Jul 25, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Greg Biffle (16) during practice for the Crown Royal Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
With the recent news of driver changes at Roush-Fenway Racing (Goodbye Carl Edwards, hello Trevor Bayne), Greg Biffle will himself be the veteran racer of the organization next season. True, the old man, Mark Martin, is back with the Cat in the Hat, but only as a driving coach this time round.
What better time than now to take a look back at the career of the man in the #16 Ford Fusion.
The Washington native has spent a staggering 16 years driving for Jack (and his hat) in the top three divisions of NASCAR.
According to Biography.com, Biffle first caught the eye of the late racing legend Benny Parsons in late 1995 while racing in the NASCAR Winter Heat Series. Parsons gave a heads up to car-owner Jack Roush to hire the young man while he could, or else be forced to watch him win races driving for a competitor.
Beginning in 1998, Biffle started driving full-time in the Craftsman Truck Series for, well, you guessed it, Roush Racing (pre-Fenway days).
1998: In his first year, despite going without a victory, Biffle recorded a rookie record four pole positions. The final tally found him with eight top-five and 12 top 10 finishes. He earned Rookie of the Year honors at the end of the season.
1999: Biffle had no problems finding victory lane in his sophomore year. Nine times the Biff took the checkered flag in first, although he would lose out to Jack Sprague in the final standings.
2000: Biffle added five more wins in the Craftsman Truck Series, and this time a championship to boot, beating out the elder Las Vegas brother, Kurt Busch.
2001: After three very successful seasons in the Truck Series, the obvious next move was a drive in the then named Busch (Nationwide) Series. Biffle found little to no growing pains when he recorded an astounding five wins, 16 top fives, and 21 top 10 finishes on his way to Rookie of the Year honors, and fourth in the final points.
2002: With a full season of experience under his belt, Biffle found even greater success in his sophomore effort, totaling four wins, 20 top fives, and 25 top 10 finishes on his way to a Busch Series Championship.
2003: Biffle continues in the Roush organization, now driving in the top Sprint Cup Series. Success would not come so easily, with the #16 team scoring only three top fives, and six top 10 finishes, finishing 20th in the final standings. His biggest day came in the July Daytona race, where he would record his first Sprint Cup Series win, with Benny Parsons making the call in the NBC booth. (Watch the victory lane interview in the video above, around the nine minute mark, to watch a great interaction between Parsons and Biffle)
2004: Hoping to improve his performance in his sophomore effort, while also running a full-time Busch Series Schedule, Biffle took the pole position for the Daytona 500. He would find his second Sprint Cup victory at a track he has performed strongly at throughout his Sprint Cup Career, Michigan International Speedway. His third career win came in the final race of the season at Homestead, where his former Truck Series rival (and 2004 teammate), Kurt Busch, would take home the Sprint Cup Championship.
Jul 26, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Greg Biffle (16) during practice for the Crown Royal Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
2005: Continuing with the momentum gained at the end of the 2004 season, Biffle set the racing world on fire with the beginning of 2005, winning five out of the first 15 races. He would cool off in the win department in the second half of the season, but he remained in the Championship hunt throughout the Chase, scoring his sixth victory of the season, once again winning at Homestead in the season finale. But he would finish second in the standings, 35 points behind Champion Tony Stewart.
2006-2007: Biffle was unable to improve on his 2005 breakout season, failing to qualify for the Chase in both 2006 and 2007, finishing 12th and 14th in the points respectively. He would find victory lane twice in 2006, once at Darlington, and for the third consecutive year, the season finale race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
2008: Biffle would bounce back from his two-year slump in 2008. Although wins were less frequent than his 2005 season, he was able to qualify for the Chase for the first time since that very season. He racked up 12 top fives, and 17 top 10 finishes. And most importantly, he won the first two Chase races (New Hampshire and Dover), enabling him to finish third in the final Cup standings behind Champion Jimmie Johnson.
2009-2010: Biffle would qualify for the Chase for the second consecutive year in 2009, finishing with 10 top fives, and 16 top 10 finishes. He would finish an impressive seventh in the final points. However, he failed to score a victory for the first time in his Sprint Cup career. 2010 brought much of the same performance from the #16 team as in the previous year, but they were able to pull off two victories on his way to a sixth place standing in the points.
2011: In an abysmal year, Biffle and the #16 team never found their footing on the way to three top fives, 10 top 10s, and a 16th place showing in the points, his worst points standing finish in the Sprint Cup Series to date.
2012: With new crew chief Matt Puccia by his side, Biffle made a strong rebound from his poor 2011 performance. He would find victory lane at Texas and Michigan, finishing with 12 top fives, 21 top 10s, and finishing fifth in the final points standings.
Jun 14, 2014; Brooklyn, MI, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Greg Biffle during practice for the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
2013: Biffle would find victory lane once in 2013 at Michigan (for the fourth time in his career). Yet, he would see a drop in his performance from the previous year, finishing with four top fives, and 13 top 10s. Although he would finish a respectable ninth in the final standings.
He is still looking for his first win in 2014, and currently sits 17th in the points.
Sprint Cup Career Wins (As of Brickyard 2014): 19
Career Top Fives: 87
Career Top 10s: 162
And oh yeah, he also made Kevin Harvick really mad once at Bristol.