HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (September 29, 2003) - It was an abbreviated afternoon in Talladega (Ala.) for David Green, bearer of the NetZero HiSpeed Racing decals on his Hendrick Motorsports entry, after an accident on Lap nine wreaked havoc on the ...
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (September 29, 2003) - It was an abbreviated afternoon in Talladega (Ala.) for David Green, bearer of the NetZero HiSpeed Racing decals on his Hendrick Motorsports entry, after an accident on Lap nine wreaked havoc on the aerodynamics of his Chevrolet and relegated him to a 35th-place finish Sunday.
Forty-nine cars turned up at Talladega Superspeedway to vie for 43 starting spots in the running of the EA Sports 500. Unfortunately, Jason Leffler and the Haas CNC Racing team were unable to post a speed fast enough during their qualifying run to make the field based on time.
Though the team has provisional starting spots available to them, several of the front runners in the race for the Winston Cup championship also had problems during their qualifying attempts. Provisional assignments are based on owner point standings and those teams with higher point positions filled each of the seven spots, leaving the Haas CNC Racing team on the sidelines. As a result, the No. 60 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet driven by Green, a former Busch Series Champion, was tapped to become the new NetZero HiSpeed entry in the event.
NASCAR officials waved the green flag for the start of the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway and barely had time to put it away before they were reaching for the yellow. A Lap nine multi-car incident which collected five cars, including the No. 60 NetZero HiSpeed Chevrolet, brought out the first caution flag of the day. Green was able to drive the car to the attention of his team on pit road before being pushed behind pit wall. Though the initial thought was to park the car for the day due to the damage to the left front of the car and the fact that the team has made only a couple of starts this year and is not racing for a place in the point standings, Green asked crew chief Gary DeHart and the team to repair the damage as well as possible in an effort to pick up as many positions as they could. The team went to work and Green returned to the track 10 laps down and minus the left front of his car. The car remained in the race as long as possible before it was obvious Green would be unable to pick up any additional positions in the final rundown. After running 150 of 188 laps the team was credited with a 35th-place finish.
"It looked like something happened to Jeremy Mayfield and then it was a matter of bunch of cars trying to avoid him and heading for pretty much the same place on the track," commented Green. "There wasn't much we could do about it. It's a shame for this team. They worked really hard to be here and we were hoping to have a little bit better run. That's just the way it goes sometimes, I guess."
Jason Leffler and the No. 0 NetZero HiSpeed Racing team return to action next weekend at Kansas Speedway for the running of the Banquet 400 Sunday. Leffler has two pole positions to his credit on the 1.5-mile oval, including one he earned earlier this season while competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Qualifying for the event will take place Friday, October 3, with the drop of the green flag scheduled for 1 p.m. (ET). The event will be telecast live on NBC and will be broadcast worldwide by MRN Radio. Leffler is also scheduled to compete in the NASCAR Busch Series event Saturday afternoon.