DARLINGTON, S.C. - Greg Biffle has yet to sign a contract extension with Roush Fenway Racing.
We may be closer to knowing the reason why.
After winning the pole for Saturday night's Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway, Biffle appeared to be the class of field before loose wheels and a broken timing belt ultimately ended his race early.
While leading on Lap 194, Biffle suddenly slowed and pulled onto pit road because of a loose right-rear wheel. After getting that taken care of and the rest of the field completing green-flag stops, Biffle again was in the lead.
And again, he ended up on pit road, this time on Lap 234 with the hood up on his No. 16 Ford and crew members scurrying to determine the cause of an engine problem.
"This has been typical of our equipment, I guess," Biffle said.
"Loose wheels all night, bad vibration, then I think the motor blew up. All I want is equipment to drive that stays together."
Asked later in the garage whether his concerns were related to the fact he has yet to negotiate a contract extension (his contract expires at the end of the season), Biffle replied:
"I don't know if I can relate those two things together or not. What I do know is it's real frustrating when I got issues like we got. It seems like it's always something and I don't know why. And I have to wonder, "Why me?' "
Biffle entered the race ninth in points, but was going to take a big hit after he was credited with a 43rd-place finish. He led 95 laps before heading to the garage.
"The wheels being loose every other race, that can be corrected. Something failing in the engine, that may be a part failure," Biffle said.
"It's frustrating, especially when you get good cars like this; even when you don't have good cars. It was kind of comical at Texas with all the things that happened to us. Like 10 things broke on the car in one race.
"I'm thinking, 'Is this a jinx?' Something like that you just have to laugh at. What else are you going to do?"