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

Greg Biffle makes guest appearance on “American Restorations”

Biffle had been a fan of “American Restorations” on HISTORY (channel) since it began four seasons ago. He got a chance to meet the show’s host, Rick Dale and his wife in Las Vegas earlier this year and they immediately shared a vision to do an episode together.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am about meeting Rick and getting to be on ‘American Restorations’,” said Biffle. “I can’t give too much away but I can tell you that the restoration Rick and his crew did for me is unbelievable. I hope everyone watches the show this Wednesday to see what they were able to do with something that has meant a lot to me for a long time.”

After a few months of planning, several miles of travel and a lot of hard work by Rick and his crew, the episode will air this Wednesday, June 6th on HISTORY at 10:00 p.m. ET.

NASCAR Statement on Brad Keselowski’s use of Social Media during the Daytona 500

NASCAR will not penalize Brad Keselowski for his use of Twitter during last night’s Daytona 500.

Nothing we’ve seen from Keselowski violates any current rules pertaining to the use of social media during races. As such, he won’t be penalized.

We encourage our drivers to use social media to express themselves as long as they do so without risking their safety or that of others.

Post-Race Transcript from the DIS Media Center with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and Greg Biffle on the Twittering/phone usage:

Q.  During that delay, I mean, you obviously were entertained by Brad Keselowski’s Twitter account.  Did you guys Twitter anybody or did you play with it at all during that time-out?

GREG BIFFLE:  I didn’t.  I think he was looking at the data on there.

DALE EARNHARDT JR.:  Yeah, I heard he was in trouble for having a recording device in his car.  But I think that’s how Brad is, man.  That’s what he makes and what he enjoys.  I thought it was pretty funny. We did take the phone and put it to some use and looked up the weather, because it was drizzling a little bit, so it did come in handy.

GREG BIFFLE:  That’s for sure.

 

Official Small Business of NASCAR sweepstakes underway with Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle

Tony Stewart's rear panel for Darlington promoting where the winner of the Small Business Sweepstake will have their logo placed. Photo credit: Action Sports Photography

This weekend at Darlington Raceway, (Saturday, May 7, 7:30 p.m. EDT, FOX) Tony Stewart will feature a special rear panel on his race car promoting the Official Small Business of NASCAR Sweepstakes and show small business owners where their company’s logo could appear.

Now through May 28, small business owners can enter the sweepstakes online or from their Smartphones at OfficeDepotRacing.com.

As an extra reward to small business owners who participate, Office Depot is also giving away one $1,000 Office Depot gift card every single day during the sweepstakes entry period.

Two eligible small business owners will be randomly selected as finalists in the sweepstakes after May 28, with Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle taking to the racetrack to determine their fate during the nationally televised NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ Labor Day Classic 500 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway this fall.

Stewart will display the name or logo of one small business finalist on his No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet during the Labor Day weekend race (Sunday, Sept. 4, 7:30 p.m. EDT, ESPN). Biffle will run a special panel generating awareness for the sweepstakes on his No. 16 3M Ford during the upcoming race at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, May 15, at 1 p.m. EDT, FOX.

The small business that appears on the highest-finishing driver’s car will be named the 2011 “Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot.” And if Stewart or Biffle wins the race, the small business featured on the winning car will take home $1 MILLION.

Both finalists will receive a $10,000 small business makeover from Office Depot and a VIP race weekend experience.

Small business owners hoping to gain an edge on the competition can ask their friends and family to vote for them during the entry window. For each valid vote the small business receives, provides an additional entry for that small business in the sweepstakes. Small business owners will have the ability to create a business profile page, complete with an image and business profile, once entered in the sweepstakes. They will then be able to invite family and friends to visit their unique page and vote for them there.

So don’t forget – the Official Small Business of NASCAR sweepstake ends May 28th, so be sure to enter and generate votes from friends and family!

Greg Biffle uninjured in plane incident

Press Release from Roush Fenway Racing Official Website:

Roush Fenway’s Greg Biffle (No. 16) and his two pilots were involved in a minor incident this morning while landing at Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Ky. A mechanical failure during the landing caused the airplane to skid to a stop on the runway. No one on board the aircraft was injured.

According to Nascar Now on ESPN2, Biffle said he looked out the window and noticed the left wing rising into the air, and the right wing dragging the runway and sending up sparks.

Amy Caudill, a spokeswoman for the airport, said the private plane’s right landing gear collapsed as it was taxiing at 10:52 a.m. Caudill said the airport did not classify the incident as a crash; it was a “mechanical failure,” she said.

The plane was landing on the airport’s main commercial runway. The runway was closed for about two hours while crews towed the plane and cleaned up debris, she said.

Read more: http://www.kentucky.com.