'The Combination: Horsepower and Handling ' This weekend, Jeff Green and the ...
'The Combination: Horsepower and Handling '
This weekend, Jeff Green and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge head to the 1.54-mile Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway for Sunday's Bass Pro Shops 500. Green and the team completed a two-day test at the track last week to prepare for this weekend's race. Green has 10 previous starts with one top-five finish at the track.
Green is the only driver to have raced for the sport's biggest names. Throughout his career, he has driven for Cup's most legendary names, such as Junior Johnson, Felix Sabates, Richard Childress, Dale Earnhardt, and now Richard Petty. Green is in his second full season driving the legendary Petty Enterprises #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge. The 2000 NASCAR Busch Grand National champion, he holds the record for the largest point's margin after winning the championship by 616 points. He is also a two-time NASCAR Nextel Cup pole winner, winning poles at the Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and the pole for the 2003 Daytona 500.
The thoughts of #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge driver Jeff Green heading into Atlanta:
"It's tough to think of another track faster than Atlanta. If it's not the fastest track, it's probably the second fastest. We are just about wide open the entire way around. That leads to you having to wait as long as possible to lift going into the turns. You have to be really brave getting in the turns. If you get off the gas too early it just kills your entire lap. These guys aren't giving an inch getting into the turns wide open. It makes for exciting laps on fresh tires, but eventually the tires wear and the speeds come down.
"Qualifying is when a good lap counts the most. That's when you get a gut check. You know you can't let up early the entire lap. A lap of 190 miles per hour is just going to be average. You push the envelope -- but it's more like high-speed email pushing than postal service pushing. It's a true test of speed. I like that thrill and that challenge. If we can get our car set up for a good qualifying run I'm going to give it everything I've got. If you give anything less during your qualifying lap at Atlanta, you are going to start in the back.
"The race itself is different. The speeds aren't as fast, but a good handling car is critical. You really have to be able to get in and out of the turns. We worked on a lot of the race stuff in testing. We're hoping to have a good handling car throughout the day.
"Atlanta has a lot of grooves by the end of the day. It really widens out by the end of the afternoon. You want to be able to run good high, low or in the middle of the track. You can't limit yourself to only one way around the track. We want to have our car working good everywhere on Sunday. I think coming here and testing gives us that extra advantage we are looking for.
"We've been really happy with our horsepower all season. The Evernham Engines have been awesome for us all year. They really get tested at a track like Atlanta, but it's not something that we have had to worry about this season. We know that we will have great horsepower at Atlanta. We won't have to worry about getting from turn to turn. We know we can get there pretty quickly. We'll work on getting the car handling well and we will have a good day.
"It's a simple equation on paper, good horsepower and good handling, but it's a little more complicated than that in real life. There is a lot of work that goes into getting that combination working together. It's the difference between a good or bad day at Atlanta. We think we can have a good day because we are prepared for this weekend's race.
"This Cheerios team works really hard in every test to make sure we are going to have good runs when it comes to the race. We worked hard testing for this race. We gathered a lot of information and worked with a lot of setups. We know everyone is going to be fast, but this Cheerios team is looking to be fast and handling well. That combination will get this Cheerios Dodge to the front on Sunday."