Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 4/17/12
You know, Greg Biffle has been around for quite awhile. The Biff, as we call him, is a Washington-state native who came from the short tracks of the Northwest. Benny Parsons is given credit for discovering Greg during the 1995/1996 Winter Heat series. Benny called car owner Jack Roush and told him be better take a look at this kid. In 1998, Biffle won rookie of the year honors in the Camping World Truck Series and won the championship there two years later. In 2001, after taking his career to the next level, Greg was the rookie of the year in the Nationwide Series. In 2002, he won the Nationwide Series championship and became the first driver in NASCAR history to win championships in those two series. Then after moving up to NASCAR's premier series, Greg won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway in 2003. Then 2005 was the breakout year for Greg in the Cup series. He won five times in the first 15 races. He ended up getting his sixth win that year at Homestead and finished second in the points to champion Tony Stewart. I've always called Greg a "wheel man." I love watching him on the in-car camera because he holds that wheel at the nine and three positions, which is dramatically different than others who drive with their hands normally at the 10 and two positions. He just wheels away like only the Biff can. The one thing you never have to worry about with Greg Biffle is whether he is giving you 100 percent all the time. That's just the way he is - all out, all the time. He gives you all he's got. There are also some interesting things about Greg that I don't think a lot of people know. His middle name is Jack - which I found ironic since his team owner is Jack Roush. He grew up in Camas, Wash., and actually at one point in his career he took up open-wheel racing. In 1990, he started driving in the Barber Pro Series. In 1994, Greg actually moved to Europe and drove in the Formula Opel Euroseries and British Formula 3 the following year. It was his love of stock-car racing that brought him back to the United States. I didn't know that about Greg, but now it explains to me why he wheels the car the way he does. I think the Biff as really at his best when he is slingin' a car around the track and just manhandling it. One of the biggest positives I have seen out of Greg is the chemistry he and his crew chief Matt Puccia have. They've been together less than a year, with Matt replacing Greg Erwin after the July Kentucky race last year. The cars are fast and handling well. Matt is making great calls in the pits. The pit crew is performing flawlessly. Quite honestly, this is the best I have seen Greg Biffle look in his Cup career. Saturday night was a little out of character for Greg. As I mentioned, he is normally flat-out every lap. Saturday night I saw the maturity of Greg as he waited for the right moment to make his move on Jimmie Johnson. Jimmie led a lot of laps and had a very fast race car, but I was wondering if Greg had anything left for Jimmie. He stalked Jimmie and when it came time he passed Jimmie and drove away. Jimmie had some issues with Ryan Newman, who was a lapped car and eventually got into the wall but Jimmie did still manage to come home in second place. Greg was patient, he waited for his opportunity and then he pounced. What an awesome run he had. Now he has his first win of the year. He already has a pole position and now after seven races he has five top-10 finishes plus a 19-point lead over his teammate Matt Kenseth. Greg Biffle is making an early-season statement that he is going to be really hard to beat and someone you'll have to contend with for the championship. So I just wanted to make sure everyone gave Greg the credit he is due. He's a really great guy. He's popular. He does a lot for our sport both on and off the track. He and his wife Nicole founded the Greg Biffle Foundation in 2005 to promote awareness and be a voice in advocating treatment of animals. They grant money to a lot of humane societies and animal shelters from coast to coast. I look for Greg and all the Roush Fenway cars to be good again Sunday at Kansas. He'll have plenty of competition, though. I think the Hendrick cars will be tough. My brother's cars are running really well. He's got two cars in the top 10 in points right now. I also think Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch will be tough Sunday. I look for Tony Stewart to rebound from Texas this weekend, where he was never a factor. Mile-and-a-half tracks have pretty much been his bread-and-butter tracks. Saturday night at Texas was just ugly for Tony. Both Stewart-Haas racing cars really, really struggled. Actually Saturday night's race seemed to be a little saner than normal. I really think driving at 200 mph hour and having a 40-knot tailwind pushing you into the turn made guys play it a little more cautious than usual at Texas. We only had two cautions and the race was at a record-setting pace. I give NASCAR a lot of credit because they could have thrown more cautions. For instance when the No. 21 of Trevor Bayne hit the wall again or when the No. 48 of Jimmie Johnson did. NASCAR could have thrown the yellow flag and simply said there was debris out there. It didn't and let the race take its course and didn't alter the outcome with a yellow flag. You also have to feel for Marcos Ambrose. I really think what happened to David Reutimann at Martinsville affected the decision that Marcos made at Texas. He was having a great run and was in the top five all night at Texas. Unfortunately, he ran out of gas on the last lap. Instead of coasting across the finish line, Marcos came down pit road with the checkered flag in the air. Unfortunately, coming to pit road, he was speeding and got a speeding penalty. Had he stayed on the track and just coasted around, he would have finished something like ninth. Instead though, he came to pit road, got the speeding penalty and finished in 20th spot being one lap down. He did the right thing, but it cost him. Again, I think him seeing what happened to David at Martinsville, when he stayed on the track and his car stalled and caused a caution period, affected his decision. I mentioned the Hendrick cars - they had all four cars finish in the top 10 Saturday night. No one needed those finishes more than Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne. Kasey took that Texas momentum straight to Rockingham on Sunday for the track's inaugural Truck race. Andy Hillenburg has done a wonderful job of bringing The Rock back from the dead. It paid off big-time Sunday when the Camping World Truck Series raced there. Kasey won in his No. 4 truck. I really appreciate what Andy has done at Rockingham. It was another positive step for one of our NASCAR series and tracks. I look for Kasey to combine his great Saturday-night finish with his Sunday win and roll into Kansas wanting to keep the momentum going. Over on the Nationwide side of things, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. got his second win of the season for Jack Roush. He's a great young man and I know Jack is just looking for a way to get him into a Cup car soon. Ricky will make a great addition to the Cup series. I'd also love to see Jack's other driver, Trevor Bayne, get a full-time sponsor so that Trevor can run full time in both series. Ricky and Trevor are glimpses of our NASCAR future. They both have bright careers ahead of them in the Cup series. Our sport always evolves and people want to know where the next stars are going to come from. Those two are ready. You have Richard Childress' grandkids, Ty and Austin Dillon, on the radar now. The future of NASCAR is quite bright and it's exciting to watch these guys develop, hone their craft and move up eventually to the ranks of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. But for today, everyone really better keep their eye on that No. 16 car, because Greg Biffle is on a roll and he really is an interesting guy.
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