Biffle Explains Contact With Johnson

Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie Johnson's car heads to the garage after contact from Greg Biffle sent the car into the wall Sunday at Kansas Speedway. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Greg Biffle says he’s not sure why he got into Jimmie Johnson, causing the six-time champion to crash in Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway, but he is not surprised that Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a tire problem during the race.

Biffle made contact with Johnson on Lap 85. Johnson lost 68 laps for repairs. He finished 40th, jeopardizing his chances of advancing to the next round in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

“I don’t know if (Johnson) got slowed up a little bit coming off the corner,’’ Biffle said Monday at an appearance promoting this weekend’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “We were coming off the corner two-, three-, four-wide. My car started to lose the nose a little bit, started to slide up the race track.

“It looked like (Johnson) had good momentum off the corner. It looked like I was going to be able to move in behind him. I don’t know if he got slowed up any from the cars in front of him or I tried to move over too early and caught his left rear. You’re going to have that contact when you’re back there two-, three-wide scrambling on a restart. We just got together.’’

Biffle, who finished 15th, also talked about how tire issues plagued title contenders Brad Keselowski and Earnhardt, causing both to finish worse than 35th.

“The reality is you can set your car up to be as aggressive as you want,’’ Biffle said. “We saw cars that had a lot of speed have tire issues. There’s probably a reason behind that. They’re pushing the envelope, getting the most out of the tire and aggressive on camber and other things.

“We’ve seen (Earnhardt) blow tires. I think I’ve see him lose more tires, right front, than a lot of people. It must be the way he drives his car, the way they have their setups. He tends to be a little harder on right fronts than a lot of cars. (Keselowski) was surprising. I guess he had tire fail. Everybody racing as hard as they are, you’re going to have those issues.’’

Earnhardt’s crew chief, Steve Letarte, said Monday on “The Morning Drive’’ on Sirius XM Satellite Radio that he didn’t believe the car’s setup caused their tire failure.

“I think the diagnosis is pretty simple,’’ Letarte said on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. “We had a tire that couldn’t hold up to  the speed of being the leader. It’s easier or at least consoling on Monday if you can go into the team and and say we should have pitted this differently or ran a setup different or this is what broke on the car. Unfortunately, we’re going to have go in this Monday and tell them  if I could go back and do it all over again I don’t know what I would do different.

“You kind of batter your brain all night long thinking what you could do differently.’’

 

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