'Aggressive Driving Possible at New Hampshire' This weekend, Jeff Green and the ...
'Aggressive Driving Possible at New Hampshire'
This weekend, Jeff Green and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge team head to the 1.058-mile New Hampshire International Speedway for Sunday's New England 300. New Hampshire is the site of Green's best NASCAR Nextel Cup career finish, where he finished runner-up in 2002 at the flat oval. He will be making his 10th start at the track in Nextel Cup competition this weekend.
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 driver Jeff Green heading into New Hampshire:
"New Hampshire is very sensitive to handling. You have to have a good handling car at New Hampshire - any flat track really. The turns are the most important part. Anyone can drive straight down the frontstretch and backstretch. That's all horsepower, and we can all be pretty close in horsepower at a flat track. It's the guys who get through the turns who are the ones to beat. That's just a factor of handling, and that's what New Hampshire comes down to.
"Nextel Cup competition is the most competitive form of motorsports. You have to remember that, and that's what keeps us working hard. We feel that we have an awesome motor program this year with our Evernham Engines. We don't have to worry about getting down the straightaways. We have the speed there, but we need to make sure we have the speed through the corners. That's going to be critical at New Hampshire. Everyone is so evenly matched that the difference is the handling. You have to be the first to mash the gas. You need to be the best at rolling through the turns and getting the car to turn through the corner. That's what makes you a winner at New Hampshire.
"It's a feeling that you get with the car when you know you have a good one. It's what Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, and Jimmie Johnson have right now. They are getting their cars close to perfect in these races. They have a ton of confidence in their cars. This Cheerios team is looking for the same thing. We just need to figure it out and get a good setup for this weekend.
"I have a ton of confidence in this team. We've had our struggles, but we never quit and we're not going to quit. I'm looking forward to New Hampshire. I've had some good runs there and I am always excited to get back there. I really enjoy the flat tracks. I don't know why, but I think it really makes the driver stand out. We have to really do our jobs on the flat tracks. The cars don't drive themselves and you need to fight the car. It's a wresting match inside the car, but that's just a lot more fun. I enjoy the aggressive nature of the close, tight racing at these smaller tracks. New Hampshire just fits my style.
"It's probably going to get a little aggressive out there. There are a lot of guys trying to make the cut for the championship. New Hampshire is a track where a lot of things are in the driver's hand. It's about driving the hardest. It's always aggressive, but I hope we don't see anyone take it over the line.
"This track changed the past several seasons and it's a lot wider. That's for better racing, but it doesn't mean that we can over step the limits of the track. You can't go over the edge or you'll cause a problem. It's not fair to everyone racing if one or two guys go out there and really cause a major accident. We're all professionals and hopefully we can put on a good show this weekend.
"This Cheerios team is looking for a good run. The guys back at the shop have been working hard putting these cars together. We're asking a lot out of them, but we want to keep getting better. Hopefully we'll have the best of the best this weekend."