Greg Biffle has caught my attention in 2012.
A solid amount of time during my visit to Darlington Raceway for the Southern 500 was spent Biffle watching.
Biffle was the NASCAR Cup Series point leader heading into the weekend. He had a win in Texas last month. He won the pole for the 500. He is, plain and simply, a hot driver.
I had the good fortune to take a pace car ride around Darlington a few hours before the drop of the green flag. Brett Bodine drove and gave me a small taste of what the drivers feel and endure while navigating the egg-shaped speedway.
The g-forces and brake usage are beyond what television or radio coverage can possibly capture. Bodine put the throttle down and took the car over 100 mph. Yet we were close to half of the speed the drivers achieve while racing. My neck hurt after Bodine’s two laps.
Did I mention we were less than two feet from the retaining wall?
The laps gave me a sense of what even the last place driver endures. By comparison, the driver leading the pack must be an absolute master of controlling a car. Biffle’s pole speed averaged over 180 mph.