Jeff Green returns to NASCAR Busch Series By Shawn A. Akers
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Nov. 30, 1998) Jeff Green will return to the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division full-time in 1999 as driver for a second team fielded by Progressive Motorsports, informed sources told NASCAR Online on Monday. Green, who left the NASCAR Busch Series in the middle of 1997 when he took over the No. 29 Diamond Ridge Motorsports NASCAR Winston Cup ride, will drive a Chevrolet with Kleenex/Scott Brand Products as his sponsor and the No. 32 emblazoned on the side of his car. Green will join Jason Keller as a teammate at Progressive Motorsports.
Green, who has one career NASCAR Busch Series victory (at Las Vegas in 1997) in 116 starts, began the 1998 season as the driver for the No. 29 Diamond Ridge Chevrolet in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. When that team decided to close its doors due to lack of sponsorship and poor results, Green hooked up with Team SABCO to drive the No. 46 The Money Store Chevrolet.
When it became apparent to Green that he wouldn't be driving that car next season (the 46 team officially folded on Monday), he began pursuing other options, and latched onto the second Progressive Motorsports team.
Green finished 40th in the NASCAR Winston Cup standings in 1998, making 22 starts with a best finish of 12th at Loudon, N.H., in July in the Jiffy Lube 300. He made seven NASCAR Busch Series starts this past season for various teams, with one top-10 (a ninth-place run at Texas in April).
Harold Holley, who was Keller's crew chief for a few races at the end of the 1998 season, will be the crew chief for the No. 32 Kleenex team.
The source said Progressive Motorsports had been talking with Tim Fedewa as a possible candidate to drive the second car for the team next season, but that situation never materialized due to legal reasons involving Kleenex, which sponsored Fedewa for two seasons at BACE Motorsports. The source said Fedewa felt uncomfortable with the situation and didn't want to pursue it.
The source also said that Keller will have a major sponsor for at least half of the NASCAR Busch Series races in 1999. IGA/Fleming, which appeared on Keller's No. 57 Chevrolet for five races this past season, will sponsor Keller's efforts for 16 races next season.
The source said that the team has several leads on sponsorship for the other half of the races in 1999.
Steve Addington, with whom Keller has worked in the past, will be the crew chief for the No. 57 team next season.
Despite a lack of major sponsorship throughout most of the 1998 season, Keller managed to finish 16th in the NASCAR Busch Series standings with two top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 31 starts. The team is searching for a new home as well. The source said the team is looking to purchase a shop and equipment from a couple of NASCAR Winston Cup teams that have decided to close their doors. The equipment purchased will be used for the new Kleenex team, while Keller's cars are being "rebuilt and revamped."
The source said an official announcement regarding Green and Kleenex as his team's sponsor will be forthcoming in January.
Source: NASCAR Online