September 19, 2012 9:36 AM

Biffle's Thoughts on the Chase

WHAT IS YOUR MINDSET WITH NINE RACES TO GO IN THE CHASE? “Certainly we didn’t get our Chase off the way we thought we would with the finish at Chicago, but we really, really feel good about going into Loudon, New Hampshire. We built a brand new car that we ran earlier this year at Richmond, just a few races back, a short-track car that we’re taking there, and ran extremely well at Richmond, so we’re excited about how it’s going to be at Loudon. That’s a great track for us. The fall seems to be a better race for us than the spring and we have a win there in the Chase, so hopefully we can back that up with another win this weekend.”

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TRACK IN THE CHASE? “I think my favorite track in the Chase is going to be Texas. I’ve got a few wins there, but it’s hard to choose one because we’ve got a bunch of great tracks coming up for us. But the one I’m probably looking forward to the most is Texas.”

DO YOU STILL FEEL YOU’RE IN IT DESPITE THE CHASE NOT STARTING LIKE YOU WOULD HAVE LIKED? “Yeah, it was an unfortunate race for us. We were really looking forward to Chicago. We felt like we were going to be on the money there and we just ended up off a little bit all weekend and, actually, I find a little positive in a 13th-place finish, if you can, in that it’s about the best we were all day. We were a little better than that, but we missed that caution flag that would have put us in the top 10, and maybe top five almost, but we still came out of there 13th and kind of minimized the damage of having a bad day and move on to Loudon. We’ve put that race behind us. It’s not that bad of a race. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great.”

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU NEED YOU FEEL TO WORK ON SPECIFICALLY TO COMPETE WITH THE 2, 48 AND 11? YOU ONLY HAVE ONE TOP 10 IN THE LAST FOUR RACES. “Yeah, we know that when it comes to a slick, lower-grip type of race track we have struggled a little bit as of late. As you said, the last four races have been those type of race tracks, so that’s why we’ve looked ahead in the Chase saying, ‘What else lines up like those race tracks?’ I see Dover as the only track that really lines up like these last four, so we actually are spending a great deal of time looking at Dover, figuring out what we can do to be a little bit better when it comes to that. But we feel this weekend and Talladega, Charlotte – all those other races – not to be a factor like this weekend was or these last few races. So we’re definitely looking into it and trying to figure out where we’re missing it a little bit.”

SO THE PERFORMANCE THESE LAST EIGHT RACES WILL BE CONSIDERABLY BETTER THAN THE PREVIOUS FOUR? “Oh yeah, absolutely. We finished third at this Loudon race coming up last year. I’ve got a win there. I think we finished in the top 10 there in the spring (ninth) with a bad brake problem, so we’ve got great brakes now. We took a brand new car to Richmond earlier this year. That was the other top 10 you talked about. We’re taking that car to Loudon this weekend. We feel like we’re definitely going to be a factor and certainly a top-five car this weekend at Loudon. We’ll just have to wait and see how it plays out.”

HOW DO YOU HANDLE ALL OF THE CHASE EXCITEMENT TALK? “Definitely coming into it we were a lot more optimistic than after the first race because we did come in leading the points by 12 points after the Richmond race and then they got re-set and we got bumped down to fifth. So we go to the first race thinking, ‘We’re going to be back on top. This is going to be a great track for us,’ and we come out of there with a 13th-place finish and fall three more spots. But, like you said, it’s a very, very tight points battle going on right now, so we know a couple good finishes and we’re going to be right back in the top three in points. That’s what we need to do and, yes, you’re right, everywhere we go it’s about the Chase. This is an exciting time for our sport and we just need to get back on track right now.”

IS THERE ANY SPECIFIC STRATEGY IN THE CHASE THAT TELLS YOU, ‘THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT? “Not really. We all know that minimizing the bad days is the most important thing because when you have a good day, you have a good day. You run up front, you challenge for the win, you finish third – those days are almost like normal days, if you will. The bad day is when your shock breaks or you run out of gas or you miss the setup. Those are the days that you have to persevere on and we did that at Chicago and finished 13th. I think that’s going to determine this Chase, versus how many good days you have. It’s how you minimize the bad day.”

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