Defending race winner Jeff Green fought off a hard charging Gregg Biffle to win the Carquest 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "There was no doubt in my mind we had the fastest car, just a great day for us," said Green. Green, a former series...
Defending race winner Jeff Green fought off a hard charging Gregg Biffle to win the Carquest 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "There was no doubt in my mind we had the fastest car, just a great day for us," said Green.
Green, a former series champion was driving the No. 21 Rockwell Automotive Chevrolet took the lead for the final time on lap 185 as his Richard Childress Racing teammate Jay Sauter pitted. Green's win was a multi-team effort as Team manager Will Lent decided to make a radical change in pit strategy for the last green flag stop of the race. A strategy that did not involve the changing tires, but changing the over the wall crew.
Green's team, who was not performing well in the pits, stepped aside for the final stop, and allowed Dale Earnhardt Jr's Winston Cup crew to service the car. The move worked as Green took four tires and fuel in less than sixteen seconds, to give him the track position to take the point as the field cycled through green flag stops.
"The first two stops were eighteen and twenty seconds, and they came in a pulled a fifteen, and there was my five second lead," stated Green "I have to take my hats off to my crew guys; they are not too proud to set down and let someone else step in."
After taking the lead Green was out of reach of the field and was running away with the win, until a late race caution set up an four-lap shootout.
In dramatic fashion, the second place car of Gregg Biffle used the caution to take four tires, putting him back to ninth place, but he had the only car on the lead lap with fresh rubber.
"I thought there were less cars on the lead lap, and I figured someone else would come with me. We learned a lot from Dale Jr and the Winston, New tires at this place are amazing," noted Biffle
The team made the right call, as three laps into the restart; Biffle had passed his way back to the second position and was gaining half a second on Green per lap.
Clearly the fastest car in the field, Biffle caught Green at the start-finish line as the white flag dropped. The two remained nose to tail through turns one and two as Green held Biffle's' Ford at Bay until the middle of turn three. Biffle made an outside move that drove him very high in the corner. Green, who held the low line was able to maintain the position to win his second 2002 Busch Grand National Series win by a margin of 0.125 seconds.
Finishing behind Green and Biffle were Busch series regulars Scott Riggs, Mike McLaughlin, and Todd Bodine to round out the top five.
The event had fifteen lead changes among nine drivers, and was marred by nine cautions for a total of forty-one laps under yellow.
Jason Keller maintains the series points lead twenty-one pints ahead of Jack Sprague, and rookie Scott Riggs.
The series heads North to Dover Delaware to compete in the MBNA 200 on Saturday June first.