NASCAR Winston Cup Preview
Topics: Winston Cup
January 18, 2003
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA
Q. How did testing in Daytona go?
GREG BIFFLE: Well, not very good if anybody saw the speed charts. We were off a little bit. Randy (Goss, crew chief) and I moved up to the Winston Cup Series from Busch. We moved in over at the Concord shops with all of our other Winston Cup teams. We took a lot of notes with us from our Busch restrictor plate program which in the two short two years we had there, we really came from being, you know, barely making the field to qualify eighth and finishing second at Daytona in July. So we thought we had it figured out and took a lot of that over to our Winston Cup program. The do some things to the Winston Cup car that are a lot different than what the Busch car had. You know, they (NASCAR) hands out shocks. So that changed our aero package a lot from the Busch car. Needless to say, we are pretty far off with our Winston Cup car and it's kind of back to the drawing board right now. We've got three weeks to get it turned around and get back down there with a good car. The guys are working around the clock right now trying to get us a good car to take back down there. I'm feeling pretty optimistic about us taking back a pretty decent car. I think we are going to end up with the third cars from the Matt Kenseth Team or one of the spares they weren't going to use anyway. We're be doing some updates on it and doing what we can to make it better. So I think that car will be competitive enough to get in the 500. I'm hoping. We're looking forward to that and trying to move on. We are getting ready for Vegas and everywhere else. We are one of those brand new teams with all new people. It is just struggles to get our feet under us but we'll get going.
Q. Obviously the last couple of years the rookies have changed the expectations the way these guys have won races. Is it hard not to get caught up in those expectations going into a rookie year and have to define success as winning races? Or do you set your goals based on what you think your team can do and not worry about what's happening years before?
GREG BIFFLE: Yes, there are a couple of circumstances that were extraordinary for some of the rookies that have come in. One that really isn't is Jimmie Johnson. One would think that he started out with a brand new team and typically did, but (Rick) Hendrick pulled together a lot of great people to put together a team for him. And we heard about him getting some of the No. 24 cars, some of the best 24 cars to start out his program. He was on the pole at Daytona. Some of those companies run a little bit different than ours. We came into our deal and have to build all the new stuff ourselves. So, we're starting out as a brand new team. I don't feel that we're going to have the immediate success that some of those other rookies did. I would like to think our first season might be something like what Matt Kenseth had or Dale Earnhardt Jr. Maybe Kurt Busch. I'm looking forward to winning races. I don't know if it's going to happen our first season. I hope it does. But certainly all of us are working as hard as we can. But that first season for Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman and Jimmie Johnson clicked for them. They got into some great situations. I think I'm in a great situation. I've got a lot of good teammates to pull information from, but we're going to have to put it all together ourselves.
Q. How does it feel, the change walking in the garage area from being champion (NASCAR Busch Series) to being one of the new kids on the block? Do you notice any difference?
GREG BIFFLE: Not really. It's kind of nice for me, but running for point championships - that will age you about five years in a hurry, each one, and I have been in a couple of races like that. It's so nice to have that pressure off, so to speak, and just show up with no expectations. No who is going to come out of this race with a point lead. It's just show up and race every week. So I'm looking forward to that kind of pressure-off type situation.
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