Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M/Manheim Auctions Ford, met with members of the media Friday to discuss the race weekend at the Atlanta Motor Speedway where the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is running the AdvoCare 500. Below is a transcript.
IS THE PRESSURE OFF THIS WEEK SINCE YOU’RE LOCKED IN? “Yeah, definitely the pressure is off, but the pressure is on to win. That’s what we want to do is look for a win here at Atlanta. We were pretty decent off the truck. This place, it seems like every time we come here it’s slicker and slicker and slicker and harder to get a hold of. The car does about four or five things across the corner, so we continue to try to work on that, but you go out there and make a lap and you’re like, ‘Oh, we’re terrible.’ And then you come back and you’re fifth on the speed chart, so it just doesn’t feel like it’s good, but, unlike Michigan or some other place where you really feel the speed and you can really feel inside the car that it was a good lap, it’s a little bit different (here at Atlanta).”
COULD THIS BE ONE OF THE WILDEST RICHMOND RACES WE’VE SEEN IN AWHILE? “I think so and I think here, too, because this race here is just as important as that race. These two races are gonna be tough races for those guys. I’m glad I’m not in that spot, but hopefully I’ll be in that spot when it comes down to Homestead for the title.”
IS IT NICE TO COME TO A PLACE WHERE THE ASPHALT IS SLICK AND IT’S NOT FRESH PAVEMENT? “Yeah, it is nice to come to a place that’s almost the way it used to be, but, there again, we’re searching for grip and it seems like the tire needs even more grip on the first five to eight laps of that run. This doesn’t seem like the old Atlanta where you could go out there and be like Superman, it’s got all kinds of grip and then it falls off. Right when you pull out of the garage and go on the track it doesn’t have any grip, so that’s a little bit different than the way it used to be here, but it is fun when the cars slide around a bite more.”
IS TIRE MANAGEMENT BIGGER HERE THAN OTHER PLACES? “A little bit, but tire management disappeared in 2005 and 2006.”
SO NOT EVEN HERE? IT DOESN’T HELP? “Very little.”
SO THE DRIVER CAN’T MAKE AS MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE? “Very little.”
NEXT WEEK IT’S ALL-OR –NOTHING FOR SOME GUYS. IS IT MORE EXCITING FOR FANS AT A SHORT TRACK AS OPPOSED TO A PLACE LIKE ATLANTA OR MICHIGAN OR CHARLOTTE? “I don’t think so. Like I said, it’s just as important here. There’s a little bit of a disconnect and I keep talking about it, but even though this track is bigger and it’s spread out a little more and the cars may not be as close on the race track and as tight, there’s still as much drama and pressure as there would be at a Martinsville or a Richmond because the same situation is unfolding. Each position, you’re fighting behind the wheel here. You’re sliding, you’re driving down in the corner and it’s loose and you’re trying to get back to the gas, you’re sawing on the wheel, you’re doing everything you can to try and catch that car in front of you. The difference here is the car in front of you might be 15 car lengths away while at Richmond it’s two, but it’s the same principal – you’re fighting your life to try and catch that car in front of you to get that one point. You never know, it could come down to that making the Chase. It could come down to one point.”