For the first time since June, Greg Biffle takes the Sprint Cup points lead into this weekend's race at Bristol Motor Speedway, after taking his second victory of the season at Michigan last week. He'll also debut a new paint scheme on the No. 16 Ford, as 3M Automotive highlights the Bondo Body Filler brand on a track where dents and dings are a common occurrence for all 43 drivers.
But just because Biffle has a Bondo decal on his car, doesn't mean he wants to be using too much of the product itself this weekend.
"We're hoping not to use Bondo this weekend!" Biffle joked in an interview on Thursday. "But you know what, Bristol's that way. It's a rough track, we're beating and banging a little bit, but I watched the Camping World Truck Series race the other night and it looks like the groove has moved down from where they ground it.
"[There's] a little bit less room to race, so we're gonna have to work that out amongst all the drivers. There's just going to be less real estate to work with. It looked like the racing was about the same. I saw a lot of the same things, so we'll just have to wait and see.
"Certainly, everybody knows you come out of Bristol with a few beats and bangs and wounds on the car. But we use Bondo Body Filler on every race car in preparing them to go to every track, because we have to fill the minimal amount of seams we have where the bodies connect. So body filler goes on every single car."
Bristol is one of Biffle's strongest tracks, as his 11.8 average finish is tied for fourth best among active drivers. He started on the pole in March, leading 41 laps on his way to a 13th place finish.
"One thing that makes me feel good about every time I go to Bristol is the fact that we run so well there. The other thing that I think about is that I've never won there before. So it's kind of bittersweet. We run extremely well, but we've never made it to Victory Lane.
"We're always that top three, top five car every time, but we end up just a tiny bit short. I'm hoping to change that this time."
He'll have to do so with a different setup on the car. NASCAR has taken an inch and a half off of the side skirts on the cars this weekend, meaning getting it right during qualifying and the race will require some major adjustments.
"I think that the setup will be quite a bit different, simply for the fact that NASCAR's changed the panel platform of the cars. So I think the OC springs and combinations will be different.
"But the surface of the track we'll run for qualifying will be about the same groove as before. I don't think that'll be affected by the change in the upper groove of the track. As far as qualifying goes, the track will be pretty close."
Christopher Leone is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.
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