NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Samsung 500
Topics: Samsung 500
April 5, 2009
FORT WORTH, TEXAS
THE MODERATOR: We're going to start with our post race press conferences. We have Greg Biffle today, our third-place finisher.
Greg, talk about your run out there today. Very strong. You led a lot of laps. Your thoughts on how things unfolded?
GREG BIFFLE: Well, we did have a great run today. The car handled really well. We probably made some wrong decisions, whether to take two tires or four tires in that one stop. We lost just a little bit of track position on that. We were able to gain some of it back.
Then, unfortunately, we had some lug nuts fall off or something on a pit stop. We lost a lot of track position.
It was really, really hard here to fight your way back on track position. It's difficult when you start 12th or 13th because you're really starting 26th, because you have all the cars on the inside a lap down as well. It just takes time to get back up through all that traffic.
We worked our way all the way back to fourth, third. Could have caught the 15 -- 15 more laps, would have passed the 24 or 48. A little while longer, could have got the 24. Just ran out of time. Lost track position and weren't able to capitalize on it. Had the fastest car today, looked like. Not always the fastest car wins.
THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions for Greg Biffle.
Q. There were a lot of long green-flag runs. How did that factor in to your run over the course of the day? Did you have to make strategy adjustments?
GREG BIFFLE: You know, we didn't. We just kind of kept chipping away at it. The car kept getting better and better. We kept working on it. You know, I kind of like those long green runs. The car stayed handling well and going pretty fast. I just had it set perfect today.
I really concentrated in practice on Saturday and our car was pretty close. So I was able to dial it in on something I really liked.
Just wish I had the opportunity to race with the 24 for the win, you know. I was hoping for a caution on the last 10 just to bunch that field up and see what happened. It would have been a great shootout.
Q. Greg, in this sport, is there such a thing as a moral victory? This is probably two times out of seven or eight races you had the fastest car. Is that what you try to take out of all this?
GREG BIFFLE: Yeah, it is. You know, the car just handled extremely well today. I wasn't probably as good in traffic as I needed to be. That's probably one thing that I needed a little bit of work on. I could get by lap cars pretty quick. Looked like other guys had trouble. But when it was side by side, kind of jumbled up a little bit, I had just a little bit of trouble.
But, yeah, I mean, California, we had an extremely fast car. I stopped on the air hose, screwed that up. You know, here today we had some lug nuts pop off. Weren't glued up properly or something. I don't know what happened.
They were borrowed tires. Lug nuts fell off front and back. That's what happens when you got borrowed stuff. I tend to use my own. I got prepared for the race, go with it, you know.
Q. Your pit crew was on today. That was not the case last week. For whatever reason, Carl had a bad time. What do you have to do to get your pit stops going in the right direction as an organization?
GREG BIFFLE: That's a good question. I think that, well, there's two things about it. One is the guys did a great job in the pits today. You know, the stops were really good. It's just that on the two stops, the lug nuts fell off. You know, it's kind of contradictory, but the other stops were very good. The other pit stops were excellent.
So, you know, it's not really the jack man or the tire changer or the tire hanger, it's not actually the guys doing the physical work, the seven guys doing the work over the wall, it's the prep of the guy that was, you know glued it up. Either it got glued up too early, too late. There's some technique to it, which I know nothing about.
But, you know, it's hard. The guys get down because the fingers get pointed at them for a slow stop or lug nuts falling off. Ultimately it's really not their fault, the seven guys that are over the wall. It is our fault that we didn't have it glued properly.
You know, it's hard to point the finger. I stopped on the air hose at California, and we had some lug nuts fall off today, so...
Just go on.
Q. Greg, before the start of this year, there were a lot of people who were saying Jeff Gordon might be past his prime, maybe he wasn't capable of winning another championship, he hadn't won in a long time. Was there ever any doubt in your mind that he was still the same driver, that he could be the championship driver that he had been in the past?
GREG BIFFLE: I thought he was past his prime (laughter).
No, I'm just kidding. No, there was never a doubt in my mind whether Jeff Gordon would win races again. You know, I mean, the guy's a phenomenal driver. He knows what he needs his car to feel like. There's about 10 of us that do. It's just a matter of getting it right.
We don't always know what to do to the car, but we know what we want it to feel like and do. We have to figure out a way between us and the crew chief and the engineer, you know, to get that accomplished.
It's a tough deal to get it right. We got it right today. Whether we'll have it right next weekend in Phoenix, I don't know. But I'm pretty happy that we had it right today.
Q. Greg, you have had problems getting lug nuts on and off. That may have cost Carl Edwards the race. When something that happens several times, is it just bad luck or is it something people are doing wrong? Is there some method or technique not getting done right?
GREG BIFFLE: No, it's not bad luck. When you leave a wheel loose or you stop on the air hose or you do something else, that's not bad luck. That's school of hard knocks. That's making a mistake. That's the way it is.
We're all human. We all make mistakes. You make your own luck a lot of times. If you get a flat tire, that's bad luck. But when you have problems, when you slide over the line, it falls off the jack, you do something else, that's not necessarily bad luck. It's something wasn't done. Normally it boils down to something wasn't done right or a guy made a mistake or I made a mistake.
I say you make your own luck. You know, things happen.
THE MODERATOR: Greg, thanks for joining us. We'll see you in Phoenix.
GREG BIFFLE: Thank you.
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