'The 'Chase' Provides Complete Package'' This weekend, Jeff Green and the ...
'The 'Chase' Provides Complete Package''
This weekend, Jeff Green and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge head to the 1.058-mile New Hampshire International Speedway for Sunday's SYLVANIA 300. Sunday's race will be the first race in the "Chase for the Nextel Cup Championship." Although Green will not be a participant in this season's chase, he does intend to be a factor in Sunday's race. Green finished second at the track in 2002.
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 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge driver Jeff Green heading into New Hampshire:
"You hear a lot of opinions about the new championship system, but I think, overall, it is pretty good for our sport. There was a lot of excitement last weekend at Richmond. There is a lot of excitement for these last 10 races. That's what NASCAR intended, or wanted to have happen, when they designed the 'chase.' I think it has worked out pretty well. It's a challenge with the NFL competing on Sundays, but I think we're keeping our fans excited too.
"It's just tough. We are in a competitive sports market right now. We're going head-to-head against the NFL and Major League Baseball and professional golf, and in some cases we're doing it in the same city or region. I'm not sure what the schedules are like, but I know that we are racing in a lot of cities that have NFL teams. Kansas City, Charlotte, Atlanta, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Phoenix and Miami are all cities that are hosting at least one of the final 10 races. They also all have NFL teams. We're competing for all those sports fans in the same city. That means we have to have a better package.
"We have to have something better for the fans to want to come to the races. That's why we have the 'chase.' It keeps the fans interested and keeps them excited. Every week we're going to have a big race. We're going to have a race that is going to determine our champion. Some guys might be knocked out, but others might close in on the title. It's guaranteed that these final 10 races, no matter how they play out, will determine our champion. That's pretty exciting, and I think that gives us a pretty good package to deliver to our fans.
"It's just the way it is today. Everyone is competing for that same entertainment dollar. Right now, with the price of gasoline and other things that are affecting the economy, fans want to get the most out of their entertainment. They want to see good, hard-fought competition. If they are going to spend their money they want to know that it will be well spent. I think every NASCAR Nextel Cup race is worth every penny, but I think we're giving the fans even more in the final 10 races. We're giving them a playoff-like atmosphere for 10 straight weekends. That's pretty cool.
"The 'chase' was designed for the fans. It makes our sport more attractive at the end of our season. I think we've got something special here. I can't complain about that. Everyone has their opinions and ideas, but we've been under the same rules all season
"I wish we were in the chase, but we're not in it this season. It doesn't mean we can't win this weekend. It's still another race and it's still the same New Hampshire. It's disappointing not to be in the chase, but we're not quitting during these last 10 races either. We're going to go out there and give it our best.
"I've had some good runs at New Hampshire, and we've still got a lot to gain before this season is out. This Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge team has worked hard all season. We've made improvements since our last trip to New Hampshire. We're hoping that it will pay off for this Cheerios team this weekend."