Greg Biffle’s victory at Dover today is the 15th of his career and second in two weeks. He also won last Sunday’s race at New Hampshire.
Biffle has won at least one race in each of the last six seasons (2003-2008).
This is Biffle’s second career victory at Dover. He also won at DIS in 2005.Owner Jack Roush now has eight all-time Cup wins at Dover, second-most in track history. Roush has won at least one Cup race at Dover in each of the last five years (2004-08).
Ford now has won eight races in 2008, surpassing last year’s total with eight races remaining.
Ford now has won 589 all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
GREG BIFFLE press conference
GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (finished 1st) – “It was an exciting day, to say the least. A lot of people got to see great racing. Dover always puts on a great race. This place is so tough. I have to say that I thought I was going to let these guys down. I got the car too loose on Saturday, yesterday, for the race today. I guess misjudged the weather and how sunny it was going to be and how slick the track was. So, I had to pit only eight laps in the race and give up all my track position to tighten my car up. I didn’t know it was going to continue to be looser as the day went on and the sun went down some. That was what we really fought. Once I was able to get the track position and get near the front, it really worked out and obviously a hell of a race, my teammates and the 48 and everybody.”
GREG ERWIN – crew chief, No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – “The strategy was to take what we thought was probably the bets race car on Saturday with the guy that’s had a lot of success here and not screw it up. We figured this thing was going to be four-tire runs most of the day. We felt like we had enough segments there in the center of the race that were long runs where we could watch the car kind of come through traffic. We were able to make most of that track position up by the second pit stop that we gave up. But we did keep tightening it up all day, and it’s sort of a fine line that you walk there between over-adjusting and getting it to where he can run hammer down and do what he did there the last 50 laps. It was spectacular. I hope the fans enjoyed it. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
JACK ROUSH – owner, No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – “I’m just proud to be here as I was last week with Greg and Greg. I’m obliged to be on the winning pit box whenever the checkered flag comes out, and I was really in quandary today on what I should do. I’ve been pretty lucky on making my move when it counted in the past – I’ve never been on the wrong pit box when one of our cars won. But today I really had a problem. I was confident that with Greg having four tires and with the fact they tightened him up and the problem that we were hearing on the radio, everybody was having a problem being loose, Greg just about lost his mind there for a while, but right after that we realized he still had some of the fasest laps and if we tightened it up – and if Greg Erwin had the presence to tighten it up just enough that he’d be a factor at the end. Of course, Bob Osborne and Carl only took two tires, which was their undoing, I think. Matt was really good. The best car that we had may have been Jamie McMurray, and of course he got tangled up in a wreck early on. But they made a great save by coming in with 10 laps into the race giving up their track position and then Greg kept it out of trouble and ran clean until he was able to get the track position, wanted to figure out what he needed to win the race.”
Biffle, continued – YOU COULDN’T WIN A RACE IN THE FIRST 26, AND NOW YOU CAN’T LOSE. WHAT’S GOING ON? “I wasn’t trying before. I don’t know. It is quite coincidental. I have put more emphasis, I think, on this. The reality of it is is we haven’t been good enough in the past, our car hasn’t been good enough to win. And I hadn’t gotten it good enough on Saturday to win races. And I felt like I’m going to more involved in these last 10 races, leading up to the Chase to be more involved about the adjustments on the car and understand what everybody is doing and trying to understand a little bit better. And it’s starting to pay dividends for me. We were so close to winning several times, leading up to this – most recent, California. We had a great run at California. If you take Jimmie Johnson out of the picture, we were kind of in a league of our own, and then he was in a league of his own. So, I feel like this has been coming for a while. And, just a lot of focus and concentrating on what we’re doing right now, because it doesn’t get more important than this.”
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE FROM JUNE TO TODAY, WHEN YOU DIDN’T HAVE A PROBLEM PASSING SOMEONE ONCE YOU CAUGHT THEM? “The springs I decided to run on the car today. I knew, I thought about it, we talked about it. I just said, ‘In order to be able to come back and run better, we’re going to have to find a different set-up that will run better in traffic, run around cars differently. Like I said, I got the car a little bit too loose. I figured I had it just right on Saturday. Obviously, just barely pulled it out today. But I just came back with something different than I ran in the spring. It was kind of a test when we unloaded it off the truck, and it ran well. Our engineering department, everybody has helped us get pointed in the right direction, and modeling, seven-post, all of those things. It wasn’t like an out-of-the-blue guess. It was something that we had been working on.”
