Greg Biffle won last Sunday's race at the California Speedway -- his second in the last three races, counting the 2004 season-finale at Homestead, Fla.Biffle talked about his Roush Racing team during his post-race interview and what he expects for the rest of the season. Here are excerpts from that press conference:
Question: Is this victory a sign of things to come?
Biffle: I don't know. I'll let everyone else figure it out. This is the second race of the season. We had a decent run going at Daytona and the 48 car (Jimmie Johnson) moved up on us a little bit there and I tried to avoid wrecking him. That got myself in a position where I ended up getting spun out, but I think so.
Question: What are your thoughts on the lower spoilers and softer tires?
Biffle: I still feel the inch of spoiler that was taken off was a pretty significant amount. That was a lot of spoiler. They took a half-inch away last year and then to take a whole inch was a pretty bold change. It wouldn't affect me if they put it back on or not, but what I did find kind of ironic was that my car today -- I don't know about everybody else's car -- my car was real bad behind other cars. If I'm coming up through there and I could get maybe six car lengths from (Jamie) McMurray, I stalled out. I couldn't do anything and it was just one car by itself. My car would quit turning to the bottom. It's the same problems that we always have when you're behind another race car. I don't think we really got a true feeling for what the new package is going to be like. When we go to Texas or Atlanta, that's when you're going to see something.
Question: Did the new qualifying rules at California, which included the impoundment of the cars after qualifying, change the way you approached the race?
Biffle: I left a lot of that up to (crew chief) Doug Richert and the car chiefs. I feel they're one of the best in the garage at preparing these race cars and they did just a great job getting it ready to go. We approached it like we felt we should have. We spent a lot of time working on race trim because we only had two hours of practice. Normally, we have that much time to work on race trim, but we had to work on that and qualifying, so we made one qualifying run at the very end. Our car was so fast that we knew you can't change it much to qualify, so why spend a bunch of time with that, but we did. We qualified it and we were way too loose qualifying and I felt that's where I needed the race car for today. But I came to find out I was still too loose in the race.
Question: Do you feel all five Roush Racing cars are up to the same speed?
Biffle: I really think it kind of speaks for itself today. I think almost all of our cars led a lap. It just says how strong our organization is and how well we share our information and how good our wind tunnel people are. I think it says a lot for our engine program. We saw a lot of engine failures today from different teams and our engines ran really good. This place is hard on engines -- a lot of throttle-on time here, and I think it speaks for what is to come this season with our cars. I think Kurt (Busch) is going to be really tough. I think Kurt's looking good and he's concentrated on repeating his championship.
Question: What will the victory at California mean for the rest of the year as far as confidence?
Biffle: It means a lot to me. We're going to have to be tough. I think our team is capable of making the Chase. I'm going to have to dig deep at Loudon and Martinsville and all the other places that we race that are in the Chase. That's what's going to determine my future is how hard we work and how focused I can stay on those racetracks and perform well. I don't know what to say. I know Jimmie (Johnson) and Kurt (Busch) are going to be very tough. There are going to be some other guys that are going to be tough -- the 24 (Jeff Gordon), all of our teammates, Mark (Martin) and Matt (Kenseth) and Carl (Edwards). Shoot, (Edwards has) got a limited amount of experience, but he's shown a lot of promise. All of us have equal equipment, it's just about track position, who had a good pit stop, who didn't, whose engine didn't have any problems, got enough fuel mileage, can stay out. All of those things play a factor when you've got equal equipment. It's anybody's game.
Question: Compared to Daytona, were the Fords better at California?
Biffle: One thing you've got to look at when you compare that is you've got to compare how many Fords there are in percentage and how many teams are there? There are only two teams -- it's (Robert) Yates and us. If neither one of us hit on it, there aren't going to be any Fords in the front, and restrictor-plate racing is a funny thing. It's very tough to get your car to handle and to get your car to be fast -- to have the right amount of downforce -- to have friends on the racetrack. I was trying to win the Bud Shootout and I've got the 24 (Gordon) behind me and the 48 (Johnson) in front of me. I was dead in the water, but my car was OK at Daytona. There were some cars that were faster, but I don't know. We like to focus on this stuff more than Daytona and Talladega because there are 32 of them and only four of those. Whether you're going to get caught up in a wreck or not is like rolling the dice as well at those places. Here, you stand a better chance of your own destiny by staying out of an accident or something. So that's the way it goes.
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