Trucks: Post-Race Quotes -
Biffle Wins from Pole at Milwaukee
Roush Racing's Greg Biffle won his third
race of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series today at Milwaukee. The
Vancouver, Washington driver took the victory from the pole. Greg
fell out of the lead when miscommunication between his crew and
NASCAR put him back out on the track out of the top-five with 60
laps remaining in the race. He regained the lead with less than 20
laps to go. Four of the top-five finishers were driving F-150s.
They were Rick Crawford, who had stayed up front all day leading
over a quarter of the laps, third; Mike Wallace, who came from
almost a lap down to finish fourth; and Mike Bliss, who had run out
of fuel just prior to his first pit stop, fifth.
Greg Biffle, #50 W.W. Grainger Racing Ford F-150: (finished
first) "Every time we show up we've got awesome trucks. The
Grainger F-150, I'll tell you it was Ford's day. Rick Crawford had
a great run. We had a great run. I'll tell you, these Fords are
going. I just want to thank Grainger and say hi to everyone back
home that couldn't make this race. It was an awesome win."
THIS IS YOUR THIRD WIN THIS YEAR. WHAT HAS MADE THE DIFFERENCE?
"I think it is the trucks they are giving me, and the experience
I'm gaining week-to-week. I came right out of late model stock car
racing right into these trucks. Everybody wishes they could do
that. It's a fairy tail story. These guys give me great
equipment, and we are communicating good."
WHAT WERE YOU
THINKING WHEN THE TRUCK FELL OFF THE JACK? "I thought, oh well a
little something happened there. It was just a mis-communication.
Those things are going to happen. We're getting better every week.
Randy Goss thought I over shot the pits because the inspector
counting the guys. He (Goss) thought they were saying, move back,
move back, so they let the jack down, pushed me back, jacked me up
again, and then got the hose under the tire. It was just a tough
stop for the guys, but I was able to make it up on the racetrack.
They give me great trucks. I'll tell you these Ford trucks are
DID YOU HAVE TO COMPOSE YOURSELF AND TELL
YOURSELF THERE WAS STILL TIME TO GET TO THE FRONT WITH 63 LAPS TO
GO? "I didn't think there was time to catch them. It's been so
tough to pass out here today, and I'd get just a little aero tight
behind the guys. We were so tight in the center of the corner,
but my Ford was able to cut under them in the middle, and I'd get
me a run off. That made all the difference in the world. I can't
say enough. I think we've got a championship team. All we've got
to do is finish in front of that 24 truck, and lead laps, get
bonus points. The driver screwed up at the Glen last week. We
should have been in front of him, should have led a lap. I went
off in the sandpit. We had a little mishap on the pit stop today,
but we were able to make it up and bring the Grainger Ford to
Rick Crawford, #14 Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford F-150:
(finished third) "This truck was awesome all day. Sprague got
around us, and then we got back on him, but then he fish tailed a
little bit, and we lost our momentum. After the difficult season
we've had, it's a credit to the Circle Bar Motel & RV Park race
team. I was doing all I could. The truck did it's, and what's
under the hood - the Robert Yates did a heck of a job with the
engine. And Bill Pink and John Goodwin does a heck of a job
helping me, and I appreciate that."
THIS TEAM SEEMS TO BE
MOVING AHEAD. WHAT HAS MADE THE DIFFERENCE? "We've organized our
crew. We've got our shop crew now that really gets things done,
and our immediate crew really knows what things are all about at
the racetrack. Robert Yates has picked up his engine program with
John Goodwin on board with us and Bill Pink. I've just got to hand
it to all the Circle Bar guys. With Tom Mitchell being the owner,
God is looking out for us, we'll be up front more often."
Mike Wallace, #2 Team ASE Ford F-150: (finished fourth) "The
guys did a really good job. The driver raced his butt off when he
was about ready to get a lap down there. And we were able to race
hard enough to stay on the lead lap, and then the caution came out.
We weren't really right all day, but we were just good enough to
get a top-four finish out of it. And along with that the Team
ASE, Ford, Wagner, Snap-On, UltraWheels, all the guys did a great
job. I can't be any happier right now.
