KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Greg Biffle's the points leader. He has five top-10 finishes in seven races. His lowest finish of the year is 13th. Yet he says he still views himself as the underdog, not only in the entire Sprint Cup Series, but on his three-car team, Roush Fenway Racing.
"No, I still think the 99 is the number one team at Roush," Biffle said Friday at Kansas Speedway. "I'm the underdog."
The 99 is Carl Edwards, who finished second in the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup to Tony Stewart. Edwards also re-signed with the team during the 2011 season with his new contract containing many incentives. The other driver at Roush is Matt Kenseth, the 2003 champion and the only driver on the team to have a Sprint Cup Series championship.
Last year, Biffle finished 16th in the points standings, his worst points finish since 2004. It was also the first time since 2007 that one of the three drivers missed the Chase — a testament to the recent success of the existing three Roush teams and drivers.
And that success may make ranking the Roush drivers an exercise in semantics only. Edwards has 19 Cup wins in 272 starts. Kenseth has 22 (in 443 starts) and Biffle has 17 (in 337 starts) — a nearly identical win rate. Could Biffle's statement simply be a motivational ploy after missing the Chase last year? He says he feels better than he has in the past five seasons, and the mistakes that plagued his 2011 have vanished so far in 2012.
"I feel an urgency because I'm ready to win it, but that's really, to me, about it," Biffle said. "I feel great. I feel better than I ever have in these past five seasons with the way our team is and how competitive we are and how I'm driving the car and how I feel personally. Yeah, I think anybody feels the urgency to want to win it and, obviously, some day I'm not going to be doing this anymore."