'Racing on Saturday Helps On Sunday' This weekend, Jeff Green steps behind the wheel of the specialty-schemed ...
'Racing on Saturday Helps On Sunday'
This weekend, Jeff Green steps behind the wheel of the specialty-schemed #43 Bugles Dodge for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at the Lowe's Motor Speedway located in the city of Concord, North Carolina. The longest event of the season, the race begins in the late afternoon and runs into the night. The ever-changing conditions are tough for any team and driver. Green hopes to gain an advantage on the competition by also competing in Saturday's 300-mile Busch race. Green has, and will, participate in several Busch races throughout the rest of the 2005 season.
Green is the only driver to have raced for the sport's biggest names. Throughout his career, he has driven for Cup's most legendary names, such as Junior Johnson, Felix Sabates, Richard Childress, Dale Earnhardt, and now Richard Petty. Green is in his second full season driving the legendary Petty Enterprises #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge. The 2000 NASCAR Busch Grand National champion, he holds the record for the largest point's margin after winning the championship by 616 points. He is also a two-time NASCAR Nextel Cup pole winner, winning poles at the Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and the pole for the 2003 Daytona 500.
The thoughts of #43 Bugles Dodge driver Jeff Green heading into Lowe's:
"Sunday is a tough race. It's long, lots of things can happen, and everything is constantly changing. The air temperature, the track conditions, the handling of the car, all of that stuff comes into play. You are only guaranteed that Mile One will be nothing like Mile 600. It's a challenge, and it's why this race holds so much prestige. It's why everyone wants to win it. It takes a total team effort and total communication to win this race. It's probably the most difficult race to win on the circuit.
"You need to take advantage of any edge you can get to prepare for Sunday's race. Any Sunday race, really. That's why you see so many guys step over and race in the Busch Series races on Saturdays. It brings so much more information to the table - information you can use on Sunday. It's why I'm excited that I have the opportunity to race again in the Busch Series this Saturday. I'm hoping that by racing in Saturday's race that I can help this Bugles Dodge get up front.
"The Busch Series is great. I had a ton of fun, and I had a lot of success when I was a regular competitor in the series. The focus on Sunday, however, is this #43 Petty Enterprises Dodge, and getting it back to its winning tradition. The Busch Series, I think, can help in that process. I'm looking to take everything that I feel, see, and learn from the Busch race and imply it to the Cup car. That's invaluable information that you can't buy anywhere else. It only comes from racing on Saturday.
"I've raced in the Busch Series a few times already this season and I plan on a few more. That's exciting for me. I've got to give credit to racing the Busch car in already helping us out in the Cheerios car. Bristol was a great example. I practiced and qualified the Busch car the same day I qualified the Cheerios Dodge. We had one of our best qualifying efforts of the year in the Cheerios Dodge. I think a lot of that came from just getting out of the Busch car. I knew what the track was like, I had the 'feel' for it, and I had so much more horsepower in the Cup car. It was heavier, and coming from a lighter Busch car, I was able to translate how the car was going to react. We qualified sixth for that race. I credit a lot of that to the fact I was able to take what I knew from the Busch car and apply that to the Cup car.
"It's just a huge advantage, and it's the reason we see so many guys race on Saturday. Racing on Saturday is helping guys win on Sunday. It's hard to argue with that - this weekend especially. I'm really excited about being in Saturday's race. I'd like to win both races, but I know that the information we collect on Saturday will translate into Sunday's race. I'll know how the tires wear, what shocks and springs are best, and what the track might be like. That's all information you can only get by being out there and racing.
"It's hard to explain all the advantages of racing in the Busch Series in helping out the team for Sunday. There are so many factors that you learn in race conditions. That's something you can't duplicate in practice. I'm not racing an entire Busch Series schedule, but I'm looking forward to the times I am. I think it's really helping this Cheerios team. It's working for a lot of other teams. Look at a guy like Carl Edwards. He's racing full time in both series, and I think it's really advancing his learning curve.
"Sunday's race is a big event. It's big for Bugles, and it's big for our team. We are preparing to win and to be there at the end. A big part of that is knowing this 'new' Lowe's Motor Speedway, knowing the track conditions when it's hot, and knowing how the car is going to handle after long runs. This Bugles Dodge will have that advantage on Sunday because of the work I'll put in on Saturday. The goal is to win every race, and we're hoping Saturday will help put this Bugles Dodge into victory lane Sunday night."