(Mooresville, NC) While Jeff Green, 2000 NASCAR Busch Series Champion, is an accomplished race car driver, he likes the hands-on approach when it comes to cars. That means turning a wrench on his race cars when he can, but he doesn't limit it to...
(Mooresville, NC) While Jeff Green, 2000 NASCAR Busch Series Champion, is an accomplished race car driver, he likes the hands-on approach when it comes to cars. That means turning a wrench on his race cars when he can, but he doesn't limit it to race cars only.
"I started racing go-karts at age eight and that was when I started working on cars," said Green. "I have worked on and built every type of car I ever raced. I bought the chassis and bodies, but after that, I built the cars myself."
When Green wasn't driving, he took his skills of building race cars and turned wrenches for someone else.
"I moved to North Carolina in 1994 to try to get a full-time ride in the Busch garage," said Green. "While I was looking for the right driving opportunity, Michael Waltrip hired me as a fabricator and mechanic."
"Jeff is one of the best aluminum welders I've ever seen and a darn good fabricator to boot" said Green's current crew chief, Harold Holly. "If he didn't have the talent to drive, he'd be a hot commodity for any race team to hire in their shop."
Currently, Green still works on his race cars. While he still leaves most of the work to his Nesquik Racing team, he installs his own seats and seat belts in the race cars.
"I'm at the race shop everyday, pretty much," said Green. "I install my own seats and seat belts into the race car, including welding the brackets that hold the seat in the car. I like being around the cars while they are being built or set up for the next race. It means a lot to me knowing what is going on with the car inside and out. I also like my crew guys to know that I'm willing to do anything they do; that this is a total team effort."
In his spare time today, Green spends his time away from the race track working on other types of cars.
"In 1997, I started building a 1937 Ford Cabriolet Coupe from scratch and finished it in the beginning of 1998," said Green. "I bought the chassis and the fiberglass body, but I put it together including the interior; everything from the seats, stereo and dash. It is kind of like putting together a race car, basically. You just have to be more concerned with making the car look attractive, unlike a race car. I painted the car orange and she's my pride and joy. I've seen other people who have bought their own classic or restored car, but mine means more to me because I built it all by myself. There is a certain pride that comes with doing it yourself.
"I have another car, a 1941 Ford Business Coupe, that I am trying to refinish right now. I think it will be worth more one day since it is an original steel body and not a fiberglass body. I've had it for a couple of years, but lately, I can never seem to get the time set aside to work on it."
Green's fascination with working with his hands is not limited to cars he can drive. He also builds remote-controlled cars.
"My other hobby is putting together radio-controlled cars," said Green. "I have built five electric powered cars and two gas powered cars. My most recently, I built a gas powered car and decaled it to look like my Nesquik car.
"I don't know what it is about working with my hands," said Green. "I just can't seem to make them sit still. They always have to be working on something and that something always seems to have wheels on it."