KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Greg Biffle is a firm believer in momentum. So the winner of two straight races is feeling pretty good heading into today's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway.
'It's right in our wheelhouse,' Biffle said. 'We won here last year, we're good on mile-and-a-half tracks, and we had a great Charlotte test (earlier this week). Man, I feel good about it.'
The Roush Fenway Racing driver, hoping to add a Cup title to the championships he won earlier in his career in the second-tier Nationwide - then Busch - series and the third-tier truck series, is the first driver to win the first two races of the Chase for the Championship since NASCAR introduced the 10-race format in 2004.
'Anything that you do that nobody else has done is kind of cool,' Biffle said.
But Biffle is more concerned with keeping his momentum than basking in his historic feat.
'I don't want to say I want to win more, but I'm more focused on how we can keep it going more than reflect back on what we've been able to do so far,' he said. 'I think maybe at the end of the season I could look back easier, and say, 'That was pretty neat to win the first two Chase races.'
'But other than focusing on that, I'm focusing on the first three. I don't want to sound arrogant, but that's really what I'm concentrating on - is winning here versus we made history the first two weeks.'
To get that third win, Biffle will have to make up some ground after qualifying 18th for today's Camping World RV 400.
And he's not alone.
Ten of the 12 Chase drivers qualified outside the top 10, with six of them - including points leader Carl Edwards - starting in the back half of the 43-car field.
Jimmie Johnson, the Cup champion the past two years, had no such problem.
He qualified second to Juan Pablo Montoya on Friday, but was quickly elevated to the pole when Montoya's fast lap was disallowed because of a technical violation.
That gave Johnson, who goes into the race tied with Biffle for second 10 points behind Edwards, the first pick for pit position in the race, a definite edge.
'A lot of the Chasers seemed to have difficulty qualifying ... and, hopefully, we can take advantage of the good track position and get a good pit stall pick and turn that into getting some momentum going on Sunday,' Johnson said.
'Every little bit helps," he added. 'The clean air that we will have starting up on the front row is something you can't emphasize enough as drivers know how important that is and how helpful that is. And if we can stay up there all day long and make the fine adjustments to the car to race for the win, we'll be in great shape.'
With only 10th-place Matt Kenseth - starting third - up front to keep him company, Johnson sympathized a bit with the other Chase drivers.
'What's tough is when you start that deep in the pack, the balance of the car changes a lot and what you need as far as your setup,' he said. 'The closer you get to the front, the more it changes. And if you get to the front with 100 (laps) to go or 50 (laps) to go, I have found I'm usually two or three changes behind the fast guys. And it takes us a while to close that gap.
'So, if you can start up front and run there all day long, you're fine-tuning. If you start in the back, once you get up there you've got to readjust your car and find the balance and then close that gap.'