Greg 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.
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.”
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.