Final Exam: 2007 NASCAR Busch Series Tests Conclude At Lowe's Motor Speedway Edwards Fastest at Lowe's Motor Speedway Former Champion David Green Returns With New Riley-D'Hondt Motorsports Team DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 14, 2007) -- Although...
Final Exam: 2007 NASCAR Busch Series Tests Conclude At Lowe's Motor Speedway
Edwards Fastest at Lowe's Motor Speedway
Former Champion David Green Returns With New Riley-D'Hondt Motorsports Team
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 14, 2007) -- Although out of the racing spotlight since last September, former NASCAR Busch Series champion David Green (No. 91 Riley-D'Hondt Motorsports Toyota) kept himself busy.
He's spotted for up-and-coming driver Stephen Leicht (No. 90 CitiFinancial Ford) in the NASCAR Busch Series and also for former series champion and good friend Brian Vickers during NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races.
Green also served as a key test driver for Hendrick Motorsports as that team began building its solid Car of Tomorrow foundation, one that, as he proudly points out "is five-for-five right now" in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup competition.
But racing for points -- not information -- is what the 48-year-old Green is still about. And after biding his time waiting for what he felt was the right situation since leaving Brewco Motorsports last fall, he believes he's found it with the new Riley-D'Hondt Motorsports organization.
"We'll start up next week here in Charlotte," Green said Monday from Lowe's Motor Speedway where he turned laps for the first time for the team during the final scheduled NASCAR Busch Series test of the 2007 season. "My hope is that we'll run the rest of this year then compete for a championship in 2008."
He was encouraged when fellow veteran Jason Keller (No. 11 CJM Racing Chevrolet) made his return to the series last Friday at Darlington Raceway and finished a respectable 14th.
"Some of the old faces are coming back," Green said. "It feels like the NASCAR Busch Series again."
Green will be driving a Toyota for his new team, the fourth different manufacturer he will have competed for during his 17-year career. He's posted at least one win in the other three -- Chevrolet, Pontiac and Ford -- so he hopes that streak bodes well for his new ride.
Green also is working with one of the series' new names as a partner with his team. Bobby Santos, a 21-year-old developmental driver for Bill Davis Racing with an open-wheel background, is scheduled to run in select races this year in a second R-DM car. He made his series debut two weeks ago at Richmond International Raceway where his seventh-place start was the best among rookie drivers.
"I'm sharing things with Bobby that I would be sharing with my six-year-old son Austin when he gets to that age," Green said. "To say that I'm impressed with him is an understatement. He possesses characteristics that don't necessarily pertain to his performance on the track.
"This sport is more about more than just ability. It's about being appreciative among other things. Bobby Labonte taught me that when I drove for him and it rubbed off. I made sure of it by following his path and his template. It made me a champion and I want to share that wisdom with Bobby Santos.
"I see many of those traits in him and that's what excites me. Maybe I'll have the opportunity to finish out my career driving beside him."
Despite hearing talk that he was being labeled as a full-time spotter as opposed to full-time driver, Green felt it best to lay low and be patient to make sure his next opportunity was one that could carry him through to the end of his driving career.
"It's very satisfying and gratifying to be in this position right now," he said. "I want to be able to fulfill my love for this sport, especially the Busch Series.
"I'm not quite done doing that yet."
EDWARDS POSTS FASTEST TIME IN MONDAY'S AFTERNOON SESSION
NASCAR Busch Series standings leader Carl Edwards (No. 60 Scott's Ford) posted the fastest time of the first test session Monday afternoon at Lowe's Motor Speedway, with a lap of 29.916 seconds (180.505 mph).
Edwards' Roush Fenway Racing teammate Todd Kluever (No. 16 3M Ford) was second-fastest with a lap of 30.248 seconds (178.524).
Thirty-three drivers representing 22 teams posted times during the first session of Day 1; the second session was scheduled from 6-9:00 p.m.
Testing concludes on Tuesday following two sessions from 1-5:00 p.m. and 6-9:00 p.m. After the test, the drivers and teams of the NASCAR Busch Series will take advantage of the second open week on the 2007 competition schedule before resuming May 26 in the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Testing Fast Facts
What: NASCAR Busch Series testing.
Where: Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Who: More than 33 drivers representing nearly 22 teams.
Track Layout: 1.5-mile oval.
When: Monday, May 14 -- Tuesday, May 15. (Rain date -- Wednesday, May 16).
Schedule (both days): Garage Opens: 11:00 a.m.; Practice: 1 -- 5:00 p.m.; Dinner Break: 5 -- 6:00 p.m.; Practice: 6 -- 9:00 p.m.; Garage Closes: 9:30 p.m.