A little over a month ago, Greg Biffle’s chances of making the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup were looking shaky at best. He ranked 19th on the Chase grid following Indianapolis and faced added pressure to perform after it was announced Carl Edwards would leave Roush Fenway Racing.
Since then, Biffle has been a model of consistency, stringing together five consecutive top-10 finishes to thrust himself into the 16th and final spot on the grid with a cushy 23-point lead over Clint Bowyer entering the final regular season race at Michigan.
If there is a repeat victor, or if Matt Kenseth or Ryan Newman wins, Biffle is guaranteed a spot in the Chase if he finishes 22nd or better, 23rd with at least one lap led, or 24th and the most laps led. If there is a new winner – other than Kenseth or Newman – Biffle needs to beat Newman by 19 points and stay ahead of Bowyer and Kyle Larson. A new winner would be a nightmare scenario for Biffle. Unless, of course, Biffle is that new winner.
Biffle won’t be resting easy. Although 10 of the previous 12 races entering Atlanta were won by repeat winners, Kasey Kahne proved how unpredictable this season has become. Furthermore, Bowyer showed that a collapse can happen when his 31-point hold on the Chase’s 15th spot turned into a 23-point deficit with him on the outside looking in
Richmond hasn’t been too kind to Biffle either. In 24 starts in Virginia’s capital, Biffle has produced just two top fives and an average finish of 16.9.
If Biffle survives, he would make the Chase for the sixth time in seven years.