Biffle looking forward to improved performance in Chase

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Greg Biffle feels like his No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing team can be a surprise in the Chase for the Sprint Cup should he be able to clinch a post-season berth tonight at Richmond International Raceway.

Biffle has one win to his credit this regular season, and while he’s been relatively quiet in his bid to make the playoffs, he’s done enough to hold onto ninth in the standings (14 points ahead of 11th-place Jeff Gordon) as the final battle looms at RIR.

Outside of his victory this past June at Michigan, it may not seem like Biffle’s done enough in 2013 to have most folks picking him as a legitimate threat for a championship.

But while he admits that his Roush Fenway team has struggled at times this year while coming to grips with the new Generation-6 car, he insists that he and his team have been “underestimated.”

“As kind of a whole organization, we haven’t been as strong as we had been last year,” he said on Thursday. “[But] I think we’re getting it figured out. We’re not there yet, but we’ve also got 11 more weeks. So we continue to build on this, we think we have good stuff coming.”

Biffle can clinch a Top-10 spot in the Chase with a finish of ninth or better, but he feels that his top priority is staying in front of Martin Truex, Jr. and Ryan Newman, who are battling for the second and final Wild Card.

Still, it seems that trying to look at all the Chase scenarios has become a bit of a headache for him.

“I truly cannot figure it out…I’ve had a hard time doing the math,” Biffle said. “Somebody said ‘Ninth or better, you’re locked in.’ Well, when I look at it and try and understand it, it appears to me I need to be in front of the 56 [Truex] or 39 [Newman] car most likely.

“I need to be in front of both of them – big difference between ninth and being in front of those guys.”

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry. Time just published a brief piece by Wallace saluting Hamilton as a trailblazer.

The idea of Hamilton attending the NASCAR season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it would seem right for Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — to spend some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).