Greg Biffle’s take on sponsor 3M moving to Hendrick Motorsports in 2015

RFR No. 16 3M driver Greg Biffle drives during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.

RFR No. 16 3M driver Greg Biffle drives during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.

We all heard, read about it. After  a 10-year sponsorship commitment, 3M announced that it will be leaving RFR’s No. 16 team at the end of the 2014 season and moving over to Hendrick Motorsports for a three-year deal. 3M and it’s brands will be the primary sponsor of the No. 24 Chevy of Jeff Gordon.

Here’s a excerpt of the teleconference with Roush-Fenway Racing’s No. 16 driver, Greg Biffle regarding the move:

Q: Not to continue on kind of a non-positive theme, but obviously with the 3M sponsorship

The No. 16 3M Pit Bulls get ready for a pit stop at the Monster Mile. Photo by Sandi Goodall/Racingal.com

The No. 16 3M Pit Bulls get ready for a pit stop at the Monster Mile. Photo by Sandi Goodall/Racingal.com

this week, were you aware of how that was going to go, and can you give us any update from your end what you guys might be looking at?

GB:  First of all, I have to say, 3M has been a great partner, and I’ve created so many friendships over there besides – I’ve said for a long time, they’re like family.  They’re not like a sponsor.  You know, it’s been a great 10 years we’ve had together.

Management changes, things change.  This sport is a business.  We all know that in business there’s decisions to make, and so I’ve known for a while that they were not coming back to the 16 car, and so that’s obviously a business thing on their end, and we will miss them.

Since then we’ve obviously been working on sponsorship, and I’m really excited that – it’s a bittersweet ending but new, greener pastures, I think, on the other side.  We’ve got a great partnership that we’re going to announce in the next three or four weeks.  Like I tweeted, I’d like to announce it today right now on this call because I’m really excited about it, but in due time.  The silly things like contracts need to be finalized first, which is important.  But we’re excited about the future.  We really are.  We’ve got a few partners moving forward that is going to be a great thing for the 16 car.

On top of that, I appreciate the support from all the fans of the 16 team and all the 3M employees.  They’ve been behind this program forever, and like I said, I made a lot of friendships, and those will remain, without a doubt, moving forward.

Source: NASCAR Media Transcript

3M moves to Jeff Gordon as Primary Sponsor starting 2015

3M will join 11-time Sprint Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports beginning with the 2015 NASCAR season when it will become a primary sponsor of driver Jeff Gordon and his No. 24 Chevrolet SS team.

The new relationship will feature 3M as a primary sponsor in 11 Sprint Cup races annually and as an associate-level partner in all other events. The agreement covers the 2015, 2016 and 2017 NASCAR seasons.

All five of 3M’s business units, which comprise more than $31 billion in annual sales, will use the sponsorship in consumer promotions, product launches and business-to-business opportunities.

With more than 65 of its products used in the construction and maintenance of Sprint Cup Series race cars, 3M for decades has played a key role in the success of NASCAR teams. The company manufactures more than 80,000 different products and has been an official NASCAR partner across several categories since 1995.

One of the most accomplished drivers in NASCAR history, Gordon is a four-time Cup Series champion, and his 90 victories rank third on the all-time wins list. Currently second in points, he has two victories, one pole position, seven top-five finishes and 15 top-10s in 22 Sprint Cup races this season.

“Innovation is what 3M is known for,” said Gordon, 43, who has a lifetime contract with Hendrick Motorsports. “We’ve seen that approach throughout their involvement in NASCAR, and it’s a terrific fit for what we do at Hendrick Motorsports and with the No. 24 team. I’m personally excited about the opportunities and thrilled to represent a company that’s so passionately supported auto racing for such a long time.”

Fastenal honors active and retired military with three car salute

Photo via Roush Fenway Racing.

Photo via Roush Fenway Racing.

For the third straight year, Fastenal will display appreciation for our nation’s military forces through its sponsorship of the entire Roush Fenway Racing (RFR) fleet at the Coca-Cola 600. The patriotic paint schemes that will grace the racecars of Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. represent the organization’s gratitude to military personnel who are a part of the Fastenal Blue Team as well as all other men and women who have served our country.