Roush, continued – WHY DO YOUR TEAMS RUN SO WELL HERE? “The race track is real fast. You wind up carrying a lot of speed into the corner, you get back to the gas as quickly as you can, you hold your breath and try not to hit the wall. I’m speaking for the drivers and what I’ve seen. Mark Martin was really good. Greg Biffle, right behind him, had much the same interest in a race track. Matt Kenseth, Carl now, and Jamie – they all like to be up on the gas. They’re extraordinarily brave. If, we behind the scenes, get the car where it will do what it might, they’re the guys to close the deal. I’ve been blessed with people like that my entire time of being in Winston Cup and Nextel Cup and now Sprint Cup racing.”
OVER THE LAST 25 LAPS HOW MANY HEART-STOPPING MOMENTS DID YOU HAVE? “This is like a big Bristol. I know the first time I went to Bristol, and today, I hyperventilated. I really need to have a paper bag to put on my head so I can take in some CO2 and not take in all this oxygen that was making me crazy. It’s just hard not to lose your mind when you’ve got as many opportunities as there are with the multiple cars to be involved in something that’s just going to break your heart, just holding your breath, breathing too fast, both at the same time, as you watch it unfold.”
Biffle, continued – WAS IT AS MUCH FUN FROM YOUR SEAT AS IT APPEARED FROM THE OUTSIDE? “I could tell you one thing: I was just sitting here a little bit ago when we first sat down that I wouldn’t have wanted to be in his shoes. I would have crapped my pants watching those three cars run into each other and going crazy out there. That’s just not a position I’d want to be in, I can tell you that. But the position I was in, it was kind of fun a little bit racing with Matt, because Matt is so smart. Matt Kenseth is a smart driver. When I got to him and got underneath him, he just moved up. He didn’t give me a chance to get on his outside because he knew I passed him twice or three times earlier that day on the top. Matt knew not to let me up there, so Matt decided to take that line and give me the bottom. This isn’t his first rodeo. And then Carl came up there and gave me, actually, a little bit of help, got Matt a little loose off four. He really didn’t clear a lap car down the frontstretch and then I said, ‘I know what I’m doing here, I’m going three-wide right in the middle of these guys, and right down on Matt’s door. I’m going to try to get the upper hand on the outside.’ That’s what happened. I went down on the corner. I figured the lapped car would go high. I was able to drive in the middle of him, take his groove away from the corner, and get to Matt’s outside. I bet he was spitting nails down there in turn three and four once I got to his outside because I had a little bit faster car. Being on the bottom here you just can’t get the gas down, get up off the corner. Matt was loose already. He was leaving black marks when he was racing Carl out there for 20 laps, so I just sat back there and watched them for a little bit. Figured it was my time to try him.”
Erwin, continued – YOU’VE BEEN WITH BIFFLE FOR ABOUT 15 MONTHS NOW. BEFORE THE LAST TWO WEEKS, YOU HAD ONE WIN. NOW YOU’RE CONTENDING FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP. “I’ll take the biggest part of that blame for the struggle with the old-style race car last year. I didn’t hit the ground running in my new position there at Roush. There was a lot of work to be done. There was a lot of things that I didn’t know about the race cars at that time that we had. Obviously, I didn’t really have any kind of relationship with Greg. So, learning him as a driver, we had personnel issues. We had some pit-crew issues. Quite honestly, I felt like we made some strong improvements towards the end of the season. The win at Kansas in the old-style car was pretty nice, and we did have a fast race car, shortened race or not. But I think we saw when this COT thing come through, we started running the COT car last year, we had very good finishes last year. Truthfully, that’s a testament to the guys at the shop, the engineering department again, the fab shop, the gear and transmission department. As a group, we’ve got some of the best equipment out there. I think it shows.”
Biffle, continued – ON RACING HIS TEAMMATES AT THE END. “I can’t tell you how proud I am or excited that I was to be racing Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards for the win. Man, we were going at it. And that’s Friday, Saturday night short-track racing, where you came from. It’s a lot of fun. Get in there and beat and bang a little bit. That’s just what we love to do. But there’s so much on the line right now. It takes a lot of mindset, it takes a lot of concentration behind the wheel, it takes a lot of execution to not mistakes at this level. You can’t make mistakes today and come out. But, you know, we’ve got to beat the 99 car. He’s been right on our bumper every week. We’ve got to start stretching it out, somehow. He’s just right there and won’t go away.”
