Greg Biffle discusses Tony Stewart’s incident, defends what drivers do away from track
Greg Biffle, who was on the sand dunes when Tony Stewart had his accident Sunday, provided a little more information on Stewart and defended drivers having fun away from the track.
Biffle made the comments Wednesday night to Claire B. Lang on the SirusXM NASCAR Radio show “Dialed In.”
Biffle was on the dunes in Southern California when Stewart had an accident and suffered a back injury that has hospitalized him since. Stewart-Haas Racing is expected to update Stewart’s condition Thursday.
“I wasn’t near what went on,’’ Biffle told Lang on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “Didn’t see what happened. The dunes are unpredictable. You can land harder on some spots than others. I’ll tell you what, I’ve knocked the wind out of myself, thought I broke my tailbone or back before when I couldn’t see with the sun in my eyes and misjudged something. So, you know, things can happen. I don’t know exactly what happened.
“We were all kind of riding as a group. Phone service was terrible … we started hearing bits and pieces that he hurt his back. That’s all we knew. We didn’t know anything else about it and really don’t. I haven’t talked to (Stewart) or found out any more about exactly what happened or how severe an injury it is.
“I do know that the people that helped him, I don’t know if he got out of the car on his own, but he was like walking and moving all his extremities and all that, but he was in a lot of pain. I think everybody has had some kind of back injury at one time or another and knows how tough it is to get around.’'
Biffle said drivers can’t be kept in bubbles because accidents can happen anywhere. He noted he slipped on a dock in 2009 and broke ribs, forcing him to skip an Xfinity race. He also noted that Bobby Labonte suffered broken ribs in a bicycle accident in 2013, forcing Labonte to miss a race. Denny Hamlin has suffered torn ACLs in both knees playing basketball, including last year.
“We’re passionate about motorsports, and we love to recreate just like everybody else,’’ Biffle said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “We go snow skiing. We ride motorcycles just like everybody else does. We go out on the water and we ride jet skies or we go on boats and do whatever. I wouldn’t say all the guys are extreme sports enthusiasts outside of the track. We’re not doing anything ‘Nitro Circus’ or anything crazy. Bobby Labonte broke some ribs riding his bicycles. Lot of guys are riding bikes like Jimmie (Johnson) and Matt (Kenseth).
“I think we’re not different from anyone else. You just have to use your best judgment and caution when you go out and do this stuff. I do when I go out to the sand dunes. I absolutely love it. Pure heaven when I’m there and duning and having a great time. It’s exhilarating.
“I drive 75-80 percent. One, because sometimes I have people riding with me and, two, I have a job to do. That’s not going to stop me from having fun or enjoying myself, but I’m going to try to be safe about it. Let’s face it, accidents can happen no matter what you’re doing.’’