Entering the NASCAR weekend at Pocono Raceway, Greg Biffle was hopeful but realistic about his chances to contend in the Party in the Poconos 400.
His lack of confidence was due to the lack of performance Roush Fenway Racing and Ford had shown through the first third of the season.
However, Sunday, there was Biffle back up front, in contention and charging to a second-place finish behind Jimmie Johnson.
With 10 laps remaining he was running sixth but a late-race restart bunched up the field and allowed him to charge to his best result of the year — even though he admitted afterward that he didn't have as good a car as the race-winner and even some other cars inside the top five.
"We had some good restarts, and we were lucky with the lane choices and my car ran pretty good on restarts," he said. But the 88 (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) was faster than we were, clearly.
"Most of the top five cars were probably a little faster than we were on sheer speed. But it's track position, you've got to pass a guy.
The finish was his first top-10 in seven starts since a fourth at Texas, and moved him to 10th in the standings, two points ahead of 11th-place Jeff Gordon.
But despite the positive result, the Roush driver readily admits that his team can still improve its performance.
"We've still got a little bit of work to do" Biffle said. "We're not quite there yet; ‑‑ clearly we're not celebrating that we finished second today quite yet, but definitely this is a step in the right direction.
"We certainly ran better here than we have all season. And certainly that's a positive for us going into next week; hopefully continue to build on that."