, so there’s a tremendous amount on the line.  The manufacturers really look to be the frontrunner here and we would like to be that car.”

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE AN AMBASSADOR TO OTHER DADS THROUGH THIS GIVE KIDS A SMILE PROGRAM TO MAKE SURE THEIR GIVES HAVE PROPER DENTAL HEALTH?  “It makes me feel good that we’re in that position and I can play that role because it’s important and I think it’s easy to forget about and it’s easy for that to kind of go unnoticed.  There are a lot of things we discover and learn in this world that we didn’t know about.  Certainly we all know that good dental health is very important but sometimes it kind of gets overlooked and this is a great thing to try and bring awareness to that.”

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

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