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The Hendrick Bar Will Remain High In 2010

Larry Woody | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, January 10 2010
Greg Biffle says that getting past Jimmie Johnson and the others in Rick Hendrick's stable of stars has been, and will continue to be, a major challenge. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

Greg Biffle says that getting past Jimmie Johnson and the others in Rick Hendrick's stable of stars has been, and will continue to be, a major challenge. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

Nashville – Greg Biffle says chasing Rich Hendrick’s record-breaking stable of rocket-men “can get very frustrating, but at the same time it’s very challenging.”

“You have to give Mr. H (Hendrick) and all of his people a lot of credit; they’ve worked hard, they’re a class act and they’ve done a great job,” Biffle said Saturday during an appearance at Baker Curb Racing, for whom he will drive a partial Nationwide Series schedule this season. “They’ve set the bar high for all of us.”

Plans call for Biffle to be in the No. 27 Baker Curb car for 10-12 races, starting with the season-opener at Daytona, in addition to his full-time Sprint Cup duties at Roush Fenway Racing.

Biffle went winless last season although the made the championship Chase and finished 7th in the standings.

Meanwhile, nobody was able to mount a serious challenge to Hendrick Motorsports, as Jimmie Johnson won a record fourth championship and teammates Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon finished second and third in the final standings.

Is such domination by one team good or bad for the sport?

“You can look at it two ways,” Biffle said. “I’ve heard some fans complain that they get tired of seeing the same drivers keep winning most of the races, and of course as a competitor it gets old not to be able to beat them. One the other hand, I think every sport needs someone at the top for everybody else to shoot for. It’s driving the rest of us to try to beat them.”

Biffle said last season’s Sprint Cup struggles “weren’t due to any one thing. During the off-season we’ve been working really hard in a lot of areas. Hopefully a lot of small things will bring about some big results.”

Biffle will be joined at Baker Curb by veteran crew chief Brad Parrott. The team also will have a new sponsor in Red Man Moist Snuff, replacing long-time sponsor Kimberly Clark.

Gary Baker, who co-owns the team along with music mogul Mike Curb, said it “took no arm-twisting” to sign Biffle.

“Greg is a great, veteran racer and he’s going to fit in perfectly with our team,” Baker said. “We’re thrilled to have him.”

“I really believe this team has what it takes to be competitive,” Biffle said. “Gary and Mike have made a commitment to give us the equipment and resources we need to compete. I’m looking forward to it.”

“We’re not putting any pressure on Greg,” Baker quipped. “We’ve told him he doesn’t have to win until California (the second race.)

Baker said losing his sponsor and driver (Jason Keller) at the end of last season was discouraging but he remains optimistic about the team’s future. He said he is working to secure sponsorship for a second car and might have something secured by Daytona.

– Larry Woody can be reached at lwoody@racintoday.com

Larry Woody | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, January 10 2010
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