LONG POND, Pa. (AP) — Gregg Biffle is ready to settle in as the unofficial captain of Roush-Fenway Racing.
While Carl Edwards is headed elsewhere for 2015 — believed to be Joe Gibbs Racing — Biffle showed his commitment toward owner Jack Roush and recently signed a three-year contract extension.
Biffle wants to prove he’s RFR’s top driver on and off the track.
“I look forward to kind of carrying the flag and leading this organization,” Biffle said Friday at Pocono Raceway.
Biffle has 19 career Sprint Cup victories, along with Truck and Nationwide Series championships, and was the 2005 Cup runner-up driving for Roush. The 44-year-old Biffle has spent his entire 12-year career with Roush and will be the old man on a roster full of fresh races and unproven prospects.
Biffle was a wanted driver in the final year of his contract.
“There were some interesting seats open and opportunities,” he said. “I just felt like we can get this thing turned around, so I made the decision to stay and be the anchor for Roush Fenway, and do another three-year contract, regardless of sponsorship at that point.”
Biffle is still looking for a primary sponsor, with longtime associate 3M again a possibility for the No. 16 Ford.
Roush disclosed its three-driver 2015 lineup at Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Biffle and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will both return, and Trevor Bayne will move up from the Nationwide Series to a full-time Sprint Cup Series ride.
Biffle is 16th in the standings with only two top-fives this season, and finished 16th in the Brickyard 400.
“This season felt like it’s been three years, the first six months, how hard we’ve worked trying to close the gap,” Biffle said.
Biffle isn’t the only veteran with an allegiance toward Roush.
Mark Martin also returned to the organization this week as a driver development coach. Martin was the first driver hired by Roush when he founded his NASCAR operation in 1988. The two combined for 83 NASCAR wins, four Sprint Cup series runner-up finishes, and built Roush-Fenway into one of the top teams in NASCAR history. Martin drove Roush’s flagship No. 6 Ford from 1988 until 2006.
Martin’s experience will especially help Stenhouse, Bayne, and Nationwide drivers Chris Buescher and Ryan Reed.
“Nobody does a better job at developing young talent than Jack Roush,” Martin said. “Roush Fenway has an abundance of young, talented drivers and I’m looking forward to working with each of them going forward. I am very proud of what Jack and I were able to accomplish together and I am excited to expand on those accomplishments.”