Third-place Biffle feels he had best car at Las Vegas

By Joe Menzer, NASCAR.COM
March 3, 2008

LAS VEGAS -- During the red flag that stopped Sunday's UAW-Dodge 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with four laps to go, most of the attention was focused on whether or not Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was running second, would be able to challenge eventual winner Carl Edwards for the lead.

But Greg Biffle, sitting in third, came on his radio and said he thought he had a legitimate shot to get there.

He had the car to do it. He just didn't have the laps left -- and eventually had to settle for the third-place finish in his No. 16 Ford.

"I just wish I had 20 more laps or we had taken two tires earlier and gotten track position -- because we were running 'em down," Biffle said. "We just ran out of time."

Biffle thought he had worked himself in position to get by Earnhardt for second, but then Earnhardt came up the track to cut him off. Earnhardt later told Biffle that he didn't mean to do so.

"I think I had Junior on the outside there, but he washed up off the bottom. He came right over to the window [of the car afterward] and talked to me about it. I had to get out of the gas and let him go," Biffle said. "Certainly I would have had second, and I wanted a chance at the 99 [Edwards]. I passed him earlier in the day twice. We had a little bit better of a car than he did, but he just had the track position. Track position is so important with these new cars."

Had he not gotten caught speeding on pit road, which led to a penalty that put him a lap down early in the race, Biffle might have been in Victory Lane instead of Edwards, his Roush Fenway Racing teammate.

"I had probably the fastest car here," Biffle said. "Some people would probably argue with that, but we drove all the way to the front twice. I made some mistakes as a driver. Unfortunately, I got caught speeding on pit road. That was my fault. I almost wrecked another time and I'm not sure how -- or why -- I didn't."

Edwards said he had an idea why Biffle was able to keep it off the wall.

"Greg's car was really, really good," said Edwards, who won for the second week in a row. "And no one is better at battling a loose racecar or a car that is harder to drive than he is. [Sunday], the way the cars drove -- with the track slippery and the wind blowing, it was a pretty good battle to keep the racecar going in the right direction."

It's pretty clear at this point that Roush Fenway is headed in the right direction this season, and for that Biffle credits mostly the promotion of Robbie Reiser, Matt Kenseth's former crew chief, to general manager.

"Robbie Reiser is making a big difference," Biffle said. "It's just been hard work. You get your ass kicked for so long, you go off with your tail between your legs and you work harder. And with Robbie in the position he's in, he's been able to organize our people better."