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE LAST TWO WEEKS. WHAT ARE YOU DOING MENTALLY TO GET PREPARED FOR KANSAS, WHERE YOU WON LAST YEAR? “I just think about it a lot. I think about how, I replay the race in my mind. I think about how I want my race car to drive. Greg and I talk about what we’ve got coming up. I think about the races I’ve won in the past, the races I’ve lost, the championships that I’ve lost in the past, what I need to do to be better as a driver in order to beat the 18, the 99 and the 48, 24, 17, everybody in the Chase. I’ve got to figure out a way to beat those guys. That’s really what I’ve been thinking about. I feel like I can physically, mentally drive the car as good as those guys can. I just need to get it that good, and it’s up to me. It’s up to me to do that. I’ve kind of refocused myself on making sure that I’ve got it right and not making mistakes on the race track or pit road or anything.”
THIS RACE WAS DIFFERENT THAN THE ONE HERE IN JUNE. WHEN YOU FINISHED THIRD THEN, YOU SAID WHEN EVERYBODY HAS THE SAME CAR YOU CAN’T PASS. WHY WAS THE RACING BETTER TODAY? “I think the racing was so much better because the guys figured out how to use the race track better. We were able to use the top and the bottom. We got our cars loose enough where if you drive up behind the guy, it gets that guy loose and he ultimately has to move up the race track, so that makes better racing. Then you get cars that are faster than others, it’s easier to pass. My car, when it fired off when the green dropped, I wasn’t that good. Matt was hauling butt. I couldn’t run with him. But then, 20 laps later, 25 laps later, my car came around, and then I could race with him. That’s what I did when it came time. So it’s just a matter of waiting for the right time. Obviously, at the end, I was faster than the 17, because when I got by him, I was kind of able to drive off, kind of stretch it out. It just goes to show you, at that particular point, when I was racing him for position, how much faster my car was. But at the start of the race, or that run, he was much faster because he drove away from me. These cars are sensitive to the track temperature, to tire wear, and I think that’s why we saw a better race. It’s just guys had different set-ups and their cars were running up and down the race track.”
Roush, continued – WHERE WERE YOU SITTING WITH 25 LAPS TO GO? “I got off the 16 box one time when I made a mid-race trip to the bathroom. Except for that, I was right there, and I picked it between stops where I was pretty sure nothing was going to happen for that moment. I’ve got so many different places I can go. I need to set up shop so I can have my own little command center, you know, for me. Of course, since I had the 6 car for so long and that was Mark Martin’s pit, I always stayed there. Then, of course, when Mark retired, we put the mantle of being the elder, senior guy on Greg. I moved in with him. I will move off the 16 pit box when it’s clear that one of the other cars is going to win, just because I can show the right amount of support for what they’re doing. Except for that, my home is the 16’s pit box, and I was there all day.”
Biffle, continued – DO YOU FEEL AS STRONG AS YOU DID WHEN YOU WON SIX RACES IN 2005? “Actually, I feel stronger now. I feel like we’re in better position now. I don’t know if it has anything to do with it, but simply for the fact that we won five of the first 15 races of the season in 2005, and then we were pretty good – actually, we were just sort of so-so through the middle part of the year leading up to the start of the Chase. And then we were pretty decent in the Chase. We’ve worked hard this season to get our cars and team to where they need to be, and I guess if you wan to use the term ‘peak at the right time,’ I feel like we have worked very hard all season and now our hard work is starting to show up. What we worked so hard for was to get a great pit crew, great race cars, great engine and then we’ve been able to wheel the car into Victory Lane. But I feel better right now, a lot better now, about this championship than I did in 2005.”
CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion (finished 3rd) – ON THE FINAL LAPS. “I hope you guys enjoyed it in the stands, because we enjoyed it. That was fun. Man, that was cool. My hat’s off the Greg, he did a really good job. That’s most you run into one another and go back and forth without wrecking each other. That’s two real good guys. That’s fun to do right there. Obviously, I wanted to win. I felt like we had a car that could win. We gambled, got two tires and that’s how it went. That was a blast.”
ON TAKING TWO TIRES ON THAT LAST PIT STOP. “It wasn’t Bob’s fault. If we would’ve come out fourth and everybody would’ve taken, it would’ve looked bad, so we would’ve been in a bad spot then. That’s the best third-place finish you could have right there. You got teammates in front, still leading the points, and I got to race like I haven’t raced in a long, long time. That’s fun. I’m not going to hang over this one. Obviously, winning is what we’re here for, but that’s still fun.”
DID YOU HAVE TO RACE TEAMMATES ANY DIFFERENTLY? “Obviously not. That’s as hard as you can race one another. That was pretty cool. Matt, right off the bat, we were running and I blocked him a little bit, I thought, ‘How’s he going to take this?’ and he creamed going down the back straightaway and shot me into turn three about five miles an hour faster than I wanted, and I thought, ‘Alright, this is going to be good.’ It was fun.”
