JEFF GREEN-10-Nestle Nesquik Ford Taurus YOU HAD SOME TOUGH LUCK LAST WEEK AT BRISTOL. HOW DO YOU BOUNCE BACK AFTER THAT? "We'll just do our normal deal. We feel like that won us the championship last year, and it's the winning formula for...
JEFF GREEN-10-Nestle Nesquik Ford Taurus
YOU HAD SOME TOUGH LUCK LAST WEEK AT BRISTOL. HOW DO YOU BOUNCE BACK AFTER THAT?
"We'll just do our normal deal. We feel like that won us the championship last year, and it's the winning formula for this year. Bristol was just Bristol; we have to put it behind us. It's a short race track and the way tires were, they were so darn good, the speeds weren't slowing down any, and at that track you need to be on the gas some much that if something happens in front of you, it's going to be hard to miss it and that's basically what happened. It was just a bad luck deal, it's nothing that we could control and that's the way you look at it and keep digging. We have 26 more races, so we have plenty of time to make up what we lost and even gain on it more. We feel like we have a car that can win this race in Texas and that's the best way to make up points - to win."
WHAT ARE YOUR FEELINGS ABOUT SOME OF THE TEAMS THAT ARE GETTING INTO THE RACES, BUT ARE NOT QUITE UP TO SPEED?
"It was only a problem because it was Bristol. Bristol is probably the world's worst track that we go to if you don't have some experience because you can't get out of the way quick enough. At a place like Texas, or even Richmond, you have plenty of room to get out of the way. That's just the only problem that I see with having short fields, you'll have four or five that wouldn't have been in there anyway and that makes life tough for us at a track like Bristol. The good thing about those guys is that they are getting experience that they wouldn't have gotten if we had plenty of cars and some of the guys were going home. They probably would have been some of the guys going home and they wouldn't have gotten the experience. It's good for them to get experience, but it's kinda costing us, too."
WHAT'S GOING TO BE THE KEY TO RUNNING UP FRONT TOMORROW?
"Just staying up front. Staying with the lead group like you need to. It's not going to be real easy to pass here unless it does something different than it has in the past. In the past it's been a one-groove race track, so staying up front and getting all of your pit strategy down, you don't want to run out of gas or do anything like that. This is a track that you can go the whole distance on a gas run, and you don't want anything like that to happen because it can put you behind. More than likely, we'll be pitting under green, hopefully we will. Hopefully we don't have any cautions and we'll just have to get our pit strategy right and just be there right at the end and capitalize on that."
DID YOUR EARLY-SEASON WIN TAKE A LOAD OFF YOUR SHOULDERS KNOWING THAT WITH ALL THE CHANGES THAT YOU MADE THAT YOU'RE STILL COMPETITIVE?
"I don't know. Winning at Darlington was pretty awesome, whether it was at the beginning of the year or the end of the year. It just happened top be early in the year for us, it definitely helped our momentum a little bit and got us going a little bit more and told us that we can do it with the Ford Taurus. We're still learning about it, I think we'll be learning about it all year. We'll just keep getting better and better. We're right there at being at the point, I think, of being the best in the Series and if we keep learning, we're going to get in front of those guys and that's what we want to do."
WHAT BEEN THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE WITH THE FORD?
"The setups are a little bit different, what you have to put in the car for springs and shocks and weight. It's been a lot different than what we had in the past, and we've had to learn that and we've tried to parallel that to what we had the past two years, and it doesn't really work. Some of it does and some of it doesn't, we've just had to decipher what does and what doesn't, and, in fact, we're getting pretty close on that now."
YOU'VE BEEN A LITTLE BETTER IN QUALIFYING THIS YEAR THAN JASON KELLER. DOES YOUR WINSTON CUP EXPERIENCE AND THE NEW ENGINE PACKAGE HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH THAT?
"I think it helps me a little bit. Jason (Keller) is a great race car driver, but if it's not exactly right, he can be a little timid with it. I think that my experience, period, will let me drive through that, and if the car's not exactly right, you need to drive through it and we can work on it later and get it better. I think the 12:1 motor rule and my Cup experience has really helped me a lot."
IF SEEMS LIKE SOME OF THE WINSTON CUP GUYS THAT WERE ON TOP LAST YEAR ARE STRUGGLING WITH THE NEW TIRE, BUT WE HAVEN'T SEEN THAT TREND IN THE BUSCH SERIES.
"I think some of it is bad luck on the Winston Cup side. I know Bobby (Labonte) has had some bad luck and some of the guys are having a little bit of a tougher time, but maybe that's the wheelbase. I don't know if the shorter wheelbase that we have in these cars makes the cars drive easier with the new tires. I think it's mainly bad luck and those guys aren't getting the right situations. Also, a lot of those guys are catching up, like Sterling (Marlin) and those guys. They have really caught up a lot over the winter, and not that Bobby and Dale Jarrett and those guys have fallen back, it's just that some of those other guys have caught up with them a little bit." WILL TEXAS BECOME A TWO-GROOVE TRACK TOMORROW WITH THE NEW RULES PACKAGE?
"I hope so. It hasn't been in the past, but in the past at Atlanta hadn't been that way, but we saw a great race there and we used the whole race track there, so hopefully it will be that way here at Texas."
DID YOU FIND THINGS AT ATLANTA THAT YOU CAN USE THIS WEEKEND?
"Yeah, but this is Texas and not Atlanta. To get a sky shot of this track and lay it over Atlanta, it would probably look pretty close, but driving them is totally different. The banking is different, so hopefully we can get at least two grooves where we can ride side-by-side."
WE SAW THE ROOKIES QUALIFY A LOT BETTER AT ATLANTA THAN HERE AT TEXAS.
"That's just the track. Atlanta is a little more comfortable to run, it has a little more banking so it holds the car better. I think that a rookie needs a little more comfort, so that just gave them a little more comfort to run wide open, and this track doesn't have the banking and it doesn't give you the comfort to go into there and push it on the mat and not let off. I think that the experience came to the top yesterday."