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NASCAR Media Conference

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  NASCAR

NASCAR Media Conference

Greg Biffle
September 5, 2013


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Greg Biffle.

Q. What is your optimism level?
GREG BIFFLE: You know, I feel pretty good. It makes you nervous when you stop and think about it because of all the things that can happen.
If we just have a standard race, we ran pretty good here last fall. We ran fairly good here in the spring. The reality is, you know, we need to have just a decent day is really what it boils down to.
You get nervous thinking about, What if I get a flat tire, this, that, anything else. But I feel pretty good.

Q. How realistic do you think it is you could contend when you get in?
GREG BIFFLE: I think that people have probably underestimated, because of the way we've run this season, have quite possibly underestimated the possibility of us contending for the win.
You would think you would look at it and say every year, you would look at the bottom, you know, maybe 7th through 12th place guys and say they probably don't have as good a chance as the 1st through 7th or 6th, whatever you want to say. That has some weight to it.
Last year we came in leading the points here at Richmond. This year we're 9th. But I almost feel like we're in better position this year car‑wise, competition‑wise, than we were last year.
Well‑documented, we've struggled this season with this car. As kind of a whole organization, we haven't been as strong as we had been last year. I think we're getting it figured out. We're not there yet, but we've also got 11 more weeks. So we continue to build on this, we think we have good stuff coming.

Q. When you have to fight to get in versus clinching early, what kind of a disadvantage does that put you in?
GREG BIFFLE: You know, I've been on both sides. Last year it seemed like, We got wiggle room to be able to try stuff. Our box of tricks was empty. We're looking in there. Hey, nothing left, you know.
I kind of compare that to this year, to the fact that we are sort of gaining more and more speed every week. We went to Pocono. Even though we finished second in the first race, we finished top 10 in the second race. We were way faster in the second race.
We go to Michigan, first race we won, second we finished 9th after a fender got knocked in. Way faster the second race. Way better car. We learned a tremendous amount from the first race to the second race.
So everywhere we've been, that's kind of been the trend. We've been getting better and better and better. We're excited about this race, how much our short‑track program has improved. I think that's going to spell good things for Loudon, maybe Dover. We're better prepared for Chicago. Then some bread‑and‑butter stuff for us, Kansas, Texas, Charlotte.

Q. Knowing how tight the points are from guys that are in the top 10 to guys outside the top 10, when you're in the car Saturday night, are you going to want to know where guys are?
GREG BIFFLE: I mean, not really. They're all kinds of crazy math. I've talked till I'm blue in the face the last three days, I've been with a huge group of 3M people, customers, at a two‑day event, then customer appreciation day in Minnesota. I've talked about this all week, about where we need to be at.
I truly cannot figure it out. I race here every week, and I've had a hard time doing the math. Somebody said 9th or better, you're locked in. Well, when I look at it and try and understand it, it appears to me I need to be in front of the 56 or 39 car most likely. I need to be in front of both of them. Big difference between 9th and being in front of those guys.
Being in front of those guys is low 20s if they win versus finishing 9th. There's a huge difference there, if I do the math, where I think we at a minimum have to finish.
There's a lot of scenarios. But for me I think I got it figured out. We just need to have a good run. If we're in the top 15 or 20, it looks like we're safe to me, unless something crazy happens, a bunch of hopscotching starts to happen, which is probably medium unlikely.

Q. Let's say something crazy did happen.
GREG BIFFLE: Can you explain what that is? Because I'm trying to understand it, too.

Q. Say you had an early flat.
GREG BIFFLE: Okay.

Q. 56 and 39 are running ahead.
GREG BIFFLE: 1 or 2, or up there.

Q. A few weeks ago Kasey Kahne did not take the opportunity to move Kenseth out of the way at Bristol. If you were in that kind of situation, it was the last lap, the only way you were going to get in the Chase was to spin somebody, move somebody out of the way, how would you handle that situation?
GREG BIFFLE: So, huge difference between moving somebody out of the way for one position, bump the guy and run for the win basically. You'll probably do that, if you can get there and race him. Just to take a guy out, not going to do that. I've said all along, I've said forever, that doesn't take any skill or any kind of ability to do that.
Just plain and simply wrecking a guy is not an option. But to race a guy hard, maybe bump him, get your nose inside him, race him for that last spot if you need it, you have to have one more point to make it into the Chase, this is the white flag, I'm right there, then, yeah, I'm going to do anything I can. I'm probably going to try and bump him up out of the way a little bit.

Q. What prevents you from taking somebody out? Because of the respect in the garage?
GREG BIFFLE: Yeah. I don't want to be the guy that got in the Chase because I wrecked somebody, cleaned them off on the last lap. Probably not a good thing to do.

Q. There's a lot of big names not in the Chase. Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin. Who has made it in that surprised you?
GREG BIFFLE: To be perfectly honest with you, 100%, nobody. Nobody's made it in that's a surprise to me because there's so many good drivers. I mean, Kasey Kahne, you can't say that he's a surprise. You can't say that Martin Truex is a surprise. I mean, I could list them all. None of them are surprises to me.
Is it a surprise that those other guys are out? Maybe. But somebody has to be, you know. Obviously Tony Stewart is not competing, so he's obviously not in.
A lot has to come down to luck, what happened on the racetrack, how your season went so far.

Q. Speaking of luck, if there was one race you could have back, which race would it be?
GREG BIFFLE: Man, I can only have one (laughter)?
You know, probably the one I would take would be Michigan. I finished 9th, but I had that race won. Brad came out of his pit box at a 45‑degree angle, and I just happened to glance down at my pit road speed, I saw him starting to pull out, Oh, I have to try to beat him, because I came in the leader. I'm holding the tach right where I need it. I look up. Right when I look up, he's coming into view. I turn the wheel, we hit together just that much. It caved the fender in, knocked a hole in the nose. I finished 9th.
That potentially was my second win. Very easily was my second win. It would have changed things up quite a bit because I'd be in front of Kasey right now with two wins. That would have been a huge turning point for us.
The other one was Kentucky. We had a pretty decent car, got kind of caught up in a wreck there that I wish I'd tried to turn down earlier or something. You always second guess after it's over, but got in that Kurt Busch wreck, and Brad Keselowski down the frontstretch wrecked, and unfortunately I got caught up in that.

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