The Good Men Project’s Matthew Crowder talks with NASCAR star Greg Biffle about his life off the track, and his animal rescue operation.
For those who don’t follow the sport, it’s easy to stereotype NASCAR drivers as a bunch of good ol’ boys who just like driving fast and not much else, but there’s a lot more to them than that. Even with the grueling season schedule of races, NASCAR drivers and personalities find time for their families and, just as impressively, do charity work, which often goes unnoticed. I recently had the privilege of speaking to Greg Biffle, the driver of the #16 3M Ford Fusion with the Roush Fenway Racing team. Mr. Biffle along with his wife, Nicole, started the Greg Biffle Foundation, which specializes in helping out Animal Shelters across the country and the pets that they service.
MC – Thank you for your time, sir. I’d like to talk to you not about your on-track activities, but your off-track things like you foundation, your being a dad and what it means to you to be a good man in society today.
GB – All those things you just spoke of, I’m very proud of. My daughter just turned a year old in July and that’s been such a life experience. It’s so exciting to see her do something new every day.
MC – That’s awesome. The first thing I would like to ask you is what led you and your wife to start The Greg Biffle Foundation?
GB – My wife and I both grew up with pets. For the first few years we lived in an apartment and that wasn’t the best place to have pets. But when we moved into a house here in North Carolina we got our dog Hunter who is a Boxer. After that we started to see these cruelty cases and neglect and we wanted to do something so we started the foundation in 2005. We also helped rescue a tremendous amount of animals following the Hurricane Katrina disaster and ended up reuniting them with their owners.
The NASCAR Pet Calendar is our number one money generator for the foundation. We’ve done it every year since 2005 and it’s exceeded our sales expectations each year. We just finished the 2013 pet calendar and it includes Danica Patrick, Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Just go to www.gregbifflefoundation.com to get one.
MC – This is a subject that is near and dear to me as I have two dogs that I have rescued from shelters. From what I have seen in my dogs and others that have been rescued from shelters is that they seem to love their families more than other pets.
GB — I hear that time and time again, from people that rescue animals. The animal knows that it got a second chance and it’s grateful and becomes very protective and passionate about their owner. We try to help these animals get a second chance.
MC – Do you have anything in the future that you are working on for the foundation?
GB — We’ve been working with Friends of the Animals for five years now to fundraise and build a shelter in South Iredell County. We have the land paid for and we’re working hard at that and it’s coming together more and more. There is also a charity event in October, corporate event,and that is our second biggest fundraiser of the year.
Also, with Ford, Roush Fenway Racing and Sherwin Williams we built a Ford Raptor truck and are auctioning it off Saturday in Las Vegas at the Barrett-Jackson Auction and the proceeds are going towards the foundation.
MC – You just became a father a little over a year ago. As a father myself one thing that I have noticed more and more over the last few years is that during opening ceremonies you and other drivers are holding their kids and then you give them a kiss before you strap into the car. Has becoming a father changed your outlook and how you do things, not so much on the track, but off the track in your daily life and with your charity work?
GB – Absolutely, Having kids changes the way you approach a lot of things in life. Having my family at the racetrack is exciting for me, they aren’t always able to be there but when they are it is very special and exciting for me. It has changed a lot of things I do on and off the race track. The most fun is seeing the development every week of something new. From her learning how to talk and get what she wants to picking up a bag and putting it on her shoulder – it’s very special.
MC – Lastly, as a soldier in the army I wanted to thank you for what you and the NASCAR community does for our soldiers. From having us there at the pre-race ceremonies to just the simple shout-out to us at home and overseas means a lot because too often, especially when we are deployed, we wonder if people back here remember or care about us.
GB – We are so thankful for what all the men and women do for our country to defend our freedom. I had some of the most fun of my career driving the National Guard car and spending time with the troops and experiencing all that they had to offer.
The NASCAR community and its drivers are more than just a bunch of Southern guys that like to drive fast, like Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights. These are hard-working people who do a great deal for their communities and the various charities they support. If you want to learn more about the things that they are doing you can visit www.nascar.com/unites or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NASCARUnites.