BUSCH: Jeff Green championship year's ups and downs

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Jan. 12, 2001) -- It is only fair that Jeff Green began the 2000 Busch Series season on his roof. In the 31 racing weekends following a mishap that left Green belly up on the backstretch at Daytona, the veteran pilot would turn...

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Jan. 12, 2001) -- It is only fair that Jeff Green began the 2000 Busch Series season on his roof. In the 31 racing weekends following a mishap that left Green belly up on the backstretch at Daytona, the veteran pilot would turn the entire Busch Series upside down.

"I wasn't very happy about that one," laughed Green, reminiscing on one of only a few mishaps during the 2000 campaign. "You stay down in Daytona for a week or 10 days and work your tail off the whole time to make that thing go in the draft and pull up and pass. Then I just plain dropped the ball. 13 laps into the race, I made a boo-boo and it cost us bad."

Uh, what? Many Busch Series regulars might prefer if Green kept those particular feelings to himself. If that miscue hadn't hurt him so "bad," goodness knows what he'd have done in 2000. He couldn't do much more, honestly.

Including the season-worst 43rd-place run at Daytona, Green won the 2000 title by an astounding 616 points over ppc Racing teammate Jason Keller, smashing the Busch Series record books along the way.

He posted a series record 25 top-5s in 32 races. At one point, he went nine consecutive weeks finishing no worse than fourth. Just once during the season did he race twice in a row without a top-5 run, when he followed up a sixth-place run at Las Vegas with a 13th at Atlanta.

"I won six times last year, but to tell you the truth those 25 top-5s are by far what make me most proud," Green said. "That means we were in contention to win in 25 races. 25 races man. That's a driver's dream."

Only five times did he fail to crack the top-10, and just twice did he finish outside the top-15. Throughout his seemingly effortless run through the schedule Green was often asked to comment on his dominance, and how he'd managed to run away with what has long been an ultra competitive series.

He honestly didn't know.

"Going through the season, you're only able to focus on one thing, that's the weekend, so you really don't get an opportunity to look back at what you've done," Green said. "Now that the numbers are posted, you look and say, 'Man, we did something that nobody has ever done before.' Some of the records we broke were 14 or 15 years old. To be able to be mentioned with Sam Ard and Jack Ingram is really, really special to me. Some of these records may never be broken."

We'll see. If Green manages to keep the rubber to the road come February, he may well break some of his own astounding marks. -nascar.com-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jason Keller , Jeff Green