In 2013, Fastenal held an essay contest for its active and retired military employees, selecting three winners who were individually featured on the hoods of the No.99, No.17 and No.16 cars. This year, 630 Fastenal employees who have represented our great nation will see their names under the lights of Charlotte Motor Speedway as they are proudly displayed on the hood of the No.99.

Twelve of the 630 veterans highlighted on the hood of Edward’s car will be in attendance at Charlotte Motor Speedway this Memorial Day weekend for a behind-the-scenes experience at the 55th running of the Coca-Cola 600. Former Army Sergeant Robert Thompson, who now works out of Lincolnton, N.C. as a Fastenal Sales Associate, is proud to be part of an organization that recognizes its large military workforce.

In addition, Fastenal would like to acknowledge Roush Fenway Racing employee and veteran Randy Fuller by including his name on the hood as an honorary Blue Team member. Fuller, who served in the Air Force for 26 years and retired as a Chief Master Sergeant, has been the Media Relations Manager for Edwards for over a decade.

This is Fastenal’s third season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as the primary sponsor for Edwards in the No. 99 Ford Fusion.

Source: RFR PR  5/22

Special guest to help RFR No. 16 team “Survive” All-Star Race

Jeremiah Wood, Wood made it all the way to episode nine of season 28 of Survivor before being voted out of Cagayan, Philippines. Photo via Twitter.

Jeremiah Wood, Wood made it all the way to episode nine of season 28 of Survivor before being voted out of Cagayan, Philippines. Photo via Twitter.

Greg Biffle’s No. 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team will have a special guest in the pits this weekend for the annual Sprint All-Star race.  Jeremiah Wood, a recent castoff of the hit show Survivor, will join the 3M team Saturday evening at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  Wood made it all the way to episode nine of season 28 of Survivor before being voted out of Cagayan, Philippines.  Wood hails from Dobson, N.C., which also happens to be the hometown of Greg Biffle’s longtime spotter Joel Edmonds.

“You know in a race where there are no points on the line, often times its about surviving to the end,” said Biffle. “With that it’s only fitting that we have a cast member from Survivor in our pits. Jeremiah did a great job ‘surviving’ on the show and hopefully we’ll be able to last to the end and take home the million dollars.”

Edmonds and Wood have known each other for several years, living in the small town of Dobson. The two have similar interests in hunting, fishing and racing.

A win has eluded Biffle at the 1.5-mile Charlotte Motor Speedway, but with no points on the line and nothing to lose under the lights his focus is set on a victory.  Biffle qualified for this season’s All-Star race, via his historic victory last summer at Michigan International Speedway.  This will be Biffle’s 11th All-Star appearance and in his previous 10 Sprint All-Star races he’s earned two top-five and three top-10 finishes.

After debris irritations, Ford adjusts Fusion’s grille for 2014

No. 16 #M Ford Fusion of RFR driver Greg Biffle. Photo credit: Sandi Goodall/Racingal.com

No. 16 #M Ford Fusion of RFR driver Greg Biffle. Photo credit: Sandi Goodall/Racingal.com

According to NASCAR (Ford) program manager Pat DiMarco and Ford Racing aerodynamcist Bernie Marcus there were some concerns during the 2013 season about debris collection on the lower radiator inlet on the Fusion. The grille bars on the car are staying identical to what they were in 2013.  It is only the lower inlet which is the dark black area on the car which will be flushed out. To the average Joe sitting and watching, they won’t even really be able to tell on TV what has changed.

What was done: The radiator screen was moved out to be more flush with the bumper. There is no performance advantage (verified in the wind tunnel). This is purely for debris collection and to eliminate the need to pit in case we have a hot dog wrapper or something on the grille and it makes it easier to get the debris off from behind another car.

The new rules package for 2014 handed down by NASCAR, doesn’t really impact the Fusion and its handling. The new aero rules add some downforce to the car which during the Charlotte testing in December the drivers felt it had given them a little more security in the car compared to 2013. Then there is the no ride-height rule in post-race inspection which will allow the team to make the cars drive a little more comfortably for the driver. It lets the springs be the springs and the shocks be the shocks on the cars, so to say.

