Ford Performance NASCAR Notes and Quotes
Pure Michigan 400 – Michigan International Speedway
Friday, August 26, 2016
Greg Biffle comes to Michigan International Speedway with past success in his mind and the need for victory Sunday afternoon. Biffle spoke with media members at MIS Friday afternoon prior to Sprint Cup Series qualifying.
GREG BIFFLE, No. 16 Roush Performance Ford Fusion – “GREG, YOU’RE A FOUR-TIME WINNER HERE AT THIS RACE TRACK. WHAT IS THE SECRET TO CONQUERING MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY? “Well, it’s a great track to race on. You have to have a car that gets around this place good. Each end is different, and what I like about the race track is no matter how your car is driving, you can adjust your line around the race track. Maybe run a little bit higher on one end than the other to compensate if your car is a little too loose or is doing something that you don’t like.
“As of late, ride height rules and those things on these race cars seem like they’ve been a bit more temperamental, and if the car isn’t right you have less opportunity to kind of move around and adjust your line to do what you want. It’s got a little bit narrower window for getting your car right. The race track still races really well up and down the race track. You’ve got to get it dialed in, and we’re working on doing that for this weekend.”
JACK ROUSH MUST BE HAPPY ABOUT YOUR RECENT PROGRESS OVER THE PAST FEW WEEKS. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU’VE BEEN DOING AND ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE SITUATION? “We certainly are. I spoke about the cars, and you’ve got to be temperamental and right on the money. We have gotten a tremendous amount better this year. We’ve been good at executing the races well and have gotten three top-10s in a row. The other guys have done well, while we’ve had a little trouble with a blown tire, two wrecks and then a split nose last week ended up getting us back to 16th from probably having a top-10 finish. Ricky snuck up there and got one last week and the No. 34 ran well, which is one of our cars, so we’ve been showing improvement which gives us a lot of confidence. We feel really confident when we show up to a place like this where we know it’s a good race track for us, and our fastest car is 19th.
“It’s sort of a high and low. By the end of the weekend, we’re kind of back to where we want to be on speed. It’s really disappointing for us, because we came here with this package and it took us until race time or the middle of the race to get our car where we wanted it and at good speed to run at about top-5 lap times. We came back exactly how we left here, and now we’re way off. It’s funny how we stand there looking at each other asking ‘How is this possible?’ The rear is not traveling like it should be and the front of the cars are hitting the race track. It’s a little discouraging, and this sport is very humbling. When you think you have it figured out, for sure you don’t.
“It reminds you of that every week. We’ve sat down and looked at it for getting ready for real qualifying and we feel like there are some areas we can still improve a little bit on. It’s still mind-boggling how we can come here how we left, and nothing’s changed and still be a fair amount different. We keep at it, we keep making notes, we keep learning and keep getting our cars, and I think that’s probably part of why our setups are off. You know we’ve gotten our cars better, and you’ve got to probably modify that setup a little bit to match that. So, we’re learning about that.”
IS IT POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO DO SOME SIMULATION TIME WITH THIS LESS DOWNFORCE SETUP? “We ran here with the last downforce setup before so we thought we would be right back where we were because nothing’s changed from when we ran here before. But, that could be some of our weaknesses. Maybe our simulation is not as accurate or not as good as some of the other teams. And we thought that we really closed in on that as we’ve improved our performance we felt like our simulations have gotten a lot better, and maybe it has but maybe they are still a bit better than we are. We’ll continue to work on simulation and our cars closer off the truck. One thing that we discussed in our Tuesday competition meetings is ‘How do we get faster unloading off the truck, being closer and not take the entire practise time, qualifying and up to the race to get our cars optimized?’ We keep going home and saying ‘Look, we started there, maybe if we spent more time getting that setup better maybe we’d be closer.’ We keep working on it, we’ve found a lot of speed, and we know there’s a little bit left there.
NASCAR’S BIG ‘KIDS DRIVE’ INITIATIVE LAUNCHED THIS WEEK. STARTING NEXT YEAR, KIDS 12 YEARS OLD AND UNDER GET IN FREE TO XFINITY AND TRUCK SERIES RACES. A LOT OF KIDS ARE GOING TO BE AT THE RACE TRACK THIS WEEK, HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO SEE YOUNG KIDS COMING INTO THE SPORT? “It’s very important. Let’s face it, my daughter included, they love cars and they love racing. It’s part of our heritage and my daughter has gone up and watched the XFINITY races with the other kids. It’s fun for them to come experience the race and meet the drivers. The biggest thing is just meeting the drivers and getting a diecast car of your favorite driver. I think that’s important with the kids coming to the race track is take home a 1/64 diecast car of their favorite color. A lot times, it’s color scheme or is something to that effect that’s not necessarily the drivers. That’s fun to see the kids make those choices, too. It’s easy to make a NASCAR fan out of a kid when they get to come and see the cars go around the race track, and take home a diecast or poster and put it up in their bedroom. It’s a neat initiative, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of the kids at the race track.