Going into the 2012 season, I believe it was expected that Roush Fenway Racing driver Greg Biffle would rebound after a rough 2011, but I don't think anyone thought Biffle would be leading the points after five races.
In five races this season, Biffle has four top-10s and started the season with three straight third place finishes.
Now, there are drivers every year that start off the season fast, but the key is keeping the momentum.
Biffle talked about that during a NASCAR teleconference.
I've had a lot of success and I've had a lot of failure in racing over the years. So, you know, we're focused and prepared, getting prepared every week, to go do the best we can. I know, and probably the team knows, it's obvious or it's clear, we won't lead the points the entire season, okay, or up to the Chase, however you want to say it. Hopefully we're leading at Homestead or after Homestead.
Biffle has to make sure to keep things in perspective, which he is doing. He knows that he won't lead the points all year long. That's just a very tough feat. He knows that his team needs to stay focus, work hard and make sure they lead the points after Homestead.
I believe a big part of Greg Biffle's success this season is getting more experience in building a relationship with crew chief Matt Puccia. They have been working together for less than a whole season, but they seem to get better every race.
Biffle attributes to his success to Puccia during the teleconference:
I'll tell you what, in my opinion, I'm a little prejudiced, but he's working harder than anybody in the garage, all 43 or 42 other crew chiefs. I feel like he's working the hardest.
When he does win, when we win here hopefully in the near future, it will be well-deserved.
To answer your question, I think he's totally capable of winning a championship. Very good under pressure, is not going to waiver from his plan, and his stuff is going to be the best prepared out of the 43 cars when it shows up.
That trust is going to be vital to the No. 16 car's success going into the Chase. Working through any kind of problems and doing it fast is what separates contenders from pretenders.
This weekend's race is going to be a real test for Biffle and Puccia.
Martinsville has not been too friendly to Greg Biffle. Biffle has only two top-10 finishes in his Sprint Cup Series career at Martinsville. Biffle is going to have to step up his game find his way to a good finish.
When asked about Martinsville, Biffle said:
I want a grandfather clock so bad, I got a spot picked out for it (laughter). Let's face it. You look at the stats, Martinsville hasn't been our best place as a company, let alone me as a driver of the 16 team. Although I've run very well there in the Trucks and Nationwide, qualified third, ran good.
I feel a lot more confident about Texas or Kansas, Talladega, of going out and dominating or running like Tony's ran than Martinsville. But I'm not saying we can't get it done there either. We feel like we can as a team, and I can't wait to go there. I'm excited. I like challenges, and Martinsville is going to be a challenge for us. I'm ready to go there today.
So watch for how Biffle does this weekend in Martinsville. I expect Biffle to get his fifth top-10 of the season.
Now the question will be when will Greg Biffle get a win?
Fortunately his good runs are keeping him up front in points, but Biffle needs to win to be a championship contender.
Hugo Olguin is a Contributor for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.