Come post-race inspection, the cars will be inspected at a six and eight frame-rail height as they were in 2013 to make sure they meet all the rules. “Post race inspection, now, the car does not have to come back up to those six and eight frame-rail heights,” said DiMarco. Once the car leaves tech inspection, the team can put it down to whatever attitude they want it and it can come off the race track at whatever attitude the car settles in at. Continued DiMarco, “The disconnect came in trying to meet the six and eight ride-height rule for inspection and then meeting it post race. The cars are so aerodynamic, so trying to get the cars in the attitude they wanted to was causing people to use the springs and shocks for other purposes than what they were designed for.”

When asked on whether or not the teams were looking for this change, DiMarco replied, “I would say it was 50-50 in the garage. Some teams felt it was an advantage, some felt it didn’t do anything for the cars. The product on the race track will determine if it was the right move or not.”

From an engine perspective, the change to flush the lower inlet on the Fusion helps the engine builders because when you have a team that has to adjust their strategy based on getting trash on the grille and consistently getting trash on the grille, it makes the engine builder’s job extremely hard.

Source: Ford Racing Press Release/Media Transcript

NASCAR driver Greg Biffle discusses Hire Our Hereos Program, Chase and Jimmie Johnson

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 10.22.45 PMGreg Biffle is set to make his 400th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway carrying the 3M Hire Our Heroes Program scheme and dealing with the media concerning his confrontation with five-time Champion Jimmie Johnson.

To focus on what’s most important here, is “The Hire Our Heroes Program” which is an exciting deal sponsor 3M is doing for the returning veterans. 3M launched  the “Hire Our Heroes Program” campaign to help fund training and support for the nation’s returning veterans and their families.  The goal of the 3M Hire our Heroes campaign is to donate up to $250,000 to fund scholarships, tool grants, and automotive related rehabilitation programs to benefit returning veterans.  The donation is based on the sales of select popular 3M products to collision repair facilities.

THE CHASE
Based on the majority of the Chases, Biffle has missed out on a couple.  Over a period of time, Biffle has had to eat his words a few times when he once stated “You’re a nobody if you don’t make the Chase.”  Those were pretty tall words that stared down at him a couple of times, but what makes up the face of this sport IS the Chase – all 13 drivers that make it up.  After all, that is what everybody talks about since the Daytona 500 and on.

“It’s really important, and that’s been our focus.  Let’s face it, you can’t win the championship unless you’re in the Chase.” Biffle continues, “I’ve been out of a few of them.  I’ll tell you, it’s no fun.  But sometimes you have years like that.  You can’t control everything.  You just do the best you can,” said Biffle.

As the No. 16 team gets ready for the 2nd to last race of the Chase, as well as the 2013 season, Biffle looks back at some of the solid runs the 3M Racing team has had this year.  “We weren’t as good as we were last year. Our Chase has been okay – we’ve left some opportunities on the table.  It’s not over yet. We’ll keep digging and try to get in the top three or four,” said Biffle.

As far as testing goes this year, for instance,  testing was held at Kansas where two tire tests were completed. Biffle said the team felt as if they were definitely in a spot where they would win, or even get a top-three finish. Instead, the 3M team struggled that whole weekend.

“That’s what is so fun and frustrating about this sport – is you never know what to expect from week to week. I think that’s why so many fans enjoy it and like to watch it is because you just don’t know what’s going to happen.”

TEMPERS FLARE AFTER MARTINSVILLE
Tempers were flaring after the Goody’s 500 at Martinsville Speedway this past weekend after Biffle thought that Johnson had gotten into the back of the No. 16 Ford, almost ripping off the rear bumper cover. Biffle approached Johnson to let him know what he thought about the (escalating) issue.

“When I was walking over there (to where Jimmy was), I was furious,” said Biffle. “We had a great car. Nobody knows this, but we had the fastest car the last 65 laps of that race. We closed in on the leader by five seconds from the start of that run to the end of it.  We closed in on the 24 car by that much. I had to start in the back because we had to pit to fix the bumper, and then drove back up to ninth.”

