'Indy is Important, But a Good Race. . . ?' This weekend, Jeff Green and the ...
'Indy is Important, But a Good Race. . . ?'
This weekend, Jeff Green and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge team head to the famous two-mile Indianapolis (Ind.) Motor Speedway for Sunday's annual running of the Brickyard 400. One of the most prestigious events on the NASCAR Nextel Cup calendar, Green and the Cheerios team tested at the speedway in preparation for this weekend's event. Green's best finish in this race came last season driving for Petty Enterprises.
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 driver Jeff Green heading into Indianapolis:
"Indianapolis is a big race for everyone, including us. It's probably the second biggest race of the season behind Daytona. We put a lot of time into this race. We tested for two days, and Kyle's (Petty) team tested there for two days too. We have a lot of information to pull from those two tests. It's almost like a very condensed Daytona, and how you prepare for that. You test before you go, come back and gather the best information, and then hopefully you come back with the best car you've got.
"We think we've got a pretty good car. We tested and had a good session. You just never know until you really back there for the race. I've been the fastest car at Indy in testing and I haven't been. It doesn't really matter until you get to the track and unload for the race. You can't read too much into the times and speeds during a practice session because you just don't know what people are working on.
"It's important to test at Indy, and to prepare hard for the Brickyard because it is such a big race. It's one of the marquee events of the season. I think we all look at this race as being special. I think Indianapolis Motor Speedway is special. I grew up in Owensboro (Kentucky), and Indy was one of the closer tracks. I was always aware of what Indy meant to our sport. The track means so much to so many different people. The chance to race the Brickyard 400 means a lot. There are not many racers that can say they have raced at Indianapolis. I'm pretty proud to be one of them.
"A win at that place, my first win, I don't know if you can put that in words. We're going to try really hard. We've got some work to do, but hopefully we'll be ready. You can take some things from Pocono and sort of imply it at Indy with the setup of the cars. We just struggled with the front of our car at Pocono, but hopefully we can learn from that and get a good car at Indy.
"This race hasn't been one of the greatest races in the past. A lot of that is because it's a flat track and handling plays a huge role. You either have great car, a decent car or you can really struggle. You see us get strung and that has caused for people to say the racing isn't great at Indy. I don't know. You can say the same for some other tracks too. I think it's a good race, but passing is pretty hard.
"It's rare to see three-wide racing at Indy with stock cars because the track is pretty narrow. We can still do some good side-by-side racing, but track position is critical. You want to start up front and stay there. It's tough to move from the back to the front. You'll see a lot of teams depend on some pit strategy to pass cars on pit road. We saw some of that at Pocono and we'll see the same at Indy too.
"This Cheerios bunch is looking forward to go. Anytime you put extra effort into a race you are anxious to see if your hard work paid off. We want a good day. A good run at Indy means a ton for some of these guys. I just want to run good everywhere we go. I'm looking forward to getting this Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge back to Indy and having good day."