Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, was one of five Ford drivers participating in a Goodyear tire test today at Michigan International Speedway. Biffle took time to speak with MIS President Roger Curtis before the afternoon session on the track.
HOW IS THE TIRE TEST GOING OUT THERE? “The track is in excellent condition. The tire that Goodyear brought, we were all fearful that this tire would be really low on grip and the car would be hard to drive and it would chatter out from under us. That is certainly not the case. The tire has a lot of grip. It slowed the speed downs a little bit. They told me it is the same right side tire, which I am pretty happy with, they just thinned the tire out a little bit so it doesn’t get so hot and it is really the same compound on the left. I am really pleased with the tire. I think we are going to see a great race when we come back here. Everybody will feel a little better about it.”
NO BLISTERING? STILL PRETTY FAST? “No blistering and it is still pretty fast.”
HOW ABOUT THE GROOVES? ARE YOU GOING TO BE ABLE TO PASS? “Yeah, I think so. I think just like before, even probably a little better. Since the speed is down just a tiny bit I think you will see that groove continue to widen out. I have even floored it down lower on the race track and the car has some turn in it down there. I think we are going to see some good racing.”
HOW MUCH OF TODAY IS FOR YOU AND YOUR TEAM TO GET READY AND HOW MUCH IS FOR GOODYEAR TO HELP THEM FIGURE OUT THE TIRE? “Well, the good thing about it is that this is really a verification test for Goodyear. It isn’t, try this tire, this tire and this tire. They are pretty happy with the tire they have so this is to make sure it works. That opens it up for us to do whatever we want. This morning up until lunch we have been trying all kinds of things. We just got done with a 12 lap run which really helps Goodyear and helps us as well. We are seeing 295 degree shoulder temp which is well within range and we are running some fast laps. I think everyone is happy. We are happy we get to test and they are happy the tire is working out.”
SO THIS WILL STILL PROBABLY BE THE FASTEST TRACK IN NASCAR, BUT NOT AS FAST AS JUNE? “I am going to try but I don’t know if that will work. Maybe if we get it cold. If the track is green and cold we might be able to rip one or two off. I feel pretty good about running the fastest unofficial time in NASCAR ever. I guess it isn’t official because it wasn’t qualifying or anything but it was with NASCAR timing and scoring that we ran that 204.7 mph lap. I think I deserve a mini-cheetah for the fastest lap recorded in NASCAR.”
HOW DOES THE REST OF THE SEASON LOOK FOR YOU? “We just got done with Indy and coming here for this test we feel really good about where we are as a team. Indy was a real eye opener for us. We ran very well and we were just a little short of the 48. We feel like we can come here and close that gap even more. We will go to Pocono and here and compete for a win and we feel like we are right there for the Chase. That was a brand new car, a Chase build that we ran at Indy and we have for our five of those coming down the chain. We feel good about it.”
SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE ALREADY THINKING PLAYOFFS. “Yeah, we are thinking playoffs. We are trying to figure out how to win and win the title.”