Through the final half-dozen NASCAR Sprint Cup races of 2008, Jimmie Johnson’s biggest challengers were the Roush Fenway Fords driven by Carl Edwards (above) and Greg Biffle. Jack Roush’s operation runs no fewer than five cars and won the championship with Matt Kenseth in 2003 and Kurt Busch in ’04. These days, Roush Fenway is Ford’s only front-running team.
Edwards began to challenge Kyle Busch during the summer, winning three races in August, while Biffle broke a year-long winless streak at exactly the right moment when he won two races in September.
Edwards has been racing Cup cars for five years, all with Roush. He won the second division Nationwide title in 2007 and has established himself as one of the fastest, most aggressive NASCAR drivers. Edwards is also a pretty clean driver – not quite in Johnson’s class perhaps, although he did win a series-high nine races in ’08, two more than Jimmie. He also continued to compete in the Nationwide series where he won nine races and finished a close second in the points to Clint Bowyer.