Mike Bliss, #99 Exide Batteries Ford F-150: (finished
fifth) "The first session we ran out of fuel on the back straight
away. The truck was too tight, too loose. We never did get the
right handle on it. We never could get track position. But it's
good. It's a top-five for this 99 Exide team. I'll take it. We
had started way back, and we didn't know what we had for them
today. We just played around with tire pressure all day."
Ron Barfield, #55 Icehouse Beer Ford F-150: (finished 11th)
"We were right there in contention, but it got real tight there at
the last. We started out a little bit tight, but it seemed like
the racetrack got a little bit tighter. But the Icehouse Beer
guys did a heck of a job in the pits, and got us some spots. I'm
just tickled to death with them. When we came to Milwaukee, I
wanted a top ten finish, but we'll take 11th, and we'll go on to
Nashville next week, and maybe we can get a win there."
APPEARS THE TEAM IS STARTING TO GET BACK TOGETHER. WHAT HAS
HAPPENED? "It seems to be right now getting back on track. We
kind of got in a lull there for a while. We got sidelined. And I
don't know why we got sidelined there. We've done a lot of
changing. It just seems like it's starting to gel. If we can
just get it a little bit better we can start to win some races."
Tim Steele, #21 HS Die & Engineering Ford F-150: (finished
14th in his first race back after suffering injuries in an accident
at I-70) "It wasn't the finish we wanted, but you're never
satisfied unless you win if you're a racer. But it felt good to be
back in the truck, and I'm looking forward to being back for the
rest of the year. We ran all day and made adjustments. I wish the
truck was, we started with it to where it was when we finished, and
we would have had a lot better finish. We adjusted on it all day,
and with the no cautions, it didn't help our situation as far as
getting the thing adjusted. It was after the caution we finally
were able to do some of the adjusting that we wanted. We ran
consistently about four tenths to a half second faster after we
made the adjustments. We're back, and we'll get back into the
swing of things. And if we can keep getting better finishes,
that's all we can ask for."
Kevin Harvick, #98 Porter-Cable Power Tools Ford F-150:
(finished 17th) "We've struggled this weekend, and made a few road
hazards we probably didn't need to have. We didn't get a good run
in practice and really get a good long race set-up so we threw
something at it this morning. It worked good in the first part of
the race. But for some reason on un-matched tires it just went
loose. The Porter-Cable Ford finished the race. That's the only
plus of the weekend. We'll have to regroup and take a different
approach in Nashville."
Bob Brevak, owner for Kevin Cywinski, #31 Auto Trim Design/Best
Buy Ford F-150: (finished 18th) "I think it was just
ill-handling, and it was just a workout. We couldn't move up. We
kind of ran where we qualified. All day long we just couldn't move
up from the spot. I haven't been able to talk to him, so I don't
know what the problem was. It's just warm out." IT APPEARED
DURING PARTS OF THE RACE YOU COULD RUN WITH THE REST OF THE FIELD.
"On that long green run we'd just lose a little bit each lap, each
lap, and they just ran us down."
POST-RACE PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES Biffle: "We went
to Summerfest last night and had a great time. It's always fun
coming up here racing. It's a fairly smooth racetrack. It takes a
lot of patience, and you've really got to race on the edge all the
time. You've really got to be on top of the wheel constantly. My
head's sore from being all tensed up from holding the brake pedal
just right going into every lap. When we unloaded the truck here I
thought we were in huge trouble. The truck was just terrible. I
don't know if the tires were so hard they just weren't heating up
fast enough. I thought we were in for just trying to get a top-ten
finish, and then later in the practice we got going real good and
got more comfortable with the racetrack. I can't say enough for
the guys. They did such a good job. On the last pit stop we had a
little mis-communication. The crew chief thought we were out of
the box. He saw the inspector pointing backwards. He was counting
the number of crewmembers across the wall. We're only allowed six.
They thought he was saying push him back, push him back. So they
let me down and pushed me back. Lost huge track position. It
worked out. They gave me a good enough truck that I was able to
make it up on the racetrack."
MORE IMPORTANLY IS WHERE YOU ARE IN THE POINTS RIGHT NOW - SECOND.
