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Monday, April 16, 2012

Greg Biffle takes the lead at Roush; outshines former team leader Carl Edwards

In recent years, it has been assumed by many that Carl Edwards was the best driver in the Roush stable. He got more headlines that Matt Kenseth or Greg Biffle, won more races, etc.

Well, this year, Greg Biffle, and Kenseth for that matter, are trying to change that perception. Biffle won at Texas by passing Mr. 5-time Jimmie Johnson, not exactly a small accomplishment. He cemented his lead atop the points standings with this win -- his first since late 2010, and he definitely seems to be over his 2011 struggles in this new season. The win was his 17th in his Cup career, and his second win at Texas.

Edwards has yet to win a race this year, and both his teammates have won. They are much higher in the points than him (1st and 2nd, actually), and he is no longer Mr. Roush. In fact, he has some catching up to do. Carl is hanging right on the border of Chase contention and is due to break out, but one thing is clear: There is a new leader at Roush right now: And his name is Greg.

Stenhouse driving himself into Cup ride

Ricky Stenhouse put on a great show Friday night at Texas, winning a competitive Nationwide race and establishing himself as a championship contender once again. It appears he and Elliott Sadler will be the main guys to battle for the Nationwide crown, though there is time for others to step into the fray if they boost their game a little.

And if Stenhouse continues to race this way, he’s bound to garner some sponsor interest – and that could land him in a Cup ride. The #6 car hasn’t been used by Roush since Daytona, and if the funding is there Jack says the ride belongs to Rick next year, and possible for some races in 2012.

"We've got the decal for the top of the roof on that 6 car all organized for Ricky," Roush said Friday night after the win. "As soon as I can find sponsorship for it, he's good to go. The highest priority we have for this year in the meantime is to defend (Stenhouse's) championship in the Nationwide series but hopefully we can find sponsorship and run the 6 car with him next year -- and we will run some races with him in the 6 Cup car before this year is over."

Not too bad for a guy who just a couple years ago was on the verge of losing his ride with Roush and had a highly uncertain future. Stenhouse stepped up when he needed to, and his career trajectory took flight. And his future, well it could be even higher in the sky. I like Stenhouse, and wish him luck into the future; he has the potential to compete on the level of fellow Roush drivers Biffle, Kenseth and Edwards, and Jack made a wise decision to stick with him.

Sprint Pit Crew Challenge returns in May: The eighth annual NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge returns to Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday, May 17, 2012. Tickets to the pit-crew skills competition are on sale at or by calling Time Warner Cable Arena box office at (800) 745-3000. The NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge features the top-24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pit crews and settles who the best on pit road is with individual and team trials. The #11 FedEx Toyota team is the defending back-to-back team champion. As one of several events during NASCAR Sprint All-Star Week, the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge will take place at 7:00pm/et and will air on SPEED at 8:00pm/et that evening. Tickets prices start at $15 while children ages two through 12 are half price ($7.50 each).

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