One of the longest tenured drivers in NASCAR, and at Roush Fenway Racing, will be looking for new opportunities in 2017.
Greg Biffle and Roush Fenway Racing announced Monday that they have parted ways. Biffle, who has been at the organization since 1998, won’t be behind the wheel of the No. 16 Ford when the season gets underway in February at Daytona.
While not revealing any exact plans for next season, Biffle did drop a possible hint as part of his statement.
“We’ve had an incredible run and I am so appreciative for the opportunity to be a part of Roush Fenway,” said Biffle. “For a kid that grew up Washington, I’m extremely proud of everything we have been able to accomplish over the last 19 years – both on and off the track. I’ve enjoyed every minute. I’m excited about the next chapter of my life, and I look forward to exploring other opportunities – particularly in radio and television – both inside and outside of NASCAR. “
After signing with Roush, Biffle worked his way up through the NASCAR ranks, winning championships in the Truck and XFINITY Series’ and finishing runner up in the Sprint Cup Series in 2005, missing the chance to become the first driver in NASCAR to win a title in all three top touring series.
The late champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer Benny Parsons recommended Biffle to team owner Jack Roush.
“I don’t have the words to say what Greg has meant to this organization,” said Roush. “He is a true racer who has always exhibited a will to win and an intense passion for speed. For almost two decades, Greg has given us an opportunity to run up front and compete for wins.
“Greg exemplifies what every owner hopes for in a driver and I’m extremely thankful for having him as part of our organization. I know that Greg and I will maintain a strong friendship and I look forward to leaning on him on occasion as we continue to work on improving our performance.”
This past season has capped off several seasons of struggles for Biffle and Roush-Fenway. His last Cup win came in 2013, and this season Biffle scored just one top five and two top 10 finishes. He finished 23rd in the season ending title points.
“I’m thankful to Jack Roush for the opportunity to have driven his race cars for all these years,” said Biffle. “It’s very rare in this sport to have been able to stay with one team this many years, and to have been as successful as we have been.”
Biffle is one of only 17 drivers to make 500 consecutive Sprint Cup starts. He qualified for the Chase on eight occasions and has 19 wins 510 starts in his Sprint Cup career.
“As much as the trophies and championships, I will cherish the memories and the relationships forged during our run,” said Biffle. “We had some great teams, fast race cars and some really outstanding partners over the past two decades. I’ll always be thankful to everyone that gave us the opportunity to go out and accomplish the milestones that we have been able to.”
The team has yet to say if they will continue to field a third team for the No. 16. The team also fields the No 17 for driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and the No. 6 with driver Trevor Bayne in the Cup series. If they decide not to run the third team, the charter for that team will be in play.
While Biffle hinted in his official release about finding a position in broadcasting, he may not be done with driving just yet. He also said Monday that the lack of performance at the team had a lot to do with his decision. The team has not won a race since 2014. In addition two former stars at the team, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards both left for greener pastures.
“I just couldn’t do this anymore,” Biffle told the Jacksonville Times-Union. “I’ve been the one carrying the company banner. I’ve been the one who kept re-signing. I was all of those things. But it just didn’t get any better. I didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, so I decided I’d rather do something else – even if it means not driving anymore.
“I just didn’t want to run 25th every week.”
“My passion is to drive a car that’s capable of winning,” he s added. “If I had to bet, that’s what I’ll be doing next year.”