Biffle has work to do

Being a little better than last year is not good enough

Staff WriterJune 28, 2009 

— Is Roush Fenway Racing in a slump?

Greg Biffle sure doesn't hope so.

Roush's five Sprint Cup Series teams last season racked up 11 wins. This year, those same teams have two -- both from Matt Kenseth, who won the season's first two races.

However, of those wins last season, nine came from Carl Edwards, and two from Biffle. Biffle's wins didn't come until the 27th and 28th races of the year, the first two races in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

While Edwards' No. 99 Ford team seems to be missing something from last season, Biffle's No.16 is performing at the same level or better heading into today's Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

"I would say a lot of the 'W's' came at the hands of [Edwards'] team last season. So, if you're going to give the company the credit for one team's worth of wins, that's terrific, but we didn't get to Victory Lane until the start of the Chase last season," Biffle's crew chief, Greg Erwin said. "The company seems down, I guess, on average, but we've had instances of worse luck this year across the board.

"Speaking specifically for the No. 16 team, I feel as though at this point in the season we are more competitive and better than we were last season."

Through 16 races, Biffle has led 354 laps. He led only 465 in 36 races during 2008. In 2009, Biffle has five top-five and eight top-10 finishes. He had the same number of top-fives and one less top-10 at this point last season.

"We're running really well, and I feel like we're just as capable [of winning races]," said Biffle, who will start eighth today. "If you look across our organization, our season has been a tick better than all the other guys compared to last year. Carl was winning a lot of races and whatnot and then us kind of coming on late in the season."

While Biffle has been in contention for wins this season, he has been unable to further solidify a spot in the 12-driver Chase without them. He is 78 points ahead of 13th-place Kasey Kahne.

That leaves a small working margin, but with 10 races remaining until the Chase field is set, there is plenty of time for circumstances to change.

jutter@charlotteobserver.com or 704-358-5113

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