The only thing Greg Biffle, driver of the Rousch Fenway #16 3M Ford Fusion, and the current Sprint Cup points leader hasn’t done at this point in his very successful career, is win a Cup Championship. Greg has been in front for the most part of the season, but has found his lead dwindling. The 42 year old driver from Vancouver, Washington is in a steady slide in the standings.
Biffle has been competitive almost every year he has been in Sprint Cup. He finished tied for second place with teammate Carl Edwards in 2005, and as did Carl Edwards, losing to Tony Stewart. He finished with three top ten efforts in 2008, 2009, 2010, but never wining the hardware.
Greg Biffle broke onto Nascar’s Craftsman Truck Series in 1998 through a connection with Benny Parsons, and Grainger’s entry into the sport. They wanted a young driver they could grow with, and Greg Biffle was their guy.
He would finish second in series points in 1999 just 8 points out of the lead. The 2000 campaign was Greg’s finest in the Truck Series. In 24 races, he won 5 races, finished in the top 5 and top 10 eighteen times en-route to giving Jack Rousch his first Championship in any Nascar series.
In 1998, he won the Busch Raybestos Rookie of the Year award, and a Busch Series Most Popular Driver award in 2002.
Greg has a couple of issues to deal with if he wants to get to the top at the Sprint Cup level. Although he runs very well on the 1.5 mile D-Ovals,and has 16 wins on these tracks, he doesn’t do well on the short tracks, or restrictor plate tracks. His only victory on those type of tracks was a Pepsi 400 win at Daytona in July of 2003.
His lead in the points, this year, has steadily eroded since his win at Texas at the Samsung Mobil 500 in April. His only finishes all year out of the Top 10, have been at Bristol, Richmond and Martinsville. He narrowly missed a top 10 at Darlington where he ran very strong early in the race, after starting on the pole for the second time in 2012. He has never won on a short track or road course.
The other factor that seems to be an obstacle to Greg Biffle getting a Sprint Cup title this year is history. A Ford has not won a Championship in this series since winning two in a row, at the end of the 2003 and 2004 seasons. These were won by Rousch teammates Matt Kennseth and Kurt Busch. This was of course while Ford Teams were still running the Taurus, before Nascar mandated the Car OF Tomorrow.
The Fords came close last season, as Carl Edwards just wasn’t able to deny Tony Stewart his third Championship, losing the closest finish in Nascar history. Of course, Jimmie Johnson and the Hendricks bunch dominated for half of the decade with five in a row.
Although Greg Biffle has run strong all year, I don’t think a championship is in the future for the #16 car this year. With Jimmie Johnson on a roll again, and the pure strength of the Chevy’s, There are just too many obstacles for him to overcome so he can lift that trophy at Homestead in October.
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