Winless drivers in 2011 are looking ahead, not behind

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Even without the tall head restraints, roll bars and rear spoiler blocking the view, Greg Biffle refuses to look in the rearview mirror on his 2011 season. Besides, if you’re looking back, it’s hard to focus on the future.

Like so many others on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit, the new season is a chance to put separation on a year of disappointment and frustration.

“I’m always looking to the next race because the longer you dwell on what happened last week, the more it drags you down,” Biffle said.

Biffle is one of a handful of drivers who feels the pressure of missing the Chase for the Championship in 2011 – and not winning a race.

“Last year we had the crappiest luck that I’ve ever seen in my life, ever,” he said. “It just happened. It was like we couldn’t do anything right.”

Car owner Michael Waltrip and Martin Truex Jr. feel the same way. So does Jamie McMurray.

“We can’t just win a race and finish 16th in the points. I think we have to win multiple races and we have to make the Chase,” Waltrip said.

Truex joined Waltrip two years ago. He’s failed to qualify for the playoffs.

“I know what we’re capable of here as a company and we can put fast race cars on the track, consistently. We just need to get the finishes consistently,” Truex said.

Truex finished 18th last year.

McMurray won three races in 2010. He was winless last season.

“We lost a little bit of that last year because we were changing our car so much, it was something different every week,” McMurray said.

PATRICK TO RUN IN DAYTONA 500

Danica Patrick will be guaranteed a spot in the Daytona 500 via a partnership with Tommy Baldwin Racing.

TBR will officially field Patrick’s No. 10 Chevrolet in all 10 of her Sprint Cup Series races this season. It will begin the season with the points Dave Blaney earned last season for the No. 36 car.

Because Blaney finished 33rd in points last season, his car is guaranteed a starting spot in the first five races of the season. Teams can transfer or sell the points to another team, and Stewart-Haas Racing acquired them so Patrick is guaranteed to run in the Feb. 26 race.

TBR will field the No. 10 for David Reutimann in the 26 races not on Patrick’s schedule.

– Associated Press


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