Sunday was a historic win for Greg Biffle as he secured Ford’s 1000th NASCAR win. While he struggled early on with his handling, he eventually found his rhythm and demolished the competition at Michigan International Speedway. Around lap 150, #16 took the lead for good and snatched his 19th Sprint Cup victory.
During Tuesday’s NASCAR teleconference, Biffle was asked about his slightly controversial decision to try and win the race rather than help his teammate, number 99, Carl Edwards. Before the final pit stop, both Biffle and Edwards were towards the front of the pack. Then, a small piece of paper got caught in the grill of Edwards’ car and seemingly overheated the engine, forcing him to reduce speed. Teammates have been known to remove debris from one another by placing there tail as close to their teammates car as possible, which is exactly what Edwards’ spotter radioed Biffle to ask for. By the time he got the message, however, he was already too far ahead of him to offer any help without sacrificing his chance to win the race.
I completely agreed with Greg’s decision to try and win the race over assisting another driver. When asked about his decision, he said with complete confidence that you cannot ask a competitor like him to blow his chances when he is that far ahead.
“If it was 5 or six car lengths, no problem,” Greg said, “but it’s just not feasible to give up a third of a straightaway lead.” The 19-time Sprint Cup winner believed that his teammate would have done the same if their roles had been reversed.
In today’s era of 24/7 sports coverage, athletes go to great lengths to present themselves as “unselfish” or “team players.” I found it refreshing to see an athlete whose main concern is winning and not being a nice guy. These men are competitors above all else and they can’t be asked to sacrifice winning in defense of their public image.
Biffle’s next race is at the Sonoma Raceway on Sunday June 23.