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Aug 01, 2014 - 05:54 PM
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2014 Pocono II Q&A: NASCAR Sprint Cup - Greg Biffle
Posted by: ASkyler on Aug 01, 2014 - 05:49 PM
NASCAR News
2014 Pocono II Q&A: NASCAR Sprint Cup - Greg Biffle


Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, is still looking for his first win of the season but he has one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at Pocono (2010). Biffle spoke about his hopes for the weekend and other issues after today’s practice session.

GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 3M Ford Fusion - WHAT IS YOUR MINDSET COMING HERE? "I think it’s pretty obvious for all of us that this has probably been one of our tougher seasons for our whole organization. It seemed like we were really far behind, or we were up until this point, and we really shed some light on where our whole organization was when we did a Michigan test prior to Indy, and found what I’m gonna call a tremendous amount of speed in our race cars. We learned a significant amount and went to Indy and it didn’t really pan out the way that we thought it was going to and ended up 13th there, but still didn’t have competitive speeds. We came back and spent three hours or half-a-day at the shop on Monday in meetings looking over our cars and understanding a little bit more about maybe what we’re missing. This is the fastest I’ve been this season when unloading off the truck. We were third or fourth-quick, which is faster than a lot of guys in qualifying trim and we were in race trim, so we’re really excited about how fast our car is here so far. In qualifying practice we didn’t quite get the balance exactly where we wanted and I know some guys it was cooling off and some guys went late, and we got bumped back, but I think when I got out of the car we were about 12th or 14th on speed, so we’ve got a little bit to close in on that, but more importantly I feel good about where our car is on speed in race trim. It’s been a long time. This season felt like it’s been three years, the first six months, how hard we’ve worked trying to close the gap, but it feels like now a weight is lifted off my shoulders. I know we haven’t won any races and we’re 20th on the speed chart, but I feel like we’re in a much, much better situation going into these next six races than we have been so far."

 

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CAN YOU TALK ABOUT RE-SIGNING WITH ROUSH FENWAY? "Every driver has opportunities and I was very thankful that I had plenty of opportunities. I was coming down to deciding what I was gonna do for the future from other teams and there were some interesting seats open and opportunities, but I think internally what happened is as I was deciding what I wanted to do for the future, I think Carl decided that he was gonna move on and then I needed to make a decision what I was gonna do. But I felt like at that point we were doing a lot to close the gap on the competition and all anybody wants is an opportunity to win and be competitive. I’ve won over 55 races driving there and 19 Cup wins and I just felt like we can get this thing turned around, so I made the decision to stay and be the anchor for Roush Fenway, and do another three-year contract, regardless of sponsorship at that point. I made that commitment to stay and it’s been a tough eight weeks since then. I made that decision a while back and, I tell you what, I can’t say enough about how good I feel right now about how we unloaded this morning, and after our test and I think we’re on to something. It feels like we’re getting back to where we need to be to compete and win races. That’s the most important thing here is to win races. Listening to Jeff talk about the win at Indy, that’s hopefully us talking about winning here or Michigan or one of these next couple of races because we certainly need it and we’re capable of it. We just have to continue to close the gap. I think before we unloaded here last time we were 32nd and now we’re sixth, so we’re on speed we feel. We need to work on closing the gap from eighth to first and I think we can do that."

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THESE NEXT TWO WEEKS AND HEADING TO WATKINS GLEN? "I really like road course racing. I like the Glen. I like that race track. It’s a lot of fun and I’ve had a lot of what I call success there. We’ve qualified outside front row and I have some good finishes. I’ve won there in the trucks. It’s definitely a fun race track and I’m excited about these next races coming up with how we’re running and how we feel like we’ve closed in on the competition, but I always look forward to going a road course. That’s really been our best finish this year when we went to Sonoma and we’re heads-up with the competition, so to speak, because we hadn’t got that car attitude and aero all figured out yet, so that was a nice change and I’m looking forward to going back to another road course."

GREG BIFFLE CONTINUED -- CAN MARK MARTIN HELP THE ORGANIZATION’S PERFORMANCE EVEN THOUGH HE’S BEEN OUT OF THE CAR FOR A WHILE? "Yeah, I think he’s gonna look like a hero right now. As has been well documented, we’ve not been where we wanted to be this season. The last two weeks we’ve closed in on this thing a huge amount when we unloaded here today and have that kind of speed. I haven’t drove a car like that in a year. The race isn’t over yet, so Mark is just starting to get back into the swing of things. We’re really gonna turn our competition around from here to the end of the season, I think, and that could have Mark’s name on it actually from a 10,000-foot view. But he can still bring knowledge and information and I think an outside perspective can help us continue to try and focus on areas we need to work in."

HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT YOUR ROLE AS THE CLEAR LEADER OF ROUSH FENWAY? "I think when Matt left we had that same thing, is it Carl or Greg, and what’s funny is we did an interesting analysis of my finishes and wins and performance over the last few years over his and it’s a pretty interesting stat to look at, but Carl had been a great teammate and still brings a lot to our organization. Even here today we’re looking at his setup. He’s a tenth or two faster in qualifying trim and that’s gonna be an asset that’s gonna be missed, but I’m ready to spend more time at the shop and try and help this organization get faster. We’ve worked really hard for the last month and have gained tremendously on it, so I look forward to kind of carrying the flag and leading this organization. None of us are happy right now, but we’re getting a heck of a lot better. I feel really good today, I can tell you that."

KASEY KAHNE SAID NOBODY WOULD DRIVE DIFFERENTLY BETWEEN HERE AND RICHMOND. IS THAT REALLY THE CASE OR DO THINGS CHANGE A BIT AS THE CHASE GETS CLOSER AND DRIVERS NEED A WIN TO GET IN? "That’s been the discussion all along is, ‘What would you do for a win?’ I would do anything for a win, but I’m running 13th last week and there isn’t a damn thing I can do to get from 13th to the front. So the particular instance you’re talking about is will Kasey try and move Jeff out of the way for the win? You’re only talking about one guy per race that’s gonna have an opportunity to try and better his finish because the guy in fourth can’t do anything to win from fourth, unless he just shucks the other three - can get to them for one. If you can get to them, normally you can pass them. So we’re already running 105 percent. We’re running as hard as we can every single lap to get every position so there’s not a lot else left in the tank to try and win or push harder than if you’re in second place and you’re having the final restart beside the guy. So if there are six races left, there are six opportunities for whoever that one guy might be. I think you will get desperate. If that guy doesn’t have a win, he’s gonna do whatever he can to try to win."

SO WHAT IF YOU’RE IN THAT PLACE? "If I’m running second at Richmond, the guy in front of me better watch out when it’s coming down to the end of it, if I can get to them. I’ve always said all along that it doesn’t take any skill to wreck a guy. It takes skill to bump him or move him out of the way a little bit, get a run on him, loosen him up, it doesn’t take any skill just to drive through him."


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