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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Biffle, track differ on test crash
Don't nominate Kyle Busch for that medal just yet. Goodyear or Las Vegas Motor Speedway, either, according to Greg Biffle.
By BRANT JAMES
Published January 11, 2007
DAYTONA BEACH - Don't nominate Kyle Busch for that medal just yet. Goodyear or Las Vegas Motor Speedway, either, according to Greg Biffle.
The Roush Racing driver said Wednesday, during the final day of the first of two testing sessions at Daytona International Speedway, that the reports of his rescue from a fiery wreck during a Dec. 7 tire test at Las Vegas were "blown a little out of proportion." Biffle said he blacked out momentarily after his car hit the SAFER barrier-lined wall when a tire ruptured as he entered a corner in excess of 204 mph, but he said he controlled the car to a stop himself.
"I got it stopped and crawled out of the car and as soon as I sort of got clear of the smoke and stuff, Kyle was stopped on the other side about to get out. He was all unbuckled and had his helmet off," said Biffle, who dislocated his right shoulder and slightly burned his shifting hand.
For the 37-year-old Biffle, the troubling aspect of his first test with new crew chief Pat Tryson was the poor quality of medical treatment he received. Biffle said he was allowed to leave the track after a cursory examination and flew home, not a wise idea considering he had suffered slight brain bruising that caused blurry vision in his right eye for a day. All of his injuries have healed.
But LVMS general manager Chris Powell said Biffle's "recollection of the event is in gross error," saying in a statement that he was "attended to" by paramedics for several minutes, both during the ride back to and in his hauler, and that he refused to be transported by ambulance to a hospital. NASCAR can force a driver to be transported, but track officials cannot, and NASCAR was not in charge of the test. Track officials claim they have a signed release form on which Biffle wrote "I feel fine" and told paramedics he was unhurt and was "just upset because I crashed my best race car." Biffle had won the past three Homestead races with the wrecked No. 16 Ford.
Biffle said all the safety equipment worked within his car, saving his life in what he said was easily his hardest impact. No impact-recording telemetry was in the car because it was a private test.
"I know for a fact I would not have survived that crash if not for the new safety stuff," he said.
BY THE BIG BOOK: Chad Knaus, Jimmie Johnson's crew chief and a notorious rules tester, said the 2007 rulebook NASCAR distributed Tuesday was more detailed than ever. It used to be little more than a pamphlet, but some high-profile rules violations - including Knaus' - have prompted NASCAR to eliminate what it calls gray areas, and what teams call their domain of creativity. Knaus, ejected from the grounds before last season's Daytona 500 and suspended three more races after Johnson failed a post-qualifying inspection, remained confident he can still practice his art.
"Hell, it's so big it's bound now," he said. "It's a big old rule book and I think there are some areas where we can get to work and find some gains. I'm excited about it."
BYGONES: Scott Riggs hopes NASCAR will allow his "quarterback" into the game again. Front tire carrier Craig Curione was suspended after a post-race incident at Texas Motor Speedway in November in which he reportedly shoved driver Kevin Harvick, who had been in a wreck with Riggs. NASCAR won't decide on reinstatement until he applies for his season credential. He's working in the shop. Harvick's wife, DeLana, was accidently tripped during the fracas, but Riggs saw none of it as he returned to his coach. Curione "probably felt it was his responsibility to stand up for the team and do that. I'm the one who should stand up for the team," Riggs said. "That's where I should have been. ... It wouldn't have been so ugly and if there had been something ugly about it, it would have been mutual. It would have been something that happened between me and Kevin and we could have went to the NASCAR trailer instead of having guys over the wall in it."