DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 16:  NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Greg Biffle (L) and Clint Bowyer speak with the media during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Jerry Markland/Getty Images

NASCAR on NBC podcast, Ep. 47: Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer

Leave a comment

Two Sprint Cup drivers who are in the midst of their most disappointing seasons joined the NASCAR on NBC podcast to analyze adversity and what lies ahead.

Clint Bowyer, who is 26th in the points standings, and Greg Biffle, ranked 24th, were the guests in separate conversations at Kansas Speedway last week.

Biffle, who is four races away from his 500th consecutive start in the Sprint Cup Series, has taken a leadership role at Roush Fenway Racing, his home since 1998. But while he has been able to help with pit stops, Biffle said there are limits to how much he can help the team improve.

“There are a lot of things I want to change and do different, but it’s tough for the driver to go in and change a bunch of things inside a company and people and realign this and that,” he said. “I’ve been able to make some influences, but I haven’t been able to do all the things I wish I could. I’m not up there on the (management) list and not the competition director. I can only kick and scream so much and push and make an influence where I can.”

Biffle, who missed the Chase for the Sprint Cup for the second consecutive season, said it’s difficult to watch longtime teammates Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth excel after joining Joe Gibbs Racing over the last three seasons but said, “I’m the type of person who wants to work hard and bring the whole organization with me to be able to compete at the level you need to (perform.)

“There’s nothing more frustrating than knowing you have the ability but don’t have the equipment,” Biffle said. “That’s been tough the last two to three years. You’ll see guys who moved on and won races and championships that I was doing better than when they were racing with me.”

Though Bowyer’s performance marginally has improved with new crew chief Jay Guy in his one-year stint at HScott Motorsports – his 26th at Kansas snapped a six-race streak of top-25 finishes – he is looking forward to taking over the No. 14 from Tony Stewart at Stewart-Haas Racing next season.

“There’s a lot of things, talk and excitement, for next year,” said Bowyer, who recently began receiving merchandise approvals for 2017. “You’re already starting to think about those things. You have to; everybody in the garage area is. Whether I was going somewhere else or staying where I’m at, you’re already working toward next year.

“That always gets your wheels cranked up again because you’re thinking, ‘All right, man, we did this wrong. We can do that better next year.’ There’s always those things in the back of your mind, so I can’t wait.”

You can listen to the podcast by clicking on the AudioBoom embed below or download and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes by clicking here. The free subscription will provide automatic downloads of new episodes to your smartphone. It also is available on Stitcher by clicking here and also can be found on Google Play, Spotify and a host of other smartphone apps.

Here are time codes for easy referencing while listening to the podcast.

biffle-bowyer-time-codes

 

In need of a wedding singer? Call Steven Tyler

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 05:  Singer Steven Tyler performs during his "Out on a Limb" tour at the Dolby Theatre on July 5, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ABA)
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ABA
1 Comment

Steven Tyler has performed with Aerosmith in a video for ESPN back when it broadcast NASCAR races. Tyler also has performed before the night race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Now, he’s played Kurt Busch‘s wedding.

What more is left for the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer?

Tyler performed at a celebration for the marriage of Kurt and Ashley Busch earlier this month. Kurt Busch posted a photo of the evening.

That NASCAR-themed video Tyler did with Aerosmith for the 2007 season? Here it is:

Before he performed at Bristol in Aug. 2015, Tyler met Richard Petty:

Chip Ganassi Racing adds competition director

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 27:  Team owner Chip Ganassi looks on as drivers perpare on Carb Day ahead of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on May 27, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Chip Ganassi Racing has hired Mark McArdle to be its competition director, a new position for the organization.

McArlde will oversee the team’s two Cup teams — Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray — and its Xfinity operation, which features Brennan Poole, Tyler Reddick, Justin Marks and Larson.

McArdle had been with Roush Fenway Racing. He joined the team in Nov. 2014 to oversee engineering for its Cup and Xfinity programs. He previously had been director of racing operations at Richard Childress Racing, joining that organization in April 2013. He spent four years before that at Furniture Row Racing, overseeing the team’s competition department.

At Ganassi, McArdle will report to Max Jones, team manager.

Last year marked the first time in the team’s history that it had two cars make the Cup playoffs. Both Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray, though, failed to advance from the first round. Larson, who had one win, finished ninth in the points. McMurray, who was winless, placed 13th.

“I think everybody in the building feels like we took a good step forward last year,’’ said Steve Lauletta, president of Chip Ganassi Racing. “We’re not happy with the step we took. We have more to do. So, being able to bring more of the leadership into the building that can focus on how we get there, the process that we need, we continue to bring on more people.

“I think Max feels like another person can help us make sure that everybody is focused on the right thing and we’re not wasting time and resources. Mark brings a tremendous amount of expertise to continue that growth that we’ve seen.’’

JR Motorsports to keep championship-contending tandem together

SPARTA, KY - JULY 07:  Elliott Sadler, driver of the #1 OneMain Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway on July 7, 2016 in Sparta, Kentucky.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images
Leave a comment

JR Motorsports confirmed Tuesday that crew chief Kevin Meendering will remain with Elliott Sadler this season.

Meendering and Sadler recorded three Xfinity wins last year in their first season together. Meendering also helped Sadler score a career-best 29 top-10 results and finish runner-up for the series title to Daniel Suarez.

The announcement was included in a team release about Hunt Brothers Pizza serving as the primary sponsor for Sadler’s car in two races in each of the next two seasons.

Wood Brothers give a tour of new race shop

LOUDON, NH - JULY 15:  Ryan Blaney, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series New Hampshire 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 16, 2016 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Wood Brothers begin this season not only with a charter but with a new home.

The team had shared a building with JTG Daugherty in Harrisburg, North Carolina, but moved after last season to a shop in Mooresville, North Carolina. The move puts the Wood Brothers closer to Team Penske. The two organizations are aligned.

The Wood Brothers will again have Ryan Blaney as driver. The team also has a charter, leasing it from Go Fas Racing. That means the Wood Brothers team is guaranteed a starting spot in every Cup race this year, unlike last year when they did not have a charter.