For Greg Biffle, winning at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday was about more than just winning for the second time in 2012 or the 18th time in his career.
In his mind, it was about sending the message he should be taken seriously as a championship contender, as the victory moved Biffle to the top of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings.
"I know that a lot of people don't expect us to win the championship, don't expect us to compete for the title," Biffle said. "I don't care what they say or who they want to talk about or what they talk about. We will be a factor when it comes down to Homestead, I promise you that."
Despite the spotlight often being focused elsewhere, Biffle has never swayed in his belief that his team is good enough to compete head-to-head against the sport's best. Not once this season has he been lower than fourth in points, and he led the standings for 11 consecutive weeks earlier in the year.
"I mean, I probably approach it differently," Biffle said. "In my heart, I know what my team is capable of and I know what I'm capable of as a driver on the racetrack. So I focus on that.
"I don't really put a lot into what people talk about, the drivers they talk about, what the stories are."
And as for those who overlook the 16 team and instead referring to other drivers as the "title favorites," Biffle had a message for his doubters.
"I pay attention to what we need to do as a team – not make mistakes, do what it's going to take to win this championship," he said. "If it's not a story, they (media) don't cover it, then that's fine. But they'll be forced to after Homestead."
RESULTS: See the full finishing order from Sunday's NASCAR race at Michigan.