2007 Ride: No. 16 Ford
2007 Owner: Roush Fenway Racing
2007 Crew Chief: Pat Tryson (Feb. – May), Greg Erwin (May – present)
Stats: 36 races, one win, five top fives, 11 top 10s, 14th in points.
High Point: Biffle’s only win of 2007 came relatively late in the season – race number 29 of 36 – and was marred by controversy. The Lifelock 400 at Kansas Speedway was interrupted twice by rain delays and shortened by 85 miles due to impending darkness. When it finally finished under caution, NASCAR declared Biffle the winner – but other drivers, including Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer argued that Biffle should not have won because he failed to maintain a reasonable speed after the caution came out. Turned out the No. 16 car may have run out of fuel, and some think he coasted to the line with nothing in the tank when he should have been passed under yellow. Still, the victory ended a 28-race winless streak for Biffle. Off the track, Biffle married long-term girlfriend Nicole Lunders in October.
Low Point: Five DNFs – three for crashes and two for mechanical issues – and eight races with finishes of 30th or worse managed to offset Biffle’s 11 top 10s – even with that win in Kansas and second-place finishes at Dover and Phoenix. Biffle was also unable to make it four in a row at Homestead, finishing 13th in the season finale that he had won the three previous years.
Summary: Biffle was pretty vocal about the fact that he felt Roush Fenway’s Car of Tomorrow program was not where it needed to be, particularly in the first half of the season. Ford in general has had a rough time competing with GM, and this was especially true in the CoT. On the plus side, Biffle did win a race and landed a new sponsor for 2008 with 3M, who signed a multi-year partnership with his team in October. Once appearing to be the odd man out in the team’s future plans, Biffle is on the verge of signing a contract extension to be with them for a long time to come.
2008 Outlook: Until the other car manufacturers catch up with GM, it will be hard for anyone in a Ford, Dodge or Toyota to take the title next year. But Biffle has proven in the past that he can wheel a racecar and he has as good a shot as anyone to win races and at least make the Chase next season.
2006 Frontstretch Grade: C
2007 Grade: C
Editor’s Note: The 2007 season is over, and even the Final Chase exam has come to a close – which means it’s time to give each driver their annual year-end evaluation. For the second straight year, your favorite Frontstretch staff members are giving driver reviews for every full-time wheelman on the circuit, giving you insight into the seasons of anyone from AJ Allmendinger to JJ Yeley.