TALLADEGA RECORD: 21 career starts, 0 wins, 2 top-fives, 5 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: Fourth in fall 2009. Was sixth in this race last year and 36th in this year's spring race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Time is running out on Biffle's hopes for his first Cup championship. He can only hope he avoids the inevitable wrecks Sunday and that points leaders Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson don't. That would close the points gap pretty quickly. Here's his thoughts on Sunday's race: "I'm really looking forward to Talladega this weekend. Nobody knows what's going to happen, it could be our chance to make up some points, or it could go the other way. We'll have to wait and see what happens."
LOOKING BACK: Biffle finished 16th at Charlotte, which cost him dearly in the points. He needs to make up what he lost Saturday this Sunday at Talladega, lest his championship chances could likely be over after the race.
ETC.: Biffle has completed 92.4 percent (3,683) of 3,988 total laps contested in 21 career starts at Talladega. His average start is 16.3 and average finish is 19.9. He has five DNFs there.
78 KURT BUSCH, Chevrolet
Team: Furniture Row Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Kurt Busch remained in seventh place for the second straight race after Charlotte. He trails series leader Matt Kenseth by 59 points (down from 47 before Charlotte), is one point behind sixth-ranked Greg Biffle and leads eighth-ranked Clint Bowyer by four points.
TALLADEGA RECORD: 25 career starts, 0 wins, 6 top-fives, 13 top-10s and 0 poles. Best career finish: Third in spring 2001, spring 2002, fall 2006 and spring 2007. Finished 39th in this race last year and was 30th in this year's spring race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Busch needs a miracle to get back into contention for the Chase. Unfortunately, he's likely not going to find it at Talladega, where he has struggled greatly in recent years. In fact, of his last 11 starts at 'Dega, Busch has finished 18th or lower in nine of those races. Here's his thoughts on Sunday's race: "It's shake and bake time. It's so difficult to predict Talladega. You can ride around in the back, charge up front all day and either way your day can end with your car on the hook, like we did in the spring race. You just hope to have Lady Luck guide you to a top-10 finish. Restrictor plate races have turned into this pattern that it is hard to have any type of strength over any other team. It just comes down to being in the right place at the right time."
LOOKING BACK: After an impressive runner-up finish at Kansas the week before, Busch struggled at Charlotte, ultimately finishing 14th, far lower than he hoped for or needed to get back into Chase contention.
ETC.: Busch has completed 94.6 percent (4,484) of the 4,740 total laps contested in 25 career starts at Talladega. His average start is 21.2, while his average finish is 16.7. He has six DNFs there.
15 CLINT BOWYER, Toyota
Team: Michael Waltrip Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 8th, 63 points out of first place. Gained one spot last week.
TALLADEGA RECORD: Two wins and five top-seven finishes in the last seven races.
LOOKING AHEAD: Bowyer believes "Talladega is the race that can win or lose you the Chase in a fraction of a second. It's a traffic jam at 200 miles per hour. You have to survive until the end, which is easier said than done, all the while putting yourself in the right position to win and get as many points as you can. You have to drive aggressive and be defensive all at the same time. If you make a mistake, chances are you'll end up with a wrecked car. You just have to race and hope it all works out in the end."
LOOKING BACK: Bowyer finished 11th at Charlotte. "Man, when it isn't your day it just isn't your day," said Bowyer. "We should have had a top five, but something happened under the hood with about 30 (laps) to go and it just killed us. We were looking so good. Brian (Pattie, crew chief) told me he really wants to race this car in Texas (on Nov. 3) so we did all we could not to wreck the car. If it's as good at Texas as it was tonight then Texas could be a lot of fun."
ETC.: The organization announced Monday that it will have only two full-time teams in 2014, Bowyer and Brian Vickers in the 55 car. Martin Truex, Jr., and the 56 team were told they should look for other employment in the coming months. Co-owner Rob Kauffman said Michael Waltrip will compete in the Daytona 500 as part of a third team that will run a very limited schedule. MWR also plans on bolstering its research and development effort away from the track.