MATT KENSETH – No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (finished 2nd) – “It was a fun race. Out of the three of us there all duking it out, there was going to be two guys that aren’t as happy as the other guy. So, I’m really happy for Greg. That’s two wins is a row and that team’s really hitting their stride. It was good day for us. Most of the day we were really solid on pit road and made some good adjustments. We’re just a little off. I should’ve called for more of an adjustment there that last time; the track got free on us and I was just too loose to hold them off.”
IS IT DIFFICULT TO RACE TEAMMATES LIKE THAT? “I don’t know about those guys, but for me it’s not. You show up at every race trying to win and if you’ve got a shot at the end of the race, you’re going to drive as hard as you can possibly drive, no matter what. Everybody wants to be standing down there in Victory Lane; these things are hard to win, so, at least with me anyway, there’s no such thing as taken it easy and getting yourself out of position. You’re going to race as hard as your car will let you go.”
CARL EDWARDS and MATT KENSETH press conference
CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion – “That was fun. I had a really good time. We took tires there at the end and I don’t know if that was the right things or not, but we ended up still having a great race. There couldn’t be a better third – we’re leading the points, my teammates finishing in front of me and having a good race like that. That was a lot of fun.”
MATT KENSETH – No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion – “It was really fun racing. That was probably the best racing I’ve seen in a long time. I imagine it looked like it from the seats. Three of us racing there. And, in a way, with Carl leading the points, there was two winners and I feel like only loser in the crowd. Got beat, and you hate to get beat in those battles but they’re a lot of fun to be a part of. I think Greg had probably the best car there, and we were just all driving as hard as we could to try to hold ’em off as long as I could, and I just couldn’t do it.”
DID RACING YOUR TEAMMATES AT THE END HAVE ANY FACTOR? “For me, it didn’t. Whether these guys were driving for different teams or if I was racing Mark and Jeff, who are friends of mine, used to be teammates. I think you’re going to race everybody the same. I think all three of us as hard as we could race each other for the win without wrecking ourselves or each other and Greg and I were – I was pretty close to wrecking us both on the backstretch one time. So, we just couldn’t race any harder. The racing’s always like that. I know there’s always the talk more points to win and people race hard to win, but these races are so hard to win and we haven’t been to Victory Lane yet this year. And if you’re ever in a position to win, everybody’s racing as hard as they can and it just so happens that today that cars that are very close on speed and we could all maneuver around. It worked out that way. It was a fun race. We were all racing as hard as we could, for sure.”
Edwards continued – “Early in the run I kind of realized Greg was probably the fastest, Matt was probably second fastest and I was third, so I held ’em off as long as I could. Finally, they got by me and then Matt held Greg off for a long, long time and then it all kind of worked out. I don’t think it really matters if we’re teammates, I think it matters that we respect one another and that would be the same for anybody out there.”
EVERY TEAM HAS TRACKS WHERE THEY ARE STRONG. WHY IS ROUSH FENWAY RACING CONSISTENTLY GOOD AT DOVER? “I don’t know. I didn’t think we were that strong at New Hampshire but we ran really well there. You’re always chasing the set-up and the latest engineering stuff and all that. It just kind of goes in waves. So, I don’t know why quite consistently we’ve been good at. I think that as a group this is probably the best we’ve been. It seemed like all of our cars were pretty fast today. I don’t know the reason.”
CAN YOU COMPARE THIS ORGANIZATION TO 2005 WHEN ALL FIVE TEAMS MADE THE CHASE? “I was new in 2005, but there were times when the car was carrying me a lot in 2005, especially at the mile-and-a-halves. I feel like we’re better now – I feel like I’m better now, I don’t know if I can speak for the whole team. When I go to a variety of tracks now I feel like we can win, instead of just the mile-and-a-halves. I feel great at the short tracks, road courses, the speedway stuff is getting a lot better, finished second there in July, so to me I think that we are better off as a team now then when we have been since I’ve been here.”
Kenseth, continued – CAN THE DISCUSSION ABOUT “TEAM ORDERS” BE PUT TO REST NOW? “The plan was have Greg win. We just tried to make it look really good. I don’t know. From my part – I know Carl and everybody has to speak for themselves – but the team order thing, first of all, Jack’s never given me a team order in the car before, and if he did and it was for a race win I’m sure I would be fired on Monday because you’re all going to race as hard you can race to win. It’s really, really hard to win these races. It’s hrder from some of us than others this year, but it’s tough to win – you’re going to do everything you can to try to do that.”
