When teammates are in the Chase and competing for the championship, the expectation is that everything within the organization will be on the up-and-up. This means all information is shared between all parties and no driver is given preferential treatment over the other.
But what happens when one of those two teammates is leaving at the end of the year for a different team? And not just any team, but the team who your owner considers a bitter rival and will do anything to beat?
Do you continue to be the good teammate and share any and all secrets, even if those secrets will likely end up in the hands of the enemy?
The above is the very situation facing everyone at Roush Fenway Racing, where Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle are all but locked into the Chase. Yet, at the season's end, Kenseth is leaving and likely headed to Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota.
If anyone would be reluctant to be the ideal teammate, it would understandably be Biffle. After all, it is he who is going against Kenseth for the title, and any aid he potentially gives could easily lead to his own championship demise.
But Biffle, to his credit, also believes in being the best teammate he can be. And when everything is said and done, what he wants is to be able to adhere to the principle which he says Roush is built upon.
"I think you have to be a person of integrity for Roush Fenway," Biffle said Friday Bristol Motor Speedway. "And how much we hate that Matt's leaving and we hate to share all the information we share with him every week, the right thing to do and the contractual thing to do is share the information with him and help him the best we can, although both of us probably are gonna be racing him for that championship as well.
"At the same time, we're gonna do all we can to win it ourselves. I think that's how you have to handle it."
However, would Edwards - the face of Ford - really go out of his way to help Kenseth win the championship trophy just so he can carry it over with him to JGR? Edwards firmly stated that he would do just that very thing.
"I think all of us are committed to get a championship for Ford and Roush Fenway," Edwards said. "Even if we're all three in the , if one of us has a better shot at the end, we will all share as much as we can with that person - whether it's Matt or not - I think we're all a team."
Edwards' rationale in part can be explained by the fact he has yet to come to terms with Kenseth's impending departure.
"I personally don't think of Matt leaving yet," Edwards said. "It doesn't seem real. I know he is, but I still think of him as a teammate and I've talked to him about it one-on-one about how he feels and he said that he's not paying attention to that new team he's going to. He's really focused here and when the season is over then he'll go and work on that, and I believe him."
With qualifying rained out, Biffle will start from the third position, while Kenseth will roll off 17th and Edwards 27th. Here is the rest of the starting lineup for tonight's NASCAR race at Bristol: