BUSCH: Jeff Green Daytona preview

(Mooresville, NC) Jeff Green, 2000 NASCAR Busch Series champion and driver of the No. 10 Nestlé Nesquik Ford Taurus, got his 2000 season off to a flying start last year in Daytona, but not the way he envisioned. Green was filled with huge...

(Mooresville, NC) Jeff Green, 2000 NASCAR Busch Series champion and driver of the No. 10 Nestlé Nesquik Ford Taurus, got his 2000 season off to a flying start last year in Daytona, but not the way he envisioned. Green was filled with huge promise for his first potential win at the famed 2.5-mile superspeedway, but on lap 13, his chances of victory were crushed because his car became airborne and took a spectacular ride down the frontstretch. Green hopes his flying start to the 2001 season will be a little more grounded with a trip to victory lane instead.

"I got a little over anxious last year," said Green. "I just think it’s because it’s the first race, it’s the biggest, and it has a lot of prestige behind it. It’s every driver's goal to win at Daytona. You sit around for three months not being able to compete, so you're really eager to win that race. Like last year, I know our team has a great opportunity to win the race this year, but I've learned I'll be a lot more patient before making any moves this time around."

Green knows patience is a big factor to getting into victory lane at Daytona, but patience isn't everything.

"There are two things that are essential to winning at Daytona besides being extremely patient," said Green. "You have to have a good car and you have to know how to use the draft. For starters, you've got to have a strong car to make it into the race, but once you're in, it is all about working the draft.

"In drafting, there is a strategy. It’s like playing chess. You have to have someone to help you because you can't pull out and pass by yourself. You've got to have the guy in behind you and in front of you to help you pass. You also have to have people all around you to pass. In other words, you have to be able to know what all the other guys around you are thinking. Because of that, Daytona is mentally exhausting."

Besides having complete confidence in his car, his Nesquik Racing team and his own talent, Green has one other theory to prove that his chance of winning Daytona this year is good.

"After I wrecked last year at Daytona, everyone kept telling me not to be too upset because Dale Jarrett wrecked at Daytona in 1999 and then won the championship that same year," said Green. "So in that sense, we did the same thing in 2000. Now that we have won our championship this year, I want to remind those same people that after Dale won his championship, he returned to Daytona the next year and won the 500. I figure we'll just complete the year full circle and win at Daytona too!"

-Marcy Scott

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