Take a stroll through the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage with Matthew Dillner at Richmond International Raceway.
Matt Strickert and Matthew Dillner look at the trends from previous short-track races in 2015, and at Richmond International Raceway, as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series prepares for the Toyota Owners 400.
Join host Matthew Dillner as he deftly maneuvers through the NASCAR XFINITY Series garage during practice at Richmond International Raceway.
Joey Logano, Regan Smith and Chase Elliott say they gave all they had to fight their way to a top five finish in the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway.
Ballast violation found in Iowa Speedway inspection
Is veteran next driver to change teams, thrive? RELATED: 2015 Charlotte Media Tour schedule, live video CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- By the time late January rolls around, most people have long since abandoned their New Year's resolutions, an apathetic tone clear as they think to themselves, "I guess there's always next year." Carl Edwards is not like most people. In addition to a new sense of rejuvenation so apparent it was practically dripping from the sleeves of his crisp, navy blue suit, the freshly minted driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota is taking the popular New Year's resolution phrase "New Year, New You" to a new level, tossing new team, new teammates, new manufacturer and new crew chief into the mix -- and he couldn't be more thrilled. RELATED: Monday's best quotes from the Charlotte Media Tour "This year's a little bit different," Edwards said Monday during the Charlotte Motor Speedway NASCAR Media Tour presented by Technocom. "It reminds me of my first year full time in the Cup Series. I feel like I've really got to prove myself. I feel a little anxious; a little nervous about it. It's nice. I haven't had that feeling for a long time and it's a motivator. I'm as focused as I've ever been and I'm excited as I've ever been. This is a neat opportunity for me. "I'm just excited to get to learn from these guys and get to race under the JGR banner for Toyota. We had a great test at Charlotte and I'm really ready to go. I've been wearing my driver's suit a lot." RELATED: Brian France gives State of the Sport address The veteran sounds like a kid itching for the first day of school, right down to wearing his new clothes before he even has to. Edwards has every right to be excited for the 2015 season. After spending his entire premier series career with Roush Fenway Racing , his racing tenure seemed to hit a high mark in 2011 when he finished runner-up to Tony Stewart , stalling somewhat in the years since. The 35-year-old was ready for a change of scenery, but needed some assurance that making such a landmark move would be the right choice. Seeing the success of the sport's newest champion, Kevin Harvick , switch organizations to helm a newly formed team and create a four-car organization -- sound familiar? -- certainly didn't hurt. "To make this decision, it's obviously the toughest decision I've had to make in my life, period," Edwards said. "But I looked around and all these guys were making changes and doing very well. … Kevin and Ryan (Newman) this year basically switched teams and (finished) one-two. … Even if you take Tony Stewart 's change, when he left Joe Gibbs Racing , I thought that was crazy. That didn't even seem like it made any sense, but it spurred great performance. Joey Logano , he made a change; huge performance. At the same time, (former Roush teammate and current JGR teammate) Matt Kenseth came over and filled Joey's seat and his performance went through the roof. "I didn't understand that until we first made the announcement. I got that feeling … of 'Man, I've got to go prove myself.' That little bit of insecurity that every driver walks around with for a long time. I hadn't had that feeling for a while and I'm curious to see if that's it. But either way I hope I can do the same thing that those guys have done and have a great year." With Harvick being the ultimate example of what a change of scenery can do, Edwards perhaps will identify a little closer with Kenseth's situation of two seasons ago. After Kenseth made the jump to from Roush to JGR following the 2012 season, the he came out and won a career-high seven races in 2013 to lead the series and finish runner-up to Jimmie Johnson . That said, Kenseth doesn't know if the transition will come as easily to Edwards. "It's probably a little bit different of a situation because it's starting a whole new team for Carl , but he's a guy who's been in one place for a while and is making a jump," Kenseth said. "That's never easy to do, to leave some place where you're comfortable and you understand how it works and you've won some races. I know what it feels like." Even if the No. 19 team stumbles out of the gate, it's something for which Edwards is prepared. He also feels that the new Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup format plays to the benefit of newly formed teams, much like his own. With a ban on private testing and limited seat time thus far (just a short tire test at Charlotte in December), Edwards is almost expecting to have some bugs to work out in the early going. "It was possible that we were going to go to Daytona and not have any practice in the car. That was a little scary," he said. "But if you look at the Chase format, it allows for some growing pains. You can go 20 races and then hit your stride and still be a championship team. We feel like with this new format, there's not a lot of pressure to start. We can go out and find our way. "I believe the Chase format favors guys that have made changes. If you look across the board, people are probably more likely to make driver and crew chief changes, team changes really all that stuff with this format because really you can go 15 races or 20 races and figure things out and still be in the Chase and win the championship. That 4 team (of Harvick) proved it last year. Brand new team. They worked out all the bugs all year and they went and (won the championship)." So, given that Edwards appears to be in the prime of his career, with a crew chief in Darian Grubb that he touts as a "genius" and the stars aligning the way they did for Kenseth two years ago and Harvick last season, does this mean that Edwards will finally break through for his first title? Is he the driver to beat? "I hope so," he said. "If I take a look as objectively as I can, Darian Grubb is an amazing crew chief. He's just amazing. … I feel like I have experience and I've learned a lot and I feel like I'm in the best form I've ever been as a driver. "We should have opportunities to go and perform at a high level. I'm excited to be a part of a four-car team that is this stout. These guys are amazing." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Carl Edwards fends off Brad Keselowski twice in the late stages of the race to capture the victory and celebrates with the traditional back flip.