"It's great. I think we've got a championship team. It was bad for
the team that I made some mistakes at the beginning of the year on
adjusting the truck on two strong tracks we had at Homestead and
Phoenix. We got 11th place at both tracks. Then last week I got
off in the sandpit. We would have led a lap and probably finished
in front of Sprague last week and gotten bonus points. We're just
trying to catch that 24 truck. We can't do it if he finishes second
every week. Obviously winning is the best we can do. I know he's
up 111 points. We're just going to try to good the whole year and
post top-fives, and hope the 24 finishes back in 10th or something
and doesn't have a good race and we can get that gap closed up."
DID IT SURPRISE YOU THAT THE TRUCK HANDLED SO WELL AT THE END?
"Yeah, I really was surprised because I knew when we put tires on
it, it was going to get tight and we were already down as low as we
could go on the tire pressure on the right front tire. So we
couldn't go any lower or it would loosen the truck the truck up. I
knew I was going to have to be pretty free, you know to get the
truck really good to cut underneath them guys. It's a little scary
driving the truck like that for 200 laps. You've got to be real
fragile with it getting down in the corner. You could tell the 24
and the 14 and the 2, all those guys were pretty medium tight to
snug. That's the way a driver likes to drive a truck. They were
moving up in the center of the corner, and I was able to sneak my
nose up underneath them. I had an aero push, and I ran into the
wall with about 14 laps to go coming up behind Sprague over there
coming off two. It caught me off guard. I didn't think I was that
high, and I hit the wall pretty good. I thought I was all done.
I'm sure it bent the wheel, and I thought it probably knocked the
toe out. It came back, and I was afraid it was going to cut a tire
down. You cut a tire down here and you're going to crash like
Earnhardt Junior did in practice. But I felt it out for a few laps
and hung back, and then went back after them again. I must not have
knocked the toe out or anything because it was a great truck still,
and I was able to get by those guys."
WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE 14? "I don't know that anything happened.
Was there contact?"
THE 14 GOT A LITTLE LOOSE AND WENT THREE
WIDE TRYING TO GET BY SPRAGUE. "That was kind of out of my sight.
The 14 got underneath coming up off the corner and ran into my left
rear quarter panel or something. I remember that because he pushed
on me or something and got me out of shape, and I was kind of
wiggling around. It must have cut the momentum down on the 14
because he had to check out of the throttle. It gave me the
opportunity to get up beside him. I was in front of the 14 truck at
that point, and I think he got into my left rear quarter panel a
little bit. I'd have to look back at the tape to tell you for sure.
I'm sure it wasn't intentional. It was just racing. I don't know
exactly what happened."
HOW DISAPPOINTED WERE YOU WHEN IT STARTED TO SPRINKLE THERE? "Very
disappointed. I'll tell you Randy Goss is a heck of a crew chief.
I've disagreed with him I don't know how many times, just mentally
and said well I hope we'll be all right and just go with the flow.
And when it started to rain, that's when the caution came out. He
said we're coming for rights, or we're coming for lefts, whichever
tires it was. I think it was lefts. And I thought, wow what if it
rains out. And Max (Jones - spotter) brought that to our attention.
He said if they stop the race we're gonna be -- and he said, we
can't gamble like that. We're gonna be sitting ducks if it doesn't
keep raining. And he said to come in anyway. And I was kind of
disheartened because I thought it was going to rain. This big
storm was coming and coming and coming but it never rained. I
thought it was just going to down pour. He made the right decision
and said we were just going to have to live with it. We came and
everybody else did. The 2 and 3 stayed out and gambled. I'm glad
we didn't. It would have cost us huge."
WHY DIDN'T YOU PULL AWAY AT THE START OF THE RACE? "I was so tight
at the start of the race I couldn't stay ahead of the 25. And then
he wanted me to let him lead a lap to get five bonus points so when
he came down underneath me coming down the front straight away I
kind of lifted, and said okay I'll let you go but you've got to give
it back. One of them kind of things. He was going, and I couldn't
catch him. It took me a while, and I got out some rear brake in the
truck because it was tight. And then trying to get it a little bit
loose to try to get the right rear tire up so it would equalize the
pressure. I had to kind of drive it weird today. I was just
working with the truck. I was able to make it tight or loose by the
way I drove it and the line I drove around the racetrack, which
really surprised me. I think I learned a lot today." ....
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