LOOKING BACK: Biffle was livid after having to make an unscheduled pit stop for a loose wheel. His language got salty as he vented his frustration over the radio to his crew. "We were off a little bit, but we were definitely a top-10 car, probably a top-eight, especially with the way it ended up," Biffle said after calming down. "To finish where we did (16th) that really kind of takes us out of the title hunt."
ETC.: Biffle knows he needs a lot of luck to get back in the Chase for the Championship. "We would have to have a lot of help at Talladega and a few other tracks for us to leap-frog back in," said Biffle. "The difficult thing is that there are so many guys ahead of us. It's not like there are two or three we need to catch up to. That's a pretty tall order to beat all of those guys by six or eight positions seven races in a row. That's going to be pretty hard."
17 MATT KENSETH, Ford
Team: Roush Fenway Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 12th, 72 points out of first place. Lost one spot last week.
TALLADEGA RECORD: Led a race-high 73 laps before finishing third in the spring race.
LOOKING AHEAD: Kenseth said, "For the first time in my career, I'm really looking forward to going to Talladega. "Our (restrictor) plate stuff has been extremely strong this year. We've led a lot of laps and were leading (late) at all three plate races. They all ended on a green-white-checker. The 16 (Greg Biffle) and my car have been really fast. We've been able to work together, stay up front the whole time in a plate race. Hopefully we can do that again."
LOOKING BACK: A broken track bar ended Kenseth's day at Dover and probably ended his hopes of a second Cup championship as he finished 35th. "In two of the three Chase races something either fell off or broke," he said. "Obviously, that's not good. Our performance hasn't been very good, either. Today was a struggle."
ETC.: Kenseth will drive a pink Ford Fusion this weekend at Talladega. The pink ride came about through a partnership of Roush Fenway Racing, Talladega Superspeedway and the National Breast Cancer Foundation. "We felt it was important to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness month," said track chairman Grant Lynch. "We reached out through our NASCAR channels to spread the word, and Matt's team jumped at the opportunity to help out."
CUT-OFF FOR "CHASE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP"
18 KYLE BUSCH, Toyota
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 13th.
TALLADEGA RECORD: Finished second in the spring race. Has one win and three top-10 finishes in 15 starts.
LOOKING AHEAD: Busch said, "Talladega is 80 percent mental and 20 percent physical, while most other non-restrictor-plate races are 80 percent physical and 20 percent mental. Once you get down into the nitty gritty of the race (at Talladega) and try to play the chess game at the end of the race, you've got to really pick and choose your spots and think all the time if you go here and team up with this guy. It really wears on you a little bit mentally."
LOOKING BACK: Busch must be wondering when his run of bad luck will end. He dominated the Dover race, leading four times for 302 laps. But he was forced to pit for fuel in the final 10 laps and ended the day in seventh place. "It's frustrating," said crew chief Dave Rogers. "There was no doubt that we had the fastest car today. But I knew if it came down to a fuel-mileage race (which it did) that we were going to be in trouble."
ETC.: Busch is signed through 2013, but the team hopes to sign him a new contract extension this winter. "We need to have it done sooner than later," said JGR President J.D. Gibbs. "I feel like he wants to stay, but he said he is no hurry to discuss (a new contract). Missing the Chase was a heartbreaker across the board for all of us."
99 CARL EDWARDS, Ford
Team: Roush Fenway Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 14th, 34 points out of 13th place. Gained one spot last week.
TALLADEGA RECORD: Four top-10 finishes in 16 starts.
LOOKING AHEAD: Edwards' winless streak has reached 62 races, but he believes this might be the weekend he returns to victory lane because of "how well Roush Fenway has run at the restrictor-plate races the last couple of years. Matt (Kenseth) won Daytona (in February) and almost won the first Talladega race. If we can get to the end without any trouble, we have as good a shot at winning as anybody."
LOOKING BACK: Edwards was all smiles after finishing fifth at Dover for only his third top-five finish of the season. "We didn't deserve to finish that far forward, but we had some lucky breaks and my guys did a good job on pit road," said Edwards. "We've run so well at Dover in the past, but I'd say today we should be very happy with a fifth-place finish. It seemed like a lot of us from Roush Fenway struggled."
ETC.: Roush Fenway Racing will hold its annual Fan Day on Oct. 11 at its Concord, N.C., complex. The event will kick off at 8 a.m., when tickets will be handed out for the two autograph sessions. The first autograph session will begin at 10:30 a.m. with Matt Kenseth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Trevor Bayne and team owner Jack Roush signing. Edwards and Greg Biffle will sign for fans at noon.
39 RYAN NEWMAN, Chevrolet