By admin | January 8, 2013
Â By Richard Allen
Throughout the month of January, I will be running a series on the 12 drivers I am predicting to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup during the 2013 NASCAR season. The first eleven articles will be placed in no particular order but the final piece written in the series will be on the driver I am selecting as the favorite to win this year’s championship. Half of these pieces will be placed on my own RacingWithRich.com site and half will be placed on BleacherReport.com. Please consider following along on both websites and adding your own thoughts in the “comments” sections below each piece.
The 2012 Sprint Cup season wasÂ certainly a solid one if not spectacularÂ for driver Greg Biffle. While qualifying for the Chase for the Sprint Cup is certainly regarded in modern day NASCAR as a measuring stick for success, the Vancouver, Washington native’s overall campaign was marked by a number of competitive runs.
Biffle scored two wins(Texas & Michigan) during the course of the season and piled up a total of 21 top-10 results along with capturing three poles in 2012. However, those good finishes were offset by just enoughÂ mediocre efforts to prevent him fromÂ winning a coveted title.
AfterÂ earning a spot inÂ the Chase, Biffle’s first three runs within the playoff resulted in finishes outside the top-10 which left the driver and crew of the No. 16 Roush Fenway Ford scrambling to make up ground over the final seven events. Six top-10s over those final seven races proved only good enough to get ‘The Biff’ back to 5th place in the final Sprint Cup rundown.
â€œWeâ€™ve accomplished a good amount, but we still need to take it to the next step to be able to run for the championship at the end of the season,â€ crew chief Matt Puccia said in an interview last season. â€œIt would be most rewarding at the end of the day to be able to give Greg his first championship in Sprint Cup.â€
In 2013, Biffle will be looked to by RFR for even better results. Last year’s driver lineup for that organization seemed to be a formidable one going into the season. Now however, Matt Kenseth has departed for Joe Gibbs Racing and has been replaced by former Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Carl Edwards went winless in 2012 despite big expectations.
Biffle believes Puccia’s leadership will continue to make a difference for his team in the future. â€œWeâ€™ve got a great group of guys,” the driver said.Â ”They build better cars. Our cars are coming out of the race shop better set up, better quality, the engines are really, really good. And the confidence of the team was huge when we started this season and itâ€™s shown that our performance has been right there as well.â€
Ford added Penske Racing to the fold for the upcoming season which should boost the entire program for those who drive the ‘Blue Oval’ brand. As a result of a constantly improving team and more input from others driving Fords, Biffle will post another solid season which will likely produce a couple of race wins and a number of top-10 finishes.
Greg BiffleÂ will make the Chase for the Sprint Cup playoff in 2013. But, he is not my pick to win the big trophy.
NASCAR 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup Contender: Kyle Busch http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1461466-nascar-2013-chase-for-the-sprint-cup-contender-kyle-busch
NASCAR 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup Contender: Kasey Kahne http://racingwithrich.com/?p=1982
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