NASCARs Greg Biffle has never shed any blood while racing, but hes given plenty off the track.
The driver of Roush Fenway Racings No. 16 Ford in the Sprint Cup series serves on the American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet and has donated blood regularly for years.
Biffle sponsored a blood drive May 15 at the Concord-based race shop. There he, members of his pit crew and other employees gave blood to raise awareness of the Red Cross and the importance of donating.
Its different for me because I know the stats, said Biffle. Every three seconds, someone in America needs blood. It could be for the birth of a baby, someone in a car accident, and the summertime is the hardest time.
Red Cross representatives said the Charlotte areas blood supply is adequate for the present, but a natural disaster or major highway accident could significantly deplete it. Supply also tends to be in higher demand during summer, because the number of donors decreases.
If just 1 percent of the millions of NASCAR fans gave blood, Biffle said, it would make a huge difference.
Biffles car will have patriotic Red Cross paint scheme for the May 19 All-Star race. It salutes 35 All-Star blood donors, including Ken Temple of Mooresville, whose names appear on the rear of the car.
Temple was named the Carolinas Region All-Star for donating more than 700 times since 1957. He also donated blood at Biffles recent drive.
Most of the time, people who dont donate are unaware of the need, Biffle said, and its a relatively easy way to give back to the community.
For me, it goes back to the satisfaction of doing something for someone else, said Biffle. Everyone wants to give back on some level, and with this, it doesnt matter how much money you have, where you live or what you do for a living. You can still give blood, you can still give back, and you can still help somebody.
Driven to win
Biffle grew up in Camas, Wash., and began his racing career driving on short tracks in the Northwest. He gained national attention when he raced in the 1995-96 Winter Heat Series.
Biffle, 42, joined Roush Fenway Racing in 1998 and lives in Mooresville. He placed first in the Nationwide Series in 2002 and second in the Sprint Cup Series in 2005.
Latest NASCAR results show Biffle with 17 career wins, but hes not sure about his documented 75 top-five finishes and 130 top-10 finishes.
You got me on those last ones. I just know how many Ive won, said Biffle.
Hes the current points leader in the Sprint Cup Series. He has never won a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but he said this could be the year.
Weve been so close there, said Biffle. I remember last year leading the 600 with three laps to go. I had a full straightaway lead. I had the thing won. Then the 48 car blew up, the caution came out and we didnt have enough fuel to make it.
If it had just stayed green, we wouldve added to the win column and itd be 18.
Biffle said his favorite race is the All-Star Race, which will be May 19 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Many drivers use it to gauge whats to come for the Coca-Cola 600 on May 27, he said.
In the All-Star, weve been second twice, and weve run really well, said Biffle. Its a great test session for us to get acclimated for the longest race of our season.
We get some Charlotte time, we have a fun race, and theres not a lot on the line for us. We can kind of let our hair down, so to speak, and we dont have to worry about championship points.
At the May 15 blood drive, Biffle predicted he would finish in the top five in both races.
During the last 10 laps of the All-Star Race, if you dont start in the first three rows, youre not going to win, really, said Biffle. Ten laps is not a long time, so you got to start up front. You got to start in those first six spots to win it, and were gearing up to be there.