this week in nascar

by Monte Dutton

Biffle is racing as hard as he can

This hasn’t been the season Greg Biffle expected, though he certainly has time to pick up the pieces. The 39-year-old Biffle didn’t win during the 2008 regular season, but after making the Chase, proceeded to win its first two races. He wound up third in the Sprint Cup standings. For now, Biffle’s first priority is making the Chase, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to back off. “We’re certainly not racing conservatively,” he said. “We’re racing to win, but we’re not going to do anything stupid.

“We know we have to stay in [the top 12 in order to qualify for the Chase]. It’s tight… and we’re doing all we can do.” Roush Fenway Racing put Biffle in what was then still the Winston Cup Series back in 2003. He finished second in the Chase standings two years later. A year ago, three Roush Fenway drivers — Biffle, Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth — made the Chase. They could do it again, but the positions of Biffle and Kenseth are hardly secure as the regular season enters its final four races. “We’re just going to have to be better,” said Biffle. “We know that. We’re nervous about getting in [the Chase], and anything can happen…. There are some races we’re concerned about leading up to the cutoff (end of the regular season), and we know we’re on the bubble, so it’s important to have good finishes right now.” Biffle, from Vancouver, Wash., is one of only two drivers to have won championships in both the Nationwide and Camping World Truck series. (Johnny Benson is the other.) Biffle also was rookie of the year in both series. He came up through NASCAR’s developmental system, winning track championships early in his career at Tri-City Raceway in West Richland, Wash., and Portland (Ore.) Speedway. “Really, we’re working as hard as we can every week to bring the best race cars we can to the track,” said Biffle. “It’s important that we have the best possible equipment right now. “We’re racing as hard as we can. We’re not taking big risks, but, at the same time, we’re racing for the win.” Monte Dutton has covered motorsports for The Gaston (NC) Gazette since 1993. He was named writer of the year by the National Motorsports Press Association in 2008. His blog NASCAR This Week ( features all of his reporting on racing, roots music and life on the road. E-mail Monte at nascar_ Copyright 2009 King Features Syndicate

Roush Fenway driver Greg Biffle says his first priority is makingthe Chase, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to back off. (photo GettyImages)