Biffle readies for Michigan

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion –

IN ALL YOUR YEARS IN THE SPORT, HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN SUCH MEETING AS THE ONE TODAY WHERE DRIVERS WERE ESSENTIALLY TOLD TO QUIET THE CRITICISM OF A PARTICULAR ASPECT OF THE SPORT? “Yes. I don’t think it was exactly like that. I think it was them saying, ‘Hey, we haven’t raced this car at all the race tracks yet,’ was the message. ‘We haven’t been to Michigan with it, we haven’t been to Chicago and all these other places with the car yet. So don’t jump to conclusions prior to actually seeing what it’s going to be like.’ And I think we’re going to see good racing here. I know we’re going to see good racing here. I know that for a fact. I’ve been saying that the last week, that this is going to be good racing. So, I think it was more like, ‘Hey, let’s wait and see.’ This is our first year with this car. Like they said, they’re making a commitment to keep working on the car or working with the teams to make the racing better. If we need to make an adjustment, I don’t think their against making adjustments as we go with this car. So, I think that was more the message.”

WHAT’S AN EXAMPLE OF A SIMILAR MEETING? “The chase. I think they brought us together for the chase. They brought us all together for, if I can remember correctly, probably four or five times in six or seven years. And, normally, it’s drivers only, but this meeting was drivers and owners, which, typically, if they’re mad at us, it’s drivers only. So, they must not have been mad at us, I guess, to bring us in there. I liked the meeting, because it was more of an informational meeting for me, that, ‘Hey, if you guys have any issues, come to us, let’s work on it, let’s make the car better, let’s work together on it, not against each other,’ and that was more of the message that I got out of it. Maybe that wasn’t the message they were trying to get across.”

HOW MUCH OF THE CRITICISM REGARDING HEAT IN THE CAR WAS WARRANTED? “I haven’t noticed it a great deal hotter in the car. I have the last two weeks because my helmet blower hasn’t worked the last two weeks. So, that’s made it hot for me. But I would say to those guys who saying that it’s hot, try it without a helmet blower for a couple of weeks in a row, and see what you think about how hot it is. Cars are going to be hot inside all of the time, and I don’t think there’s anything you can do about that. I don’t know that they’re hotter than the old car.”

HOW MUCH OF WHAT YOU SAW IN THE 600 A FEW WEEKS AGO ENCOURAGED YOU ABOUT WHAT THIS CAR CAN DO ON INTERMEDIATE TRACKS? “It was racy there. Each race track is different, though. Pocono has always been single file. It’s always been hard to pass at Loudon. It’s hard to get on the insode of the guy. There’s certain race tracks. Martinsville, it’s typically follow the leader or beat and bang the guy out of the way. It’s not a lot different than it used to be, other than these bigger aero tracks, when you do have a single lane, it does make it more difficult. Certainly, it was more difficult with the new pavement at Darlington. Would it have been that difficult with the old car? We don’t know because we didn’t race there with new pavement. So, I think what we have to realize is that we’re being skeptical about things that we don’t know all the answers to. Yes, it is harder to pass. Yes, it is more difficult behind other cars. But, that’s part of it. It’s more difficult for everybody.”

WILL YOU NOW GET IN TROUBLE FOR SAYING THAT IT’S HARDER TO PASS? “No. I think everyone knows that it’s harder to pass; that’s no secret. The moral of the story is: Is it the same for everyone? That’s the issue – that it’s the same for everybody. Personally, I think it’s easier to pass at some places. I think the splitter, down close to the ground – like at Loudon, for instance, I said it’s hard to pass at Loudon, I thought it was easier to pass in this car at Loudon than the old car. That was my opinion. It might not be the same for every other driver, but I found it easier to get down on the bottom and hold it down there off of that guy.”

WITH THE WAY GAS PRICES ARE GOING, CAN YOU SEE A CHANGE IN THE SERIES? “I think the only thing that that does is it affects the economy, and if you affect the economy in any way, it affects everything. It affects any sports, any after-school sports, any extra-curricular activities, vacations, it doesn’t matter. I don’t necessarily think it’s going to impact our sport any more than it’s going to impact any other sport. If people are trying to save money or pinch pennies, they’re going to stay at home and watch on TV or whatever. So, they do have the option to stay at home and watch it on TV, which is good for our sport, than buy a ticket in the grandstands. But, if you are going to skip a vacation or something like that, there’s no way to watch it on TV, I guess.”

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