As seen on Speedwaymedia.com August 22,2007
By Joe Dunn / firstname.lastname@example.org
BRISTOL,TN – They ripped up the concrete here after the March race and spent several months to completely re-do the racing surface. Last month Rusty Wallace showed up at the track to take some ‘laps’ after which he declared it was the Best racing surface. Earlier this month, track General Manager took some laps in the Pace Car, which was video taped to show fans just how good it is.
The Busch and Truck series tested here last month with many drivers giving the work a ‘thumbs up’, but not all drivers are happy about it. Greg Biffle was less than excited about the new concrete, as he told me, “I used to love, Bristol before they changed it,” Greg tested Bristol last month in a Busch car. “It’s changed dramatically …. From driving around it it’s just not the same.” When asked if he felt it was better or worse he responded, “Well, to me it doesn’t seem as good.” Turn 2 always had a drop off coming out of the turn and the cars would all bottom out there. It was not so noticeable from the grandstand, but in the car you could feel the bottom of the car slam the track. “They took that drop out of turn two, but they filled it in. That used to turn the car, now you go across there and it wants to put you right in the fence.” According to Biffle it has made the track ¾ of a second slower.
On the Car of Tomorrow, he’s still not a big fan. “The object was to get all four tires working together, this car is top heavy and has too much weight on the right side, it’s turning on two tires instead of all four.” Teams are having much less tire failure with the new car and Biffle addressed that thought, “ The tires are so hard, you can’t wear them out, they did this because too many guys were blowing out tires, but we really need a softer tire. They need to put these cars on a diet, they are just too heavy. The height of the car is fine, but they need to lower the center of gravity.”
There was a lot of talk a month or so ago, linking Biffle to the open seat next year in the 8 car at DEI, but he dismissed that idea. “We’re driving the 16 car next year, that’s always been ….but we’re working on an extension past that.” When asked about the DEI rumors earlier, “Nope, Not Next year. After that we’ll see what happens. You just never know, we just have to get running better here, and I want to win races, but so do these guys.” referring to his pit crew.
Greg feels that his team in particular and Roush Fenway in general has for some reason been surpassed by some of the other teams this year. “It’s not just the COT, they’re beating us in the regular car too, like at Pocono and those places we’re getting beat.” Although he is still optimistic about this season, he is looking ahead to next year with a desire to be running for the championship.