Carl Edwards talks about beating Jeff Gordon to get his first road course win.
Veteran looks to lead the way for revamped Roush Fenway organization MORE: Full schedule of season previews Team: Roush Fenway Racing No. 16 Ford Rank in final 2014 standings: 14th Wins: 0 Year in photos: Greg Biffle 2014 highlights Strides: In a year of struggles, The Biff showed some of his brightest glimmers in some fairly unlikely places. Most known for its performance on intermediate-sized tracks, the No. 16 team led at least a lap at all four restrictor-plate races last season and posted a sweep of top-10 finishes at both road courses, cementing Biffle's status as an underrated road racer. But the 45-year-old veteran's most clutch moment came in a must-have late-summer surge to clinch a berth in the 16-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. Biffle rose from 19th place on the outside of the provisional postseason grid after Indianapolis by patching together five straight top-10 finishes and a hard-fought 19th in the pressure-packed regular-season finale at Richmond International Raceway . "Those last three were like the last three of the championship (hunt) in '05 for me, just to get in the Chase," said Biffle, who qualified for NASCAR's playoffs for the sixth time in the last seven years. "Because I've said forever if you're not in the Chase, you're a nobody. I don't mean that in a negative way, but the media focus and attention in this sport is about the Chase, it's about the playoffs, and if you're one of the 16 that make the Chase, you're one of the top brands in this sport, in my opinion." Setbacks: Last season's results on 1.5-mile and 2-mile tracks -- venues formerly in Biffle's bailiwick -- illustrated the full breadth of the performance deficit for one of Roush Fenway's most venerable teams. Biffle's best efforts came in April with a sixth place at Texas and a fifth at Darlington, but at Michigan -- arguably his best track -- he managed just a 20th and a 10th. The winless season was only the third of Biffle's 12-year career with team owner Jack Roush, and his tally of three top-five finishes in 2014 matched a career low. But the downturn in speed, Biffle indicated, hasn't been a sudden development for the Concord, North Carolina-based organization. "We'd have to start years back and look at the way we've gotten to this position," Biffle said. "We've probably missed opportunities to change our simulation program and … it kind of turned technical faster than we did as a company. So the amount of engineers, how organized that process has to be, and how seamless you have to get that data, formulate that and get it to the race track, that's where we had some holes in our program as well. It's going to take a bit to fix that, too. You're not going to fix that overnight, so we're working hard at shoring that up." Quoteworthy: "There wasn't anywhere we were good at last year, really. All across the board, our performance was down. Pit stops were good, but you gain two or three spots on a pit stop and you lose them when they throw the green flag, it doesn't really help you. Or if you don't qualify good, and then in 20 laps you're 20th, that doesn't help you either. We've just got to find speed in our cars." What's next: The No. 16 Ford's primary colors will be in flux for 2015, with Ortho Insect Control and the Kellogg Company's Cheez-It brand helping fill the void of departing sponsor 3M. But the driver-crew chief combination will remain intact as Biffle will continue to work with Matt Puccia, who's called the shots for the team since the middle of the 2011 season. Recent changes to the Roush Fenway driver lineup may have more of an impact. Carl Edwards completed his long -running tenure at Roush last season, not far behind Matt Kenseth 's exit from two years before; both now wheel Toyotas for Joe