One week after dominating the last quarter of the race and claiming the checkered flag at Kansas Speedway, Greg Biffle and his 3M team are heading to Auto Club Speedway in search of winning back-to-back Chase races for the second time in his career.
Last week at Kansas, after green flag pit stops with about 30 laps to go, Biffle came out over five seconds ahead of then second place Tony Stewart. He never looked back.
He ended up stretching his lead and parlayed that into a victory of nearly eight seconds over Jimmie Johnson.
The victory should come as no surprise, as Kansas has always been a good track for Biffle. In Biffle's nine career starts at Kansas, he now has six top 10 finishes, including two wins. Aside from his 36th place finish in his first year of part-time Cup racing, his worst finish at Kansas is 12th.
This weekend, riding a nice wave of momentum, Biffle comes to Auto Club Speedway, where earlier in the season he posted a top 10 finish. The way he has been running recently, more specifically at the intermediate tracks, Biffle should be at the top of everyone's watch list again this weekend.
According to Biffle, "Ever since Chicago, our mile and a half and two mile program has been super strong." He admitted that as a team, they may be a little bit behind on the short tracks but added, "As far as the bigger and faster places, I think that we are right in line with everybody else."
While confidence in Biffle's camp is high coming off a dominant victory and going to a track that he really enjoys running at, Biffle is still aware of the challenges that are still to come. He was quick to point out that Phoenix and Martinsville are the two tracks remaining that worry him the most.
"It seems like with our cars, when we get to racetracks that don't have the sheer speed, slower center of the corner racetracks, we haven't been as good as our competition," Biffle said. But he feels that as long as the team continues to work hard at improving at those places and can continue to be one of the dominant cars at the larger tracks, they have just as good a chance as anyone to win the championship.
That confidence is further heightened knowing that he has two teammates in the Chase that he feels comfortable sharing information and setups with. Biffle said that it is very important to him and his team to be able to know both Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth's driving styles because by knowing that, it allows him to be able to make changes to the setup of his car based on what his teammates are doing.
With many factors clearly on Biffle's side at the moment, there is no reason to think that this couldn't be his year. He has, after all, been here before. Biffle finished runner-up to Tony Stewart in 2005 while winning a series-high six races, and in 2008, Biffle finished third in the year-end standings. Facing the pressures of the Chase is nothing new for Greg.
Lost in the shuffle of Biffle's chase to be a Sprint Cup Champion is the fact that Biffle is chasing a little history as well. Should Biffle win the Sprint Cup this season, he would be the only driver in NASCAR history to win a championship in all three top series.
The chance to make some history is not lost on Biffle. "It would mean so much to me to win the Sprint Cup title. It would be my third title in NASCAR, with one in each series," said Biffle. He then added, "But just to win the Sprint Cup title, so much goes with that. It would be a dream come true for me."
So, with only seven races remaining on the schedule the Chase for the Championship is definitely still wide open. The top 11 in the standings are only separated by 149 points, and one mistake this late in the season could easily put an end to someone's hopes.
While everyone is currently chasing Jimmie Johnson, if things continue right where they left off last week at Kansas, it won't be very long until they are all chasing Greg Biffle. If that becomes the case, the history books will need to be rewritten.
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