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Friday, August 17, 2012

Biffle glad he’s not a title favorite, relishes underdog role; Drivers look ahead to Bristol

BROOKLYN, Mich. -- People have many ideas about who might be the Sprint Cup champ this year, but few are mentioning Greg Biffle as their choice. But that’s OK with him.

“Good. That is good. We will do the best we can and see what happens when we get there. It doesn’t bother me at all. It keeps people from asking me questions. Go talk to them about it. It keeps the pressure off me. We don’t want the pressure.”

Edwards says mood has improved at Ford regarding future

Compared to a few years ago, Ford is looking up. Ford driver Carl Edwards paid a visit to a Ford plant this week, and he said things are much better than they were not long ago.

“It is hugely different and they talked a little about that on our tour yesterday. They said at that plant they produce 377,000 F-150’s per year. That is a F-150 every 50 seconds. We were standing up there on the walkway looking down and the gentleman that was in charge of our tour said he remembers very vividly times when there were no trucks being produced right there. He said that was very scary,” Edwards said. “I think that we can all be proud of what Ford has done, how they have run their business. I think it is a good example of sacrifice and responsibility and I think the success they are having now is well deserved and I am proud to be just a small part of it. Three or four years ago Jim Farley pulled us in and gave us the state of the automotive industry and it was a very sobering meeting. We walked in there as racers that were going to Ford to learn what was going on and after about 20 minutes it was clear to us that the domestic auto industry was in big trouble and that Ford was doing the very best they could to make sure they weathered the storm but there were no guarantees. I think it says a lot about their leadership, their ability to sacrifice and make tough decisions and I am proud to be a part of Ford.”

Returning to Bristol: What do drivers expect?

There are varying views on what Bristol will be like next week. Some drivers are more hopeful than others.

Greg Biffle:
“I just hope that they didn’t screw it up. It is a shot in the dark if you will. You are just sitting back trying to make a plan and you don’t know if it will work or not. It is that simple. Who knows if that is going to work? You don’t. We just have to wait and see when we get there. I think it is going to be exciting either way. I heard they ground the corner more down the straightaway so that when you come up off the corner you will go across that patch coming on to the straightaway, which may be difficult to go from the bottom groove. They carried it around maybe further than it needed to be but we will have to wait and see when we get there how the race track drives now. I hope it is good.”

Carl Edwards:
“I haven’t seen the race track so I am not exactly sure what to expect from the changes. If I understand it correctly the top groove is the only groove that has changed. I would say about one out of 10 laps I spend in the top groove so it will change it just a little bit for me. Who knows what will happen. Anytime you change a track like that there is no telling. It might make it a completely different race and I guess in the end that is what they are trying to do> I give credit to Bruton and those guys for trying to make the racing as good as they can and not afraid to make changes. I think all of us go there hoping for a really good race. We have had some success there so it is a track I feel like we can go there and win and that is what we need right now.”

Gordon both watching, and not watching, his Wild Card competition

Jeff Gordon is in the thick of the Wild Card battle. But is he focused on his competitors? Maybe.

“Yes and no,” he said. “We are just trying to race as hard as we possibly can for each position. Like last week, we were just battling our way back up into the top 10 after having a bit of a rough middle part of the race, and all of a sudden I saw the No. 18 (Kyle Busch) rolling slow, knowing he’s a big threat in this thing, I didn’t know what kind of day he was having. I didn’t know he was leading the race or anything like that. And so, I thought me and Matt (Kenseth) had a shot at passing him, which I was certainly anxious to do because I wanted every position I could get, especially when it’s somebody you’re racing for that Wild Card. It made it that much more important. I got up on the wheel even a little bit harder because of it. So, only in that type of situation I would say, that would be the case.”

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