With the race sponsor on his car, Greg Biffle could not have chosen a better time to break his 3 year long pole drought.Ã‚Â It was certainly a morale booster after last weeks 31st place finish at The Glen and the ensuing drama with Boris Said.Ã‚Â In Biffle’s own words however, it has been dealt with, and it is behind him.Ã‚Â For his sakes I hope he has so that he can concentrate on the race before him.
”Our deal is over with,” Biffle said. ”We had our differences on the race track, that one instance, I told him I wasn’t happy with it on the race track and then I didn’t go around him the rest of the day. We talked about that on the phone and it is over.”
Said agreed in an interview in Montreal before the start of the Nationwide Race.
”We’ve settled our differences,” Said explained. ”I won’t be going to Christmas dinner with him, that’s for sure.”
Biffle is currently in 13th in points and a win would go a long way to gaining one of two Wild Card spots for the chase.
”We have to have a win to get in the Chase, that is obvious,” Biffle said. ”Here, Bristol and Atlanta are good tracks for us. I think this is probably our best, and this may be our best opportunity – here or Atlanta. This is a huge deal for us and huge momentum for us going into Sunday.”
Other drivers close to the bubble are also feeling the pressure of clawing for the finalÃ‚Â secured spots, or getting wins to take a wild card spot away from another driver.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart sit 9th and 10th in points at the moment and both of them know how precarious a position that is.Ã‚Â Dropping out of the top 10 now, with only 4 races to go, would be disastrous, as Hamlin and Kesolowski sit waiting in the wings, and Marcos Ambrose sneaking up behind them with a good finish this weekend.Ã‚Â The chase field is tenuous from about 7th back, as a poor finish by any of them could eliminate their hopes of running in the chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.
Dale Jr qualified 8th and is ready to run for a win.Ã‚Â After a few bad weeks in a row and a drop from third to 10 in the points, Jr. knows that he needs to perform well for the next 4 races.
“We’re not in the Chase yet, but we had a good week last week where some other guys had bad weeks,” Earnhardt said. “We got some fortune there when it came to the points. Hopefully, that can help us maintain our position, if not improve it. I think we can even improve our position if we do well enough.”
“We thought our setup was pretty good the last time we raced here,” said Earnhardt. “We were really, really, really fast on the first two or three laps of a run and we weren’t that good after 10 laps. We tried to talk ourselves into believing that we were better than we were.”
Stewart feels that consistancy will be his key to success.
“There’s days we’ve got a great race car and there’s days we’re off a little bit,” Stewart said. “So we’ve got to figure out how to be more consistent first, then worry about getting better.”
Carl Edwards, who is tied in points for first in the Chase but sits behind Kyle Busch because of wins, is ready to take on all comers tomorrow.Ã‚Â He’s ready to win at all costs and take no prisoners.Ã‚Â what has made him adopt this strategy here and not at Richmond or Bristol?
“This weekend I feel like is one of the last races where we can go all-out, go for the win and not worry about the consequences,” Edwards said Friday. “This one and Atlanta are the ones where I feel like we can just go for it. I feel good about our mile-and-a-half programs.
“At Bristol and Richmond, we’re going to be focusing on really learning and building our short-track program, trying to be better for [Chase races at] Martinsville and Loudon. So I’m going to look at the races differently. This one — 100 percent go for the win. Atlanta — 100 percent go for the win.
“Bristol and Richmond will be more gearing up for the Chase and all the things that can happen at the shorter tracks.”