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 9.53.52 PM
Regarding his personal tweet on Twitter, Biffle reiterated “I was apologizing for probably the way I handled it. It was multi-layer. The biggest thing was I was getting a lot of hate mail on Twitter from all the 48 fans about the way I reacted. So I was apologizing to the fans, not Jimmie Johnson at that point. My apology to Jimmie Johnson was on the telephone. I know that’s old-fashioned, a lot of people don’t do that anymore.”

The other misconception was that everybody was stating Biffle should be mad at the 88, that he ripped the bumper off.  “Sure – it was the start of it,” said Biffle, but we pitted and fixed it then started at the back. The 48 car then ran square in the back of the car, not inside, like Johnson’s claim when I came up and talked to him about it.”

According to the Associated Press, Biffle still has an argument over the TV highlights. “His claim that he (Johnson) was inside me is not true,” Biffle said. “The TV part of it has done a horrible job. They show me and him side-by-side and the bumper is flying off. Well, that was a lap and a half after he hit me. Show it where the bumper was secure, not flapping. That was the incident. You watch all the coverage and they take it out of context. They don’t have the story right.”

The one regret Biffle has was grabbing Johnson by the neck, spinning him around and wishing he would’ve have grabbed Johnson by the arm instead.  “I wasn’t going to do the old patented Jeff Gordon two arms to the chest – he’s kind of got that one,” said Biffle. “But I was upset that I had to start at the back.  I had a good opportunity to get a top-three finish at Martinsville for the first time – maybe a chance to battle for the win,” stated Biffle.

“I should have handled that a little differently with Jimmie,” said Biffle. “ I didn’t realize he was in the middle of his interview.  I thought he was talking to some print reporters when I first went over there.  I didn’t realize he was on camera.  I apologize for that.  I should have maybe waited till he was done and then had my conversation with him in private with no cameras or media around.”

Biffle is currently eighth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and heads to Texas this weekend where he has two wins and 12 top-10 finishes.

Roush Fenway “Driven for a Cause” to support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Roush Fenway Racing (RFR) will utilize its 2013 ‘Driven’ Marketing program in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness month in October. Through ‘Driven for a Cause,’ RFR will highlight cause awareness and support  the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) during the month of October.

Fans are encouraged to support the NBCF by donating at http://nbcf.org, and by using the hashtag #breastcancer to raise awareness on social media platforms.

D4CauseLogoAll of RFR’s race cars will carry special ‘pink ribbon Driven logos’ in each of the month’s events. In addition, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will run a special pink ‘Driven for a Cause’ paint scheme on his No. 17 Ford Fusion at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 27. Greg Biffle’s 3M Ford Fusion will also run a special pink themed scheme for the event.

RFR is offering “Driven for a Cause” merchandise, with a percentage of the proceeds going to the NBCF. RFR will also donate pieces of the No. 17 ‘Driven for a Cause’ Ford for auction, with proceeds benefiting the NBCF.

Source: RFR Press Release

Greg Biffle’s No. 16 3M Ford Fusion features Sustainable Fire Suppression Fluid

Screen Shot 2013-03-03 at 12.54.45 AMNASCAR driver Greg Biffle will once again be racing with the environmentally sustainable, 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid as a new standard in the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion. Novec 1230 fluid balances performance requirements with favorable environmental and safety properties, giving Biffle added reassurance and peace of mind.

On March 3 at the Phoenix raceway, the car will showcase the Novec brand name on the hood. Additionally, the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion will feature a system using Novec 1230 fluid throughout the entire 2013 racing season. Biffle’s car had previously been upgraded with Novec 1230 fluid through Roush Fenway Racing, who jumped on board early in 2012 to help protect Biffle, as well as the environment.

The No. 16 3M Ford Fusion is the first racecar that incorporates a sustainable fire suppression fluid. Metalcraft, Inc., an international leader in fire suppression, equipped the cockpit of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion with its Fire-Trak™ branded fire suppression system using Novec 1230 fluid. The Fire-Trak system and 3M’s Novec 1230 fluid received NASCAR approval in 2012.

3M researchers developed Novec brand products to be a safe, sustainable chemistry used to replace ozone-depleting substances being phased out under the Montreal Protocol, potent greenhouse gas such as HFCs and agents that have undesirable toxicity. Novec 1230 fluid has an exceptional environmental profile with zero ozone depletion potential and a global warming potential of one. It stays in the atmosphere only five days, compared to HFC-236fa that lingers for 240 years.

