Entering this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway, points leader Greg Biffle isn't lacking for confidence.
That's because Biffle is coming off a convincing win Saturday in Texas, one that not only saw him outduel Jimmie Johnson but also allowed him to stretch his point lead to 19 markers over Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. – who are in a tie for second.
"I knew us leading the points wasn't a fluke," Biffle said Tuesday during an event for the American Dental Association's "Give Kids A Smile" program put on by his sponsor 3M. "To come out and win while leading the points, I'm not going to say it was a statement, but it solidified us being atop the point standings – that we're a competitive team and we're going to be there."
The victory in the Lone Star State was the 17th of Biffle's career and, more important, it snapped a 49-race winless streak which dated back to the 2010 season.
It also marked the first win for Biffle's crew chief Matt Puccia, who took over that role last July as Biffle was in the midst of a frustrating season that ultimately left him outside the Chase for the first time in four years.
In large part due to Biffle's blossoming relationship with Puccia, along with his past success on the 1.5-mile Kansas oval –which includes two wins and six consecutive top-10 finishes – Biffle appears poised to keep the good times rolling en route to what he hopes is his first series championship.
But because the point standings are reset after 26 races with drivers being rewarded bonus points for the number of races they win during the regular season, Biffle knows one win isn't enough. That is why, despite the win last Saturday as well as being atop the standings and the confidence that goes along with those accomplishments, Biffle is trying to keep his early season success in perspective.
"What people forget is when we get to 10 (races to go) we flush all this (points lead) down the toilet," Biffle said. "I know I probably won't be leading the points going into Richmond, but we'll see. I hope so. But what happens now really has no impact on the Chase because of the points and the way the format is."
What is happening now is the strength of Roush Fenway Racing coming to the forefront.
The organization started the year off with Matt Kenseth winning the Daytona 500 and having all three of its cars finish in the top 10. That consistency has continued as Biffle and Kenseth are first and second in points, while Carl Edwards has four top-10s in seven races and sits 11th.
All of which probably helps explain why Biffle still doesn't even feel as if he's the top driver on his own team.
"No," Biffle said Friday at Kansas Speedway when asked if he felt like he was the top Roush driver simply because he was atop the standings. "I still the 99 (Edwards) is the number one team at Roush. I'm the underdog."
All things considered, Biffle might be the only who feels that way.
In any case, at age 42, there is no time like the present for Biffle to take advantage of the opportunity before him.
"I feel better than I ever have in these past five seasons with the way our team is and how competitive we are, and how I'm driving the car and how I feel personally," Biffle said Friday. "Yeah, I think anybody feels the urgency to want to win it."
– Motorsports editor Jeff Gluck contributed to this story.