NASCAR: Biffle could replace Stewart
By Jenna Fryer
CHARLOTTE ó Greg Biffle certainly didn’t sound like a guy committed to Roush Fenway Racing when he blasted the faulty equipment that led to his last-place finish at Darlington Raceway.
“All I want is equipment to drive that stays together,” said Biffle, who started from the pole and led 95 laps Saturday night before loose wheels, a bad vibration and a broken timing belt ended his race early.
“It is really frustrating, but you know what, I’ve just come accustomed to expecting it because week after week it’s something. Something breaks. Something falls off. I give it 110 percent as a driver all the time, and you just want your equipment to last and be able to win these races.”
The rant was, of course, based on frustration. He seemed to have the car to beat, but instead left the track still searching for his first win of the season.
Still, it was clear “The Biff” was sending a message with his biting remarks.
Just what might that message be? Well, signing a contract extension with Roush might not be the slam dunk both sides have led everyone to believe.
In fact, Biffle might finally be ready to test the free-agent market.
If that’s indeed the case, the first place Biffle should look is Tony Stewart’s seat at Joe Gibbs Racing.
Of course, that ride isn’t technically open right now. Stewart is under contract through 2009, he’s yet to ask to be released from his contract early and Gibbs officials have insisted they’ll hold him to his deal. But it’s becoming increasingly clearer that the two-time champion has some juicy offers on the table that he’s taking rather seriously.
Among Stewart’s options is an opportunity to purchase fledgling Haas-CNC Racing.
It would be counterproductive for Gibbs to hold Stewart hostage if his heart is truly elsewhere, and there’s persistent rumblings that JGR officials are scouring the market for Stewart’s replacement.
Carl Edwards was the top free agent, but two weeks ago he signed an extension to stay at Roush. Team owner Jack Roush later said the team received a stiff challenge for Edwards from a competing team, which appears now to have been JGR.