NASCAR Race Weekend Central

2011 NASCAR Driver Review: Greg Biffle

Greg Biffle

2011 Ride: No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford
2011 Primary Sponsor: 3M
2011 Owner: Jack Roush
2011 Crew Chiefs: Greg Erwin (Feb. – July); Matt Puccia (July – Nov.)
2011 Stats: 36 starts, 0 wins, 3 top fives, 10 top 10s, 2 DNFs, 16th in points

High Point: Re-signing with the team. Back in April, Biffle and Roush Fenway Racing agreed to and announced a multi-year contract extension that also included sponsor 3M returning as a sponsor on the car. The team focused on the remainder of the year with optimism as they had struggled up to that point in the season.

Low Point: Losing crew chief Greg Erwin. Even with the positive attitudes surrounding the team after Biffle and 3M re-signed, their numbers never really improved. After only 18 races in the season, Erwin was replaced by Paul Menard’s former Nationwide Series crew chief Matt Puccia. Erwin had been with Biffle since June of 2007, and the two won a total of six races together. In the 18 races Puccia served as crew chief, Biffle finished in the top 10 only five times.

Summary: Statistically, 2011 was one of Biffle’s worst seasons since he began racing full-time in 2003. 2011 was the first year in which Biffle finished outside the top 15 points since his sophomore season in 2004, and only his second winless season.

He did come close to a victory on a few occasions, however. Biffle led a handful of laps in both the Michigan and Charlotte races but for a variety of reasons was unable to seal the deal. Without any victories for a wildcard and sitting outside the top 12 in points, Biffle was ineligible for a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup for the fourth time in his career and he was forced to watch two of his three teammates finish in the top five in points. While the season could have been worse, it certainly isn’t what anyone expected from the Washington native.

Team Ranking: Third. Two of Biffle’s teammates — Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards — finished in the top five in points with Edwards finishing second in a tiebreaker for the championship. Meanwhile, David Ragan, who is not expected to race for the organization in 2012, finished 23rd.

Off-Track News: Biffle and his wife Nicole welcomed their first child into the world last July. Emma Elizabeth was born July 6, weighing in at 6 lbs, 7 oz.

2012 Outlook: Biffle will continue to work alongside Puccia in the 2012 season, though with one less teammate to share information with since Ragan will no longer drive for the team. With 3M returning for three more years, Biffle has all the resources behind him needed to get back in contention for victories and a championship. Biffle is still the only driver who can claim a Truck Series and Nationwide Series title and could still become the first driver to win a championship in all three.

Though 2011 was pretty poor in terms of performance for Biffle, it’s unlikely that he’ll stay down for long. Expect him to win at least a couple of races next season and most likely make the Chase.

2006 Frontstretch Grade: C
2007 Grade: C
2008 Grade: A-
2009 Grade: B
2010 Grade: B+
2011 Grade: C

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