Greg Biffle has been riding high this season with his outstanding consistency and performance on the track. The No. 16 team has two wins this season, 10 top-five, 14 top-10 finishes, and he is currently leading the championship standings for the second time this season.
Although Biffle is undoubtedly one of the top drivers this season, his efforts were momentarily swept under the table when Dale Earnhardt Jr. and then five-time champion Jimmie Johnson took the points lead from him. Johnson held the lead for a short amount of time, but Biffle soared to victory lane once again at Michigan just one week later.
Media, as well as fans, almost forgot about the former trucks and Nationwide champion after he lost the Sprint Cup championship lead the first time several weeks ago. Most expected the No. 16 team to make the Chase this year, but most wouldn’t have predicted that Biffle would be the leader heading into it. Biffle took part in a media teleconference earlier this week, and spoke on this and a number of other issues.
“Well, I’ll tell you what: We've got a couple races left, but to lead the points for the second time this season, it feels really good,” Biffle said this week. “It feels kind of gratifying, satisfying that we've been able to do that. Obviously when Jimmie Johnson got the lead after Pocono, he took great pride, and so did the media and everybody else, to point the fact out that the 48 team is back and all the things that come with it.
“So you know, I think that I feel good for myself and my team, more importantly, and my crew chief Matt Puccia, they've done a tremendous job with pit stops and giving me the cars it takes to compete and lead the points.
“I think that we have a strong chance at the title this year. And I mean, hey, we all understand the wheels could fall off this thing the first or second Chase race, and who knows what can happen. We've seen from one extreme to the other. But we're certainly proud of where we're at right now.”
Biffle has been the point’s leader after 13 of the 24 races this season, nearly double that of any other driver. Biffle has been ranked in the top three among drivers for all but one week of the season, which is the best of any driver this season.
In two weeks the points standings will be reset for the Chase according to drivers with the most wins this season. If the No. 16 team does not score another victory before the Chase cut-off at Richmond, they will be pushed to fifth position in points, behind three-time winners Johnson, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, and Tony Stewart.
As of now, Biffle would start the Chase in fifth position, and his statistics at the Chase tracks give him a positive outlook. Over the 19 times that Biffle has raced at Loudon, the second race on the Chase schedule, he has led a total of 86 laps with one win, five top-5, and seven top-10 finishes. Dover is another track that has been good to Biffle, with two wins and six top-five finishes. Charlotte Motor Speedway holds eight top-five finishes and an average finish of 15th position.
Kansas has held good fortune for the Roush Fenway driver, with two wins and seven top-five finishes out of the 12 times he has raced at the track. Biffle has two wins at Texas Motor Speedway, with seven top-five finishes. He has started in the top-five seven times at TMS and led a whopping 732 laps. Phoenix should be another good race for Biffle as he has led 349 laps at the track, with five top-five finishes.
Moving on to Homestead, the last race in the Chase, Biffle has three consecutive wins at this track, from 2004 to 2006.
The only tracks that the team should be concerned for are Chicago, Talladega, and Martinsville. Biffle has only one top-five at Chicago and an average finish of 18th position. Talladega is another unfortunate track for Biffle with an average finish of 19th and only two top-five finishes. He has led only 21 laps at Martinsville in his 19 races at the track, with an average finish of 21st position.
The highest Biffle has finished in the points standings is runner up to Stewart in 2005.
"I don't think about it week to week because it consumes me when I do think about it or talk about it, or daydream about it for five or 10 minutes,'' Biffle said. "It is always right there when somebody mentions it but I am just thinking about how can I win this year? How can I do it?
"I don't want to jinx myself, but I have a spot picked out and have always said that I am going to build a trophy case with the center [trophy] missing. ... I am going to make it a special place when I do have the third one. I will proudly display my trophies.''
If Biffle continues his dominating performance this season and goes on to win the Sprint Cup Championship, he would become the first NASCAR driver in history to win championships in all three series.