Today begins a new version of our 12 questions interview series: 12 in 12 (instead of 12 Out Of 12). We'll be interviewing Chase drivers over the next 10 weeks in hopes of helping you get to know some of your favorites a little bit better. First up: Roush Fenway Racing's Greg Biffle.
What's the best race you've ever driven?
GB: I would have to say the Homestead race when Kurt Busch won the championship (in 2004). I kept the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) and anybody else from leading a lap – which could have changed the outcome (Busch won the title by just eight points). Kurt got a loose wheel and a tire fell off – I slowed down and kept him on the lead lap. And I won the race. So did you do all that consciously? Oh yeah. I knew what was going on. I knew it was a tight points race and it had gone back and forth a few times during that race. And it came down to the last lap – actually the final restart. I was trying to win the race, which I was doing, but you have an idea of where your teammates are at.
Who is the most talented driver in NASCAR?
GB: Hmm. It's gotta be me. (laughs) Nah. If I had to pick someone besides myself, I would have to pick Jimmie Johnson, because of four championships in a row.
What's the best time for a fan to approach you for an autograph at the track?
GB: The best time to approach us is probably coming to or leaving the garage. That's a great time. Or anywhere basically on the inside of the racetrack.
Probably the worst time is during practice. You know, you'll get out of the car and run to the truck or wherever, and that's our time to work. We've got two hours per weekend and that's probably the worst time – when the cars are running on the track.
What's something you think fans may not know or understand about you?
GB: I think something some fans don't know about me is that I love the outdoors. I'm kind of an outgoing person. I love to be on the go all the time or doing something. I love to ride motorcycles or dirt bikes, fish, go to the sand dunes.
What's the worst track on the NASCAR circuit?
GB: Well, Martinsville, Virginia. You know, it's a great track but I just don't run well there. And I don't think it's as exciting as a lot of the other racetracks we go to, because it's so slow and it's kind of one lane. If you think about it, it's the slowest racetrack we go to in terms of speed. We're going the slowest around the corners that we go anywhere. And our sport is about speed, you know?
What driver do you most admire outside of NASCAR?
GB: I would say probably someone from drag racing and I'll say John Force. He drives a Ford, I've done a lot of autograph sessions with him and he's probably the quirkiest, funniest guy I've ever seen in my life.
I'll never forget, we're at this tool conference and there's probably 2,000 people at this thing. And he drives down the middle of everyone on this moped, it's smoking and going vrrrrrrrrrrrrrr down the aisleway. (laughs) He's just the funniest guy.
How long do you envision your career lasting? Will you still be driving at Mark Martin's age?
GB: I won't be driving at Mark's age – I know that. I would have to say my late 40s would be my optimum choice. You know, seven or eight more years or something like that in this sport would probably put me to where I'd be happy with what I've done in my career.
You know, I really want to win a championship (in Cup. Biffle already has a Truck and Nationwide title). The next five years is my prime shot, my best opportunity to win a title.
Who wins the Sprint Cup in 2015?
GB: Maybe that'll be my third consecutive, I don't know. That's a good question. You could probably take the top eight or 10 guys in the Chase this year and I would make a safe bet it would be one of those guys. I see all of us competing in 2015 still and I can't think of anybody outside of the Chase right now that I would put in there yet to say it could be one of those other guys.
What's the first thing you do when you get home after a long race weekend?
GB: Can't wait to see my dogs. I have three dogs. Take 'em outside, we run around – and it doesn't matter what time. For instance (after a night race) I'll get home at 2:30, 3 o'clock in the morning. And I'll be outside for a half-hour, 45 minutes with them.
I gotta get them to expend a little energy if I plan on sleeping at least until about 8 o'clock. Or 8:30. Because otherwise, it's 7! When they've been home for the weekend and I get home, they're like, "We're ready to go!" They don't have a clock, so when the sun is up on Monday morning, they're ready.
If you were in charge of NASCAR, what's one thing you'd change?
GB: Well I wouldn't change a lot – I have to say that to start with. Obviously my preference would be to change some of the Chase tracks. Because let's put some Greg Biffle tracks in there, you know? (laughs) So I'd get rid of Talladega and Martinsville and add another mile-and-a-half or a road course or something like that. That would play into my hands better than what we have.
If a new driver asked you one driver he should learn from and one he shouldn't, who would you say?
GB: One driver to learn from, I would go with a veteran guy. You can learn from Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin – what to do, what not to do. They've done it all. I'd certainly be one to help a young guy. I feel like I do a good job of explaining things and being thorough about it.
The one guy you wouldn't want to learn from is – I don't know if I can name a name – somebody that doesn't have the experience or is kind of noted as always in an accident or not competitive.
Would you rather be known as a great driver or a great person?
GB: Wow. I've got to pick between the two? Well, you would hope that because of the sport I'm in, they would say, 'Well that guy is a great driver.'
But I wouldn't want them to say, 'Well that guy is a real asshole, but he's a great driver.' I don't want to be an asshole. I'd rather be known as a great person in that context.