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR FINISH TODAY AFTER WHAT HAPPENED LAST WEEK AT NEW HAMPSHIRE? “To be honest with you, I haven’t really though about the points. We didn’t run well, really, at Richmond. Carl and Greg were head and shoulders faster than we were last week at New Hampshire. We got caught up in that wreck. The championship really isn’t even on my mind at this moment. If we can get some runs like this and lead some laps and hopefully get a win or two you know you’ll get a lot of points and you can kind of start looking at it. But you got to go out and run like that almost every week with as competitive as the Chase field is. We’re just trying to take it one race at a time, get our cars better so we can run up front and go from there.”
IT SEEMED LIKE, IF GREG WAS GOING TO GET PAST YOU, YOU WANTED HIM TO GO INSIDE ON THE TRACK. WAS THAT THE PLAN? “Yeah. And it didn’t work out too well because he got around me on the outside. My car was really loose. When you get somebody outside of you, even with these cars, they’re not as bad, it makes them looser and it’s hard to hang on to. Somebody can run outside and hold you kind of tight off the corner where they barely got enough room between the apron and your car, it’s very hard for the inside car to get off the corner. That was kind of my plan, as if they were going to pass me, to get him underneath me, because I was pretty sideways and if I tried to run on the bottom, like I tried to run the bottom one time, I don’t know who hit me, but we got into three and got bumped from behind. I got so slow getting in there that I got so sideways in the middle, I couldn’t get back off the corner. So, I knew I needed to be on the top and try to carry as much momentum as I can to try to get away from those guys. Because if they get right up on top of you on the bottom and sneak outside of you, you’re going to end up getting beat. Greg did finally somehow sneak outside of me somewhere down there, I think when I was passing someone.”
Edwards continued – YOU AND KYLE BUSCH HAVE HAD YOUR DISAGREEMENTS THIS SEASON. WHEN YOU HEARD ABOUT HIS ENGINE PROBLEMS, WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS? “I believe there’s too much going on in the sport to hang on to some sort of little grudge or something like that. So to me I just think of each of the other 11 guys in the Chase, you know, as people I have to beat. You know, if they have trouble or if they have a bad day or something, and we finish in front of them, that’s good. But, individually, it doesn’t matter which one of them it is. You know, if you’re sitting there at the end of the year at the banquet, there’s somebody in front of you in points, it doesn’t matter who it is or what their name is, they’re still in front of you in points. So, I think of them as the same.”
Edwards, continued – YOUR CREW CHIEF, BOB OSBORNE, APOLOGIZED TO YOU WITH 20 LAPS TO GO BECAUSE OF THE DECISION TO TAKE TWO TIRES ON THE LAST PIT STOP. AND, YOU ARE LEADING IN POINTS. DO THINK PEOPLE ARE RACING YOU OR GREG RIGHT NOW, SINCE HE’S WON TWO IN A ROW. “He’s real mad at himself. He said, you know, he got all mad, and then I guess he took his radio off and didn’t even hear me telling him that I think he did a good job. That was a 50-50 call. Bob’s awesome. I mean, if we would’ve taken four tires and the four guys behind us would’ve taken two, I don’t think we would’ve been able to pass all of them, so I thought we were doing what we needed to do considering how we ran on two tires earlier. I don’t remember the other part. Oh, Greg or me? It really doesn’t matter. You just race as hard as you can and get as many points as you can. It’s fine with me. I like leading the points. It’s great. It means we’ve got the most points. That’s the best position you can be in. So, I’m enjoying it.”
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE A 210-POINT LEAD OVER KYLE BUSCH AFTER SPENDING THE WHOLSE SEASON CHASING HIM IN THE STANDINGS? “It just doesn’t – it’s great, you know, but it doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t matter individually who’s in what position. I think one of the interesting things is before the Chase started, there for a little while, everybody was writing and talking about it’s going to be Kyle and myself, and we were going to be going to be the guys racing for the championship. Lo and behold, here’s Greg, has won all the races in the Chase so far. I think that this thing could be so different in a month from now. Kyle could be leading the points a month from now. He could win all the races, and a few guys could have some bad luck. I still think it’s too early to speculate. It just doesn’t matter right now.”
MARCOS AMBROSE – No. 21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion (finished 32nd) – “We just got locked up there in the pits. I actually pitted to early and got a bit out of sync. We had a tire rub, we had a penalty for that, and Tony Raines spun out and I ran into him, and punched in the nose. From there on in we just tried to hold on.”