88 DALE EARNHARDT, JR., Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: 9th, 66 points out of first place. Lost one spot last week.
TALLADEGA RECORD: Five wins and 13 top-10 finishes including nine top-five's in 27 starts.
LOOKING AHEAD: Earnhardt said, "I've really have had a lot of success at Talladega, a lot of great races. I feel confident when we go there that we are going to have a good car. Hendrick Motorsports has done a great job with this car at Daytona and Talladega. Our confidence level is real good, real high. Hopefully, we can get the opportunity to go to victory lane. We really feel like we have a good shot at it and feel like it is about time for us to win one at Talladega."
LOOKING BACK: Earnhardt ran in the top five for the first 200 laps, leading twice for 19 laps. But he ran into mechanical problems in the final 134 laps as he ended the night in 15th place. "Something in the set-up moved, but the car was real quick at the start of the race," said a dejected Earnhardt. "Thought we had a top-five car and I don't know what happened. It just would not turn at all the last half of the race. We've got to take it back (to the race shop) and see what happened."
ETC.: A few hours before the start of the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Earnhardt spent some time with his fans at the NASCAR Hall of Fame Pit Party. In addition to signing autographs, Earnhardt talked about his collection of Washington Redskins game programs and restored cars. He also joked with Brad Keselowski about a house Keselowski brought "as-is" from Earnhardt. It seems the ceiling just recently collapsed.
99 CARL EDWARDS, Ford
Team: Roush Fenway Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 10th, 67 points out of first place. Gained one spot last week.
TALLADEGA RECORD: Won the pole and finished third in the May race. It was his best finish in 18 starts.
LOOKING AHEAD: Edwards said, "We ran really well at Talladega in the spring. We were leading when it started raining and we were leading at the white flag, and we feel like we've made huge gains with our restrictor-plate program. This is a race that we can go win and climb up some positions in the standings."
LOOKING BACK: Edwards finished 10th at Charlotte. "It was a long night," said Edwards. "We just struggled all night. We're fortunate to finish 10th. I hate to say that, but we just weren't very good. It was really hard to pass, but not for everybody. Some people could make it happen, so I have to say that as far as how the tire drove and all that stuff, I'd say this was better and more fun to drive. This is my kind of race track. But we just couldn't make anything happen."
ETC.: Edwards calls Talladega "a wildcard race in the Chase where anything can happen and I believe after this race you're going to see who the championship contenders are. Hopefully, we can get up there and get close enough to still have a shot at it (the Sprint Cup title)."
22 JOEY LOGANO, Ford
Team: Penske Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 11th, 75 points out of first place. Lost one spot last week.
TALLADEGA RECORD: Four top-10 finishes in nine starts.
LOOKING AHEAD: Logano said, "Our restrictor-plate results haven't really shown how well we have been run at Daytona and Talladega this year. We were good at the first Talladega race before we lost an engine and were looking good at Daytona (in July) before our tire issue. We've been strong. A top-10 car for sure. We just need to finish the race this weekend. We are good enough to win for sure."
LOOKING BACK: After finishing 18th at Charlotte, Logano said, "It seems like you end up saying this a lot sometimes, but we really had a car that was better than where we finished. I think we had about an eighth to tenth-place car tonight and we finished 18th with it. We were just too far off at the start of the race and by the time we were able to get the car to my liking, we were already a couple of laps down. Then you get no cautions and you just don't have the chance to make those laps up."
ETC.: Logano helped present three retrofitted Toyota vehicles to three deserving veterans last week as part of the continued relationship between team sponsor Pennzoil and Paralyzed Veterans of America. Each veteran recipient received a vehicle of their choosing, retrofitted to their specific needs. "This was one of the best things I've ever done," said Logano.
39 RYAN NEWMAN, Chevrolet