16 GREG BIFFLE, Ford

Team: Roush Fenway Racing

WHERE HE STANDS: Remained in first place in the Sprint Cup Series for the seventh consecutive week. His total of 338 points leads second-ranked Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 5 points and third-ranked Denny Hamlin by 9.

TALLADEGA RECORD: 18 career starts, 0 wins, 1 top-5, 3 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: 4th, fall 2009. Finished 7th in this race last year, fell to 14th in the fall race.

LOOKING AHEAD: Biffle is still looking for his first career Cup win at Talladega, something that has crew chief Matt Puccia bringing out the big guns. "We are taking our Daytona 500 car to Talladega this weekend," Puccia said. "Talladega is a typical superspeedway race where you're going to have to survive the whole race to be there at the end. This new package that NASCAR started for us at Daytona allows for a lot more old conventional style drafting, and we'll look for that again in Talladega like we had in Daytona. Qualifying is important with the new package, since you don't have as much of the tandem slingshot coming from the back like with the old style."

LOOKING BACK: Biffle struggled much of the evening at Richmond, finishing 18th, a finish far lower than he had hoped for. He was the worst-finishing Roush-Fenway driver at the .75-mile short track.

88 DALE EARNHARDT JR., Chevrolet

Team: Hendrick Motorsports

WHERE HE STANDS: Climbed two positions, from fourth to second, after Richmond. Earnhardt is 5 points behind series leader Greg Biffle and 4 points ahead of third-ranked Denny Hamlin.

TALLADEGA RECORD: 24 career starts, 5 wins, 9 top-5s, 12 top-10s, 0 poles. He has dominated there with 5 wins (fall 2001, spring and fall 2002, spring 2003, fall 2004). Finished 4th in this race last year, fell to 25th in last fall's race.

LOOKING AHEAD: Talladega is without question Earnhardt's most successful track in terms of wins (5). Given how close he came to winning at Richmond (finished second), could this be the weekend Earnhardt finally snaps that 138-race winless streak, particularly with the new rules NASCAR implemented this season for the restrictor-plate tracks at Daytona and Talladega? Said Earnhardt: "I feel like the style of racing we had in the Daytona 500 this year suits me better. I feel more confident in that style than I do the tandem. With the tandem, it is difficult to commit to someone all day long. The way we did it in the (2012 Daytona) 500 was nice, but the tandem is going to win the race, which is fine with me. I do like having more control of my destiny and making my own decisions for myself. I want to look out for No. 1 and my team all day long and try to do whatever I can to put myself in position to win the race." Is a win in store Sunday? "If we keep running up front, that will happen," Earnhardt said.

LOOKING BACK: Soooooo close. That's what Earnhardt was at Richmond, finishing second. But winner Kyle Busch had the best car, Earnhardt conceded: "We had some brake problems all night long. Kind of tried to overcome them best we could. We were a top, maybe a fifth-place car. I'm really happy to gain a couple of spots there at the end with that caution and get some more points. ... I think the No. 18 was just a little bit better than us all night. But I want to thank National Guard and Diet Mountain Dew and my team; they had great stops and we gained a lot of spots on pit road. And we had a great race car. All the people at Hendricks; they do a great job, man. It's just been fun this year."