NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Subway Fresh Fit 500
Topics: Subway Fresh Fit 500
March 4, 2012
KERRY THARP: Let's get started in our post‑race. We'll roll right into the eighth annual Subway Fresh Fit 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event here at Phoenix International Raceway, Race 2 of the 2012 season, and our third‑place finisher and currently second in points is Greg Biffle. He drives the No.16 3M Ford for Roush‑Fenway Racing. Congratulations on a very strong run out there today, and you're second in points heading into LasVegas. You've got to have a good feeling about all of that.
GREG BIFFLE: Yeah, I really do. You know, I certainly would have thought we would have run better today than we did. We fought the car really bad beginning of this race. I guess the track is just a lot different than it was on Friday. I don't care so much for this format of doing all of our practice on Friday when we get here. I like to practice and qualify, and then Saturday we have happy hour. We have two race practices to get ready for the race.
It's difficult coming into a green racetrack and doing all your race stuff in one day to get set up for the race and just qualify on Saturday. It was challenging, and I missed it a little bit. Matt never gave up on the car. He kept adjusting on it, adjusting on it. I never thought it would get that good. I was in trouble. I was ready to write that thing off for a 15th, 20th place finish, but boy, it started coming around, coming around, and really took off.
Certainly excited about how they got the car going. But I got it off a little bit for today's race. I probably was being a little aggressive. Great third‑place finish, you know.
Q. I didn't catch your last pit stop. Did you have any issues with fuel?
GREG BIFFLE: I didn't. We just made sure it was full, and then I started saving right from there when I could. Lift a little bit early on the straightaways if I'm not catching the guy in front of me or whatever. So I was saving. And then as we got longer in the run, we got those few caution laps, so that helped us. But there with about 20 to go, they were panicked to say the least. I heard the panic in their voice. He's like, they did an 860 behind you‑‑ they did an 80, you did a 60. They wanted me to slow down, slow down, slow down, and I felt like I had saved enough gas, so I kind of kept my rhythm about where I had it.
And then with four laps to go, he sounded desperate. So I backed up a little bit more and started kind of drafting those lap cars. And then they're like the 29 is running out, try and pass him, try and pass him. I'm like, well, a little late for that, but yeah, I mean, you should have told me that a lap ago, I could have passed him. So I missed him by, I don't know, 100 feet at the start finish line, and we've still got gas in the car. I made the cool down lap and came back and still running and no flicker of fuel pressure, so I know I've at least still got one lap. That being said, I could have probably easily caught the 29 since he ran out, but obviously not the 11.
Q. Can you appreciate what Tony Stewart went through today? Did you hear about him? He shut it off to save fuel and the thing wouldn't come back. Is this new technology something that's going to take a few races to work out?
GREG BIFFLE: Yeah, you could have wrote the story writer to the season starting. There's going to be growing pains with this system. Some people are just going to go out, it hasn't even been hot yet. Wait until it gets hot at racetracks like Indy and other places. I don't know how much heat these things are able to handle. That may be an issue at some point. Not starting, cam sensors not recognizing when you shut it off and you're not using the starter but you're using the clutch. There's all kinds of technology when this‑‑ if you cycle‑‑ you can't cycle the battery switch because it'll go into boot mode and the ECU‑‑
Q. Is it your policy not to shut the engine off?
GREG BIFFLE: No, I shut it off today coasting. I've been testing this winter, so...
Q. You finished third in a car that you said wasn't to your liking. What kind of confidence does that give you when you do feel like your car is working on all cylinders?
GREG BIFFLE: Well, certainly don't want to be greedy, but I thought myself or the 5 would have won the race today, honestly. My car was just so good, and qualifying‑‑ you know, I got high in 3 and 4 and was in that fuzz, and came back and I wasn't very fast crossing the white, and the second lap I come back and qualified seventh. I knew my car was just super fast.
But I went a little more aggressive on the front end than I‑‑ I was a little nervous about it with the heat today and how warm it was, if what I was going to do was going to work out. I was trying to keep the front end right on the track real good, and it slid the nose and shattered the front tire. I fought that all day. It would be loose in and then shatter the tire when I'd try to go to the gas, so I made a little bit of a mistake probably, but I guess we could have only been two spots better. But Vegas I won't make that same mistake.
Q. How do you feel this year compared to last year at this time when you got off to a slow start?
GREG BIFFLE: I'm feeling really good. I've got all new guys. I've got guys working really hard on the car, crew chief and team, and a guy that's really, really smart paying attention to all the fine details, and that's Matt Puccia, and that's the reason why we got two third‑place finishes is because of his leadership and his decision making on pit road on what to do to the car. It's executed, he's thinking about it. He makes the decisions he wants, and that's why we're sitting here now.
KERRY THARP: Greg, thanks a lot, and we'll see you in LasVegas. Good run today.
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