HAMPTON, Ga. -- NASCAR Busch Series veteran Mark Green will attempt to make his NASCAR Winston Cup debut driving a No. 41 Conseco Pontiac in Sunday's NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Team owner A.J. Foyt is fielding the car as a thank you to...
HAMPTON, Ga. -- NASCAR Busch Series veteran Mark Green will attempt to make his NASCAR Winston Cup debut driving a No. 41 Conseco Pontiac in Sunday's NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Team owner A.J. Foyt is fielding the car as a thank you to Green for helping out Foyt's son Larry in his rookie year in the Busch Series, where Foyt finished 22nd.
"Mark has been very helpful as a driving coach to Larry this year at those events that I could not make," said Foyt, whose full-time car is the No. 14 Conseco Pontiac for Winston Cup rookie Ron Hornaday. "I wanted to thank Mark and the timing worked out for me to do it this weekend.
"Now that the Busch season is over, we're borrowing Larry's crew so there will be no strain on my regular Conseco NASCAR team. In fact, I think it can help my whole Team Conseco operation because we'll be getting feedback from two teams."
Foyt is still grappling with his driver choice for 2002. He extended a letter of intent to Hornaday a couple months ago and negotiations had continued up through last weekend, where Hornaday failed to qualify the car and the team had no provisional starting positions available.
Green was supposed to make his Winston Cup debut this season with Davis & Weight Motorsports but the team had to close down before that occurred due to lack of sponsorship.
"I'm tickled to be driving in this situation," Green said. "I really enjoyed working with Larry this year. I drove for him at Richmond when he was hurt in September so we already have that communication going with his crew chief Jon Wolfe and his guys.
"It's great to be associated with such good people and, on top of that, to be driving for A.J. Foyt just makes it extra special."
Green, 42, has five starts on Atlanta's 1.54-mile track in the Busch Series. He has three top-12 starts and three top-13 finishes. His best showing came in 1999 when he started eighth and finished 10th.
Green's younger brother Jeff will drive Richard Childress' No. 30 American Online Chevrolet this weekend and next season. In addition to testing at Indianapolis earlier this season, Mark Green has tested Winston Cup cars at Daytona, Talladega and Richmond.
"I thought the Cup car drove better than the Busch car so, if anything, it was more comfortable to drive and certainly not any harder to drive than a Busch car," Mark Green said.