Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 Dish Network Ford Fusion, has turned things around the last two non-restrictor plate races with a second-place finish at Dover and a victory at Kansas. Biffle spoke about what has changed to help get the team back up front.
GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 Dish Network Ford Fusion — WHAT KINDS OF THINGS HAVE GOT YOU GUYS BACK TO THE FRONT? “We’ve just worked really hard. Everybody has worked really hard to get back to Victory Lane. It’s been a long road for us and we’ve changed people. We’ve changed crew chiefs, so this team has had a tough time but it’s been starting to come together. At Loudon, New Hampshire, we ran decent and that’s a real true reflection of our engineering program and everybody understanding these COT cars. We ran good at Loudon and then we ran extremely well at Dover and then we go back to the old car and win at Kansas. We’ve been working really hard on that program too, so we’ve got those two completely different programs coming together at one time.”
YOU GO BACK TO THE REGULAR CAR AT CHARLOTTE, SO YOU MUST FEEL CONFIDENT GOING INTO THAT EVENT AFTER THE WIN AT KANSAS. “Yeah, absolutely, but the thing about it is that when we ran at Charlotte before, we were running in the top 10 and blew a right-front tire. We had some of the fastest lap times on the race track, but, unfortunately, we didn’t get to finish the race. We are super-confident going back there that we’re gonna be competitive and run up front. We just have to finish the race and we’ve gotten better at that now. We understand what it takes to finish.”
HOW MUCH HAS FORD’S ENGINEERING STAFF PLAYED A ROLE IN YOUR TEAM’S IMPROVEMENT? “That’s been a big benefit. I don’t know all of the details about what aspects of the car they’ve helped us with, but we’ve got an in-house Ford guy that works with our teams and helps us with simulations and that sort of thing. I think that’s definitely helped us.”
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion, has two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series wins at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, including his first series win as a rookie in 2001. Kenseth, who is 11th in the point standings, spoke about the challenges drivers will face on Saturday night.
MATT KENSETH – No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion – WHAT IS THE TOUGHEST PART ABOUT THE TRACK AT LOWE’S MOTOR SPEEDWAY? “The biggest challenge at Charlotte since they re-did the track is the surface is really nice and there’s a lot of grip, but they keep bringing such a hard tire, and that’s a big challenge to get that hooked up and get that working and get grip out of it when they’re cold and to get moving on them. That’s been the biggest challenge. Hopefully, the track wore in a little bit. I don’t even know if Goodyear brought back any softer of a tire or not, but if they did, that would be a big plus for us.”
DOES IT MAKE A DIFFERENCE FROM MAY WHEN YOU START IN THE DAY AND FINISH AT NIGHT? “It’s nice being on a Saturday night because I can watch the Packers on Sunday. The visibility is consistent all the way through the night, so I like racing Saturday nights.”
WOULD YOU CONSIDER JIMMIE JOHNSON THE FAVORITE AGAIN? “In my mind the last couple of years the 48 is the favorite every week wherever we go. I don’t know anywhere we go where he’s really not a favorite – maybe the road courses and he still does good there – but I think if you have a fantasy league and you had to pick a guy to win every week, I think you’d pick him and you’d be pretty safe. You’d have a pretty good average finish.”