Title: NASCAR Sprint Cup driver
Greg Biffle enjoys being known as a two-time NASCAR champion, but he would be even happier if that two is replaced by a three.
With a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship to his credit in 2000 and a NASCAR Busch Series title in 2002 also on his resume, Biffle is in position to become the first driver to win the top trophy in all three of NASCAR’s elite divisions.
He’s been close to achieving that feat twice, including last season when he started the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with two straight victories before eventually finishing third to Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards.
Biffle became the darkhorse in last year’s title race as he began the final 10-race chase in ninth place after the points were reset. He quickly opened some eyes by winning at Loudon and Dover to close within 10 points of first place. Biffle ran third at Kansas, but when Edwards and Johnson were the two who finished ahead of him, he lost ground.
His hopes for the title were damaged one week later when he was involved in a multi-car accident at Talladega that resulted in a 24th-place finish, and even though he ended up with two wins and six top-10s in the chase, he finished 217 points out of first place.
Overall, Biffle had 17 top-10s, 12 top-5s, and two poles in 2008. He has now finished in the top five twice in the last four seasons (second in 2005) and has 11 wins during that stretch.
In six full seasons on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series level, Biffle has 14 wins in addition to 78 top-10s and 47 top-5s, but it’s his overall success in NASCAR that makes him stand apart from many of his other competitors.
Biffle, who has 18 career NASCAR Nationwide victories, competed in 15 series events last year with four top-5 and 10 top-10 finishes to his credit.
Biffle became the first driver in history to win driver championships in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck and what was then known as the NASCAR Busch Series. In addition, he joined a select group of drivers who have won races in all three of NASCAR’s major divisions. Biffle completed the Truck-Busch-Cup trifecta by winning the Pepsi 400 at Daytona in 2003.
That proved to be the high point for Biffle, who ended up his rookie season 20th in the final point standings.
Biffle made his debut at NASCAR’s top level in 2002 when his Roush Racing entry qualified 29th and finished 13th in the NAPA Auto Parts 500 at California Speedway. Following that, Biffle gained further experience as a substitute driver for an injured Bobby Hamilton (four races) and Jerry Nadeau (one race).
Much of Biffle’s success can be traced to good equipment and a solid team, but if it wasn’t for the watchful eye of the late Benny Parsons, he may have never gotten a chance. Parsons watched Biffle compete in the NASCAR Winter Heat Series in the mid-1990’s and personally championed his talents to anyone who would listen. When car owner Jack Roush had an opening for a driver in 1998, he remembered Parsons’ endorsement and hired Biffle to fill out his Truck Series roster.
After winning rookie of the year honors in the 1998 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season, Biffle took the circuit by storm one year later as he won a series-record nine races. Despite that dominance, he finished second in the championship race by eight points to Jack Sprague after being penalized 120 points by NASCAR for an illegal manifold after Las Vegas
—a penalty Roush deemed unfair.
The 2000 season, however, provided no controversy as Biffle dominated on his way to Roush’s first NASCAR championship. He won five races and beat rookie teammate Kurt Busch by 230 points in the final standings.
Biffle’s transition to the Busch Series in 2001 was seamless as he won five races and finished fourth in the point standings while grabbing top rookie honors. In 2002 he won four times en route to a 264-point championship win over fellow Ford driver Jason Keller and gave Ford its first Busch Series title.
Prior to joining Roush, most of Biffle’s racing took place in the great Northwest at places such as Portland Speedway in Oregon and Tri-City Raceway in Washington, where he was the top NASCAR Weekly Racing Series performer in 1997. One year earlier, he was the runner-up for the Pacific Coast championship as he won 27 times in 47 starts.