Gibbs Racing . In their place are twenty-somethings Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., back in Roush's No. 17 for a third year, and Trevor Bayne , moving up from the XFINITY ranks for his first full season at the Sprint Cup level. The new teammate dynamic leaves Biffle firmly in a position of senior leadership as the team tries to build momentum. "When you lose Matt and then lose Carl , they were a wealth of information when it comes to setting up the cars and we could look at their data and things like that," Biffle said. "So it's going to be a little bit of a learning curve for us, but we're up for the challenge." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
See which drivers will look to compete at Phoenix RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today Entry # Driver Owner Crew chief Manufacturer Sponsor 1 01 Landon Cassill Johnny Davis Dave Fuge 14 Chevrolet TeamJDMotorsports.com 2 2 Brian Scott Richard Childress Phil Gould 14 Chevrolet Whitetail 3 3 Ty Dillon Richard Childress Danny Stockman Jr 14 Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops 4 4 Jeffrey Earnhardt Gary Keller Gary Cogswell 14 Chevrolet teamjdmotorsports.com 5 5 Alex Bowman(i) Rick Hendrick Ernie Cope 14 Chevrolet LINE-X Protective Coatings 6 6 Trevor Bayne Jack Roush Chad Norris 14 Ford AdvoCare 7 7 Regan Smith Kelley Earnhardt-Miller Ryan Pemberton 14 Chevrolet Fire Alarm Services 8 9 Chase Elliott Dale Earnhardt Jr Greg Ives 14 Chevrolet NAPA AUTO PARTS 9 10 Jeff Green Mark Smith Todd Myers 14 Toyota SupportMilitary.org 10 11 Elliott Sadler J D Gibbs Chris Gayle 14 Toyota SportClips 11 14 Eric McClure Mark Smith Wes Ward 14 Toyota Hefty Ultimate / Reynolds Wrap 12 16 Ryan Reed Jack Roush Seth Barbour 14 Ford ADA Drive to Stop Diabetes presented by Lilly Diabetes 13 19 Mike Bliss Mark Smith Paul Clapprood 14 Toyota TriStar Motorsports 14 20 Erik Jones(i) Joe Gibbs Kevin Kidd 14 Toyota GameStop 15 22 Brad Keselowski(i) Roger Penske Jeremy Bullins 14 Ford Discount Tire 16 23 Robert Richardson Jr Robert Richardson Sr George Church 14 Chevrolet TBD 17 25 John Wes Townley(i) Tony Townley Mike Ford 14 Toyota No. 25 Zaxby's Toyota 18 28 J J Yeley James Whitener Steve Plattenberger 13 Dodge Texas 28 Spirits Stage 19 29 Kelly Admiraal Robby Benton Keith Hinkein 14 Toyota Swan Rentals, LTD 20 31 Dylan Kwasniewski Steve Turner Shannon Rursch 14 Chevrolet Rockstar / FOE.com 21 39 Ryan Sieg Rod Sieg Kevin Starland 14 Chevrolet RSS Racing 22 40 Matt Dibenedetto Curtis Key Sr Kyle Symington 14 Chevrolet Curtis Key Plumbing 23 42 Kyle Larson(i) Harry Scott Jr Scott Zipadelli 14 Chevrolet Cartwheel by Target 24 43 Dakoda Armstrong Richard Petty Philippe Lopez 14 Ford WinField 25 44 Blake Koch Mark Smith Greg Conner 14 Toyota Ingersoll Rand 26 46 Ryan Ellis Curtis Key Sr Gary Showalter 14 Chevrolet Curtis Key Plumbing 27 51 Jeremy Clements Tony Clements Ricky Pearson 14 Chevrolet All South Electric- Repairable Vehicles 28 52 Joey Gase Jimmy Means Tim Brown 14 Chevrolet TBA 29 54 Kyle Busch(i) J D Gibbs Adam Stevens 14 Toyota Monster Energy 30 55 Jamie Dick Jimmy Dick Mark Setzer 14 Chevrolet Viva Auto Group 31 60 Chris Buescher Jack Roush Scott Graves 14 Ford Roush Performance Parts 32 62 Brendan Gaughan Richard Childress Shane Wilson 14 Chevrolet South Point 33 70 Derrike Cope Mary Louise Miller Bobby Burrell 14 Chevrolet YOUTHEORY 34 74 Mike Harmon Mike Harmon Gary Ritter 12 Dodge TBA 35 177 Brennan Newberry(i) Jimmy Dick Jason Miller 14 Chevrolet Qore24 36 184 Chad Boat Billy Boat Dan Deeringhoff 14 Chevrolet Vektor Vodka Chevrolet 37 87 Carl Long Andrea Nemechek Steven Gray 14 Chevrolet Rick Ware Racing 38 93 Kevin Swindell Gregg Mixon Ken Evans 13 Dodge JGL Racing 39 99 James Buescher Robby Benton Matthew Lucas 14 Toyota Rheem MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView