BUSCH: St. Louis: This Week in Ford Racing

This Week in Ford Racing July 26, 2005 NASCAR Busch Series David Green, driver of the No. 27 Taurus, ended a 60-race winless streak last weekend by capturing the Busch Series race at Pikes Peak International Raceway. What made Green's...

This Week in Ford Racing
July 26, 2005

NASCAR Busch Series

David Green, driver of the No. 27 Taurus, ended a 60-race winless streak last weekend by capturing the Busch Series race at Pikes Peak International Raceway. What made Green's ninth career Busch Series victory more rewarding was the fact that the 1994 Busch Series champion has adapted to numerous changes this season at Brewco Motorsports that include a new crew chief, a new manufacturer, and various new teammates such as Greg Biffle. Green discussed his first trip to victory lane since October 2003 and the rumors surrounding him for next season.

DAVID GREEN -- No. 27 Kleenex Racing Ford Taurus

YOU HAVE BEEN CLOSE TO VICTORY SEVERAL TIMES THIS YEAR, ONLY TO HAVE COME UP SHORT IN THE END. DID YOU FEEL LIKE VICTORY WAS JUST AROUND THE CORNER? "Yes and no. Last year it seemed like we were on top of our game, but we had so many motor issues that it seemed like every time we learned something we could never put it to good use. Last year it seemed like we just sat in one spot and spun our wheels, so this year, even though I think we have a better race car to work with and a better product, my team went through some changes and I think the loss of information and the loss of finished races last year really set us back a little bit. It was kinda surprising, but then again this sport gets tougher and tougher every year. But, I knew with what we had - everything Ford Motor Co. did for us helping with our aero program and setting us up with Roush-Yates engines - we just had to get tuned in to everything. It took us a little while longer than we anticipated, but we got there. I've known for the last 10 races, I really felt like we turned the corner and we just weren't seeing the results because of little silly stuff. But, finally it all came together last week in Pikes Peak, and as a team we put together the total package from the car to the engine, and from pit stops to race strategy."

AS A PERENNIAL CONTENDER FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP, HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN YOUR FOCUS AND KEEP YOUR TEAM FOCUSED WHEN YOU GO 60 RACES WITHOUT A VICTORY? "It was getting tough. Not just the fact that I'm a veteran driver and have been around and won races and a championship, but Stewart Cooper stepped up to be the crew chief in the off-season and he was having to deal with things he shouldn't have to deal with, and that's just the pressure of winning nowadays in the Busch Series. Like I said earlier, I feel like we've got better cars and engines than ever before and that adds to the pressure as well. Ultimately, I'm not one of the 18- or 20-year-old guys, and they seem to throw the spotlight at the older guys and put them on the hot seat you might say, so it was tough. Me personally, I never doubted my ability and I never doubted Stewart's ability, but we just had so many little things go wrong and I'm thinking, 'Is it really meant to be?' But, we hung in there and kept our head down and digging, and I told Stewart all along that we will get where we need to be, and I thought the last 10 races we started to turn the corner, and thank goodness it happened. You talk about a big relief, this is win is probably one of the most satisfying, meaning with everything involved with the expectations and Kleenex on board - those folks have never got enough wins for what they deserved for as long as they've been in the series - and I was on a little bit of a dry spell myself, so the pressure was building and I'm glad we got that one behind us, and now I think we can sail on a little easier."

THE WIN LAST WEEKEND CAME AS YOUR NAME STARTED TO BE MENTIONED IN THE RUMOR MILL. "It's funny you say that because I was doing an interview and the next thing I knew, five minutes later it was on the internet that I'm leaving Brewco. What upset me, was as we talked about this year and we talked about the future, they left out the part about what I was saying about my team. We're right in the middle of talking with Kleenex and getting that secure for next year and my end of the deal as well with our race team. It never fails sometimes and people leave out a couple of key words, and it really upset me like it upset Bobby Labonte when they talked about him leaving Gibbs. I can't say that just because of that we went out and won the race and showed them, but it was upsetting. My plan when I joined Brewco was to finish out my career there, and when I got the opportunity to drive for Kleenex that was the same deal because I kind of look at couple more years driving and that's going to put me up there pretty close to the Big 5-0, and I really wanted to drive in 2006 and 2007 and then get out of my Kleenex Ford and maybe open that seat up for Bobby East or one of the new Ford development drivers that might come along. Contrary to what they were saying, like most of it, it's just all rumors. But, it did fire me up. On the flip, I will say that the late Ricky Hendrick really gave my career a second breath, and without him I wouldn't be here today. Those guys are friends of mine and will always be friends, but I don't know how they read that I was going to drive for him. I did say, too, that if you're going to be in the rumor mill those are the kind of rumors you want to be in because it's obviously some good stuff. I have been very impressed with what Ford Racing has done for our team, and having never been part of Ford Racing in my career, this year has been a pleasure to be able to see our race cars and feel the power that those guys give us. I don't know why a guy would want another home, all the way from Dan Davis (Ford Racing Technology Director) to Greg Specht (Ford Racing Technology North American Racing Operations), these guys have been friends of mine and I'm pretty excited about the future. I'm excited about being a driver development coach when I quit driving and having the opportunities that I have with helping Ford develop some young drivers."

IS THERE LIFE AFTER RACING FOR DRIVERS NOWADAYS? "I don't know about the other guys, but most of the drivers when they get out of the seat they just take off, unless you're Rusty Wallace or somebody like that has their own team. In my case, I've raced all my life and this is still what I want to be around doing, and this opportunity with Ford was one big part of what I feel is all of us getting together. I wanted to offer up my availability to help these young guys because I've always enjoyed being a mentor. Like in 2003 when Brian Vickers and I raced for the championship, I enjoyed helping him early in the year, and little did I know that he'd come back and beat me for a championship. That was satisfying because when I started there were guys like Bobby and Terry Labonte that helped me and I wanted to do that for another young driver, and I hope I get to do that for Ford Racing."

-ford racing-

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Drivers Bobby Labonte , Rusty Wallace , Greg Biffle , Ricky Hendrick , David Green , Brian Vickers , Bobby East