Green was dialed in at Phoenix By Brett Borden NASCAR Online PHOENIX, Ariz. (Nov. 8, 1999) There are no cupcakes on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series schedule. Unlike the NFL, the level of toughness on any given Sunday depends on the venue, not...
Green was dialed in at Phoenix
By Brett Borden NASCAR Online
PHOENIX, Ariz. (Nov. 8, 1999) There are no cupcakes on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series schedule. Unlike the NFL, the level of toughness on any given Sunday depends on the venue, not on the scheduled opponent that week. There are expansion tracks, but no expansion teams to rely on for easy victories. You must beat the best of the best every week, so top finishes are to be cherished.
So it is that David Green and the 10-10-345 Pontiac team will come to cherish a humble 12th-place finish Sunday in the DuraLube 500K at Phoenix International Raceway.
Green joined the team, which had just let driver Rich Bickle go, eight weeks ago, hoping for that magical connection that is so elusive in stock car racing's most competitive garage area. Green himself had just parted ways with another struggling team - the No. 41 Kodiak Chevrolet.
The results have been mixed so far. Green has made every race with the No. 45 10-10-345 Pontiac. But he didn't see any fruits from his labors on race day until recently. His first four races with the team produced a dismal average finish of 40th. In his last three, that average has improved dramatically to 17.6, including a career-best (for Green) 12th Sunday.
"This was just a great day for the Tyler Jet Motorsports team and the 10-10-345 Pontiac," said Green afterward. "This was a great day for me personally and it means so much to the team to have a solid finish like this one. I'm so happy to be involved with these guys. It really makes it exciting to come to the race track every weekend."
Green's recent improvement on Sundays can be linked to his improvement on Fridays. His qualifying position has improved or stayed the same in each of the last six races. That will make movement towards the front on Sunday much easier. Green started 23rd at Phoenix, and good pit stops and better lap times (he was faster than winner Tony Stewart at one point in the race) brought Green into contender status.
Crew chief James Ince made the call to short pit on Lap 257, and Green made the most of it, slicing through traffic like a knife through butter. When the checkered flag fell, he didn't quite have a top-10, but he was 12th, four places higher than his previous best finish of 16th, which happened a couple of times. Green's dandy dozen finish was the shot of confidence he and his team needed.
"We're not finished yet," said Green. "We're not stopping here. We're shooting for a Top-5 finish in the final two events at Miami and Atlanta. This team has worked hard to get back to this level and were going to keep right on rolling."
Source: NASCAR Online