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RICHMOND -- Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, has not technically clinched a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, but has a 161-point edge over 13th-place Ryan Newman and is all but assured of making the final 12-driver cut. He spoke about his mindset going into Saturday night’s race at Richmond and whether or not it could be billed as the Sprint All-Star Race II.
Q. DOES YOUR POSITION IN THE STANDINGS CHANGE HOW YOU LOOK AT SATURDAY NIGHT’S RACE?
A. Yeah, it does a little bit because we can kind of use it as a test. The one thing that comes to mind that I’m thinking of is we haven’t had our new front suspension package on a short track yet. Yes, we did race Bristol, but that’s kind of its own animal and it doesn’t really qualify. That one is kind of out there by itself, so I’m kind of curious to see how it runs at places like Richmond, Loudon, Phoenix, and Martinsville. We’ve really proven it and run well so far at Chicago, Indy, Pocono, Michigan and Atlanta. The package has been good, so my outlook is, ‘How is it going to work on these short tracks? How is it going to turn? Is it going to have forward drive?’ That’s kind of what I’m looking for.
Q. WITH ALL BUT BASICALLY ONE SPOT CLINCHED GOING INTO SATURDAY, DO YOU SEE THIS RACE AS BEING SIMILAR TO THE SPRINT ALL-STAR RACE IN THE SENSE THAT EVERY CHASE GUY WILL BE GOING HARDER FOR THAT WIN AND THE 10 BONUS POINTS BECAUSE REGULAR POINTS DON’T MATTER?
A. Yeah, I see that a little bit with the top three or five guys that are running on the track. Let’s say we’re running sixth, there’s not a lot I’m gonna be able to do. You always want to race for your best position, so it’s not like I can just go, ‘To hell with it. I’m going crazy. All I care about is winning from sixth.’ That’s probably not gonna happen. If you’ve got five cars better than you, there are five cars better than you. If you get down to the top four guys and let’s say they’re Chase guys, then they’re foaming at the mouth.
Q. BUT A DOUBLE-FILE RESTART WITH 10 LAPS TO GO AND MAYBE EIGHT CHASE GUYS IN THE TOP 10 – THAT’S GOING TO GET PRETTY CRAZY, RIGHT?
A. Yeah, then we’re going crazy and we’re going for it. But I guess what I’m saying is once things settle down a little bit and if you’re running sixth or something like that, I don’t care what I do – I can stand on my head and wiggle my toes and my ears, but that’s not gonna help me get by those guys. If I could drive to the front and take the lead, then I would do that – just like any other situation – but there will be guys taking chances. They’ll be trying anything – two tires, no tires, driving over your head and doing what you can do – but you’ve got to be in one of the top three or four spots to be able to do that. There’s a lot left on the line. For the top 11 all we have to do is win. That’s the only thing that matters. If I finish 25th or I finish fifth, it does not matter.
Q. IS IT NICE TO GO INTO A WEEKEND KNOWING THERE’S NOT MUCH STRESS AS FAR AS MAKING THE CHASE?
A. Yeah. Last year I went in there with about a 70-point cushion and that was really stressful, but this will be nice, going with 161 points. We can take a breath, relax and make sure we get in.