Novec 1230 fluid is a clean extinguishing agent that is stored as a liquid but is discharged as a gas that leaves no residue. The fluid does not damage sensitive electronics or equipment in the racecar and provides a wide margin of safety if deployed in an enclosed area near Biffle. It also does not affect the surface of the racetrack, keeping it clean for other drivers. Novec 1230 fluid comes with 3M’s Blue SkySM Warranty, offering peace-of-mind protection against future regulatory bans or restrictions.  And when used in commercial buildings, it offers an opportunity to earn innovation credits toward Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

Other notable applications of 3M Novec 1230 fluid include use in helping to protect high-value assets such as data centers, aviation equipment, marine vessels, museum artifacts, library documents, and financial, health care, power generation and oil/gas petrochemical facilities, as well as computers and other critical devices where water cannot be used. Additionally, Novec 1230 fluid has found its way into the archives at the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo.

For more information regarding 3M Novec 1230 fluid use in racing applications visit www.3M.com/novecracing or for other Novec branded products log onto www.3M.com/Novec. Also visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/3MNovec1230fluid. For more information about 3M’s sustainability initiatives visit www.3M.com/sustainability.

You can also follow the No. 16 3M/Novec Ford Fusion on Twitter at @3MRacing.

Faster speeds recorded as NASCAR teams test repaved Kansas Speedway

Crew members set up a 2013 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, driven by Josh Wise, during NASCAR testing at Kansas Speedway on October 17, 2012 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images for NASCAR)

One thing is for sure from the newly repaved 1.5-mile oval at Kansas Speedway that has developed is SPEED. After a two-hour Kansas test session that was delayed by rain on Wednesday, 30 out of the 47 cars that tested, turned a faster lap than the current track qualifying record of 180.856 mph set by Matt Kenseth in 2005. Greg Biffle turned the fastest lap of the test session at 184.900 (29.205 seconds).

Among the 47 cars that tested, four were the redesigned 2013 models. The teams testing the 2013 cars were Michael Waltrip Racing, Penske Racing, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and Wood Brothers Racing.

Kansas Speedway is the third of three 2012 repaves, joining Michigan International Speedway and Pocono Raceway.

Testing at Kansas continues today until 12:30 p.m. CT.

Source: NASCAR

Voting for Round 2 of the “Drive for the Cover” campaign begins TODAY!

Greg Biffle is off to a memorable start in this 2012 season.

First, he occupied the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points lead for 11 consecutive weeks. And now, he takes down five-time champion Jimmie Johnson in Round 1 of the NASCAR The Game: Inside Line “Drive for the Cover” Facebook campaign by a scant one percent margin of victory.

Marcos Ambrose led all drivers in total voting as he advances to Round 2 to face Denny Hamlin, who edged out past series champion Bobby Labonte. Below are the head-to-head match-ups for Round 2, which starts today, June 11, and includes a rematch of last year’s exciting championship battle between Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart:

Dale Earnhardt Jr. vs. Martin Truex Jr.

Kyle Busch vs. Danica Patrick

Tony Stewart vs. Carl Edwards

Denny Hamlin vs. Marcos Ambrose

Greg Biffle vs. Mark Martin

Kasey Kahne vs. Kevin Harvick

Jeff Gordon vs. Matt Kenseth

Ryan Newman vs. Brad Keselowski

The campaign will continue to let NASCAR fans vote in a bracketed tournament that is hosted entirely on NASCAR The Game’s Facebook page, and can be easily accessed at www.nascarthegame.com/vote.

Voting for Round 2 of the “Drive for the Cover” campaign begins today with five weeks remaining in the campaign to select the driver who will adorn the cover of NASCAR The Game: Inside Line. Here is the remainder of the voting schedule, which culminates in July:

JUNE 17 – Second Round Closes (8 drivers)

JUNE 24 – Third Round Closes (4 drivers)

JUNE 30 – Fourth Round Closes (2 drivers)

JULY 15 – Final Round Closes (Champion)

Visit www.nascarthegame.com/vote to participate in the “Drive for the Cover” campaign.

NASCAR PR