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Jay Busbee

Greg Biffle, the invisible championship contender

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Greg Biffle, he can't get no respect. Dude sits in fifth place in the NASCAR standings -- down from within striking distance of the lead for most of the first few weeks -- and yet nobody's talking about him. It's all "Jimmie Johnson this" and "Kevin Harvick that" and "oooh, look at how Jeff Gordon and Denny Hamlin are charging!" -- both of whom, it must be noted, sit behind Biffle in the standings.

So what's up with the lack of Biffi-spect? Why can't The Biffster get any love from the fans or the media? Well, probably because he falls square into the NASCAR limelight dead zone. To get noticed, you've either got to win big (Jimmie Johnson, Jamie McMurray), have a good backstory (Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr.) or pick fights with the media (Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart). Biffle does none of these; he simply collects strong finishes -- seven top-10s in the first 10 races of the season -- and lightly jabs at the media. (He's taken to asking questioners if they've filled out their census forms yet, and offered to bring the slackers an extra copy from his hauler.)

Still, there's hope for Biffle. He owns two wins at Darlington, in 2005 and 2006. He's acknowledged that it's a difficult track for him, but if he can pursue his characteristic recent keep-his-head-down strategy, he could come through with his first win since 2008.

And maybe then we'd have something Biffle-riffic to talk about. (Biffle-icious? Biffle-acious? Help me out here ...)

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