Biffle joined seven dogs and their accompanying officers from the Fort Worth Police Department K-9 Unit for special narcotic and patrol dog exercises at Texas Motor Speedway. The training session was highlighted by Biffle suiting up in a padded armor “bite suit” as veteran K-9 unit German Shepherds Moro and Rocky attacked the Roush Fenway Racing driver to apprehend him like a suspect.
“I was just hoping he was just going to bite me where the suit was,” Biffle said with a chuckle. “That’s all I was worried about. He wasn’t going to go for the hands or the feet. I did it twice and they asked if I wanted to do it again. I didn’t get bit or fall down… so let’s put it this way, you can play with fire but you are going to get burnt sooner or later.”
It was part of a special “Dog Day Afternoon” media event for the dog-loving Biffle, who also assisted the Dallas-based SPCA of Texas with their fund-raising efforts, as he visited the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex to promote the upcoming NRA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race April 13 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Biffle visited with Fort Worth officers and their respective K-9 dogs – Sergeant Al Norris and Moro; Officer Adrian Tidwell and Rocky; Officer Harald Cussnick and Kelev; Officer Patrick Conaway and Bo; Officer Jerry Dalton and Paxton; Officer Seth Spaun and Lokel; and Officer Michael Zimpelman and Ajax.
Officer Cussnick demonstrated the training techniques that the dogs undergo during their three- to four-month program. Officer Cussnick’s narcotics dog Kelev, a Labrador Retriever, demonstrated her training habits as Biffle learned to show the dog hand commands, verbal commands in German and instructed the dog to detect an illegal substance during a demonstration.
Biffle then showed the courage of a race-car driver by donning the “bite suit” and withstanding the unnerving running attacks by veteran K-9 Unit dogs Moro and Rocky in another exercise. Officer Tidwell, the trainer of the K-9 Unit, then took over from Biffle as rookie K-9 dogs Bo, Ajax and Lokel demonstrated their attack and biting training.
For his work, Officer Cussnick awarded Biffle with a Fort Worth K-9 Unit challenge coin, along with a K-9 unit calendar and FWPD stocking cap.
“It’s incredible to see what dogs can do,” Biffle said. “Their sense of smell and being able to train a dog with commands and being able to say the commands and the dog do it, it’s incredible. For situations like that for these police officers to have a safety net of an animal and to be able to get into places and get people is super important.”
Biffle, who started the Greg Biffle Foundation in 2005 to improve the well-being of animals, helped spread the foundation’s mission by assisting the SPCA of Texas. Biffle, joined by Kevin, a two-month-old Border Collie mix, and Lily, a four-year-old dachshund mix, presented SPCA of Texas Vice President of Communications Maura Davies with an autographed, race-worn firesuit that will be auctioned at the organization’s “Fur Ball” gala held in September.
Biffle’s passion to ensure the well-being of animals stems from a news story he came across several years ago and it has served as motivation to this day for him and his foundation.
“There are a lot of cruelty cases with animals and you have to have a strong stomach for this story,” Biffle said. “We saw on the news one night that this lady was breeding Rottweilers in her back yard and she got tired of doing it and wanted to get rid of the pets. So she poured gasoline on them and lit them on fire to kill them while they were tied to a tree. That was kind of the turning point for me and we started the foundation shortly after that.”
Biffle, the defending winner of the NRA 500, hopes his next visit to Fort Worth includes another visit to Victory Lane. He and his Roush Fenway Racing team have dominated Texas Motor Speedway. Biffle’s victory in last year’s race was his second Sprint Cup Series victory at “The Great American Speedway!” – his first coming in this same annual April event in 2005.
Biffle rides an impressive streak of nine consecutive top-10 finishes at Texas Motor Speedway, the most among active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers. During that span, he has tallied seven top-five finishes and has led in seven of the nine races. His seven career top-10 finishes ranks him fifth among Sprint Cup Series drivers and his 11 top-10 finishes place him in a tie for seventh on the list.
“I love this place,” Biffle said. “I can’t wait to get here. This place is so much fun. I wish we had more race tracks like this. It’s a challenging track. The way the banking falls away coming off of Turn 2 … Turns 3 and 4, the way it kind of gets slick. The way you have to search around for grip. The way corner entry starts to get loose about 20 laps into a run. I just like the challenges of this place.”
Tickets for the NRA 500 Sprint Cup Series race, the first primetime Saturday night race of the 2013 season, are still available by calling the ticket office at (817) 215-8500 or by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com.