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Jeff Green

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Jeffery Green (born September 6, 1962 in Owensboro, Kentucky)[1] is an American stock car driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He currently drives the #17 Dodge Challenger for Rick Ware Racing, the #14 Toyota Camry for TriStar Motorsports, and the #15 Ford Mustang for B.J. McLeond Motorsports on a part-time basis.

Green's 1990 Nashville Speedway USA championship led to his first foray in NASCAR. For several years, he raced part-time in the Nationwide Series before thriving as a full-time driver in 1995 and 1996. He then went through a two-year Sprint Cup stint with Diamond Ridge Motorsports and Felix Sabates.

Green returned to the Busch Series in 1999. In three seasons, he won the 2000 championship by 616 points, a series record which stood until 2006, and finished second twice. Green participated in IROC's 25th season in 2001, and has raced with four different Sprint Cup teams since 2002.

Personal and early lifeEdit

Green was born in Owensboro, Kentucky on September 6, 1962, as the youngest of three brothers;[1] Mark and David Green would also become NASCAR drivers. He currently resides in Davidson, North Carolina with his wife Michelle.[2] In 2002, he and Mark founded The Green Foundation, a non-profit charity assisting people with severe injuries and life-threatening illnesses.

CareerEdit

Early yearsEdit

Green dominated the field to win the 1990 track championship at Nashville Speedway USA. In 22 races, he won 15 times and had only one finish below third. After the season, John Boatman approached Green about competing in the Autolite Platinum 200, a NASCAR Busch Series event taking place at Richmond International Raceway. Green would start 23rd and finish 22nd in the event, exceeding the team's goal of simply qualifying for the race.[3]

File:JeffGreen1997Pocono.jpg

Green ran a limited schedule from 1991-1994, sporadically appearing in Busch Series races and making Cup starts for Sadler Brothers and Junior Johnson in 1994. He became a full-time driver in the Busch Series in 1995 for Dale Earnhardt, Inc., and after consecutive top-five finishes in the points standings, he made a pair of Cup races for DEI in 1996. At the end of the season, he signed to drive the unsponsored #8 Chevy for Diamond Ridge Motorsports, and won his first career race at Las Vegas. He later made 20 Winston Cup series starts in 1997 for the #29 Cartoon Network Chevrolet Monte Carlo, owned by Diamond Ridge, finishing just behind his brother David for Rookie of the Year honors. Green planned to race full-time for the team in 1998, but only raced in the #29 for three of the first six races. He was later released by Diamond Ridge, who suspended operations for the Winston Cup team in an effort to focus on the Busch Series.[4] Green substituted a race for Derrike Cope, and later signed a contract to drive the #46 First Union/The Money Store Chevrolet, owned by Felix Sabates, for the rest of the year. Overall, he would race in 22 of 33 season events and finished 40th in points.

Nationwide SeriesEdit

Green turned his focus back to the Busch Series afterwards, finishing in the top-two in points for the next three years. He finished in second place, 280 points behind Dale Earnhardt Jr., in 1999 driving the #32 Kleenex Chevy for Progressive Motorsports. It was his first full-time Busch series season since 1996.

As his team became the #10 Nesquick/Nestlé Chevy and was rebranded ppc Racing in 2000, Green became the heavy favorite to win the championship after Earnhardt and Matt Kenseth departed for the Winston Cup.[5] After dueling with Todd Bodine for the points lead early in the season, Green pulled away with 14 consecutive top-five finishes, a streak which included five wins.[6] At the end of the year, Green had won the Busch Series championship by 616 points over ppc Racing teammate Jason Keller. This final victory margin was the largest in series history until 2006. Green set a series record for most top-fives in a season (25), and with David Green, the 1994 Busch Series champion, became the first brothers to both win NASCAR championships.[7]

After the 2000season, Green was again a championship favorite in the 2001 season after switching to Ford. He eventually caught up to Harvick and, with a win in the Carquest Auto Parts 300, Green took a fourteen-point lead over Harvick fourteen races into the season. However, he would suffer a 29th and two 31st place finishes in the next four races, crippling his chances in the points race as he fell to 4th place, 302 points behind Harvick. Green finished 124 points behind Harvick and earned his second runner-up finish in three seasons. He had seven finishes outside the top-twenty compared to only two the previous season. In all, during his three year full-time return to the Busch Series, Green had 13 wins and 72 top-tens, both the most of any driver during that period, and averaged three top-tens in every four races.[2] After the season, Green signed a three-year contract with Richard Childress Racing to drive the #30 America Online Chevrolet, returning to the Winston Cup Series after three years in the Busch Series.

Sprint Cup careerEdit

Green's first full Winston Cup season in 2002 was statistically his career-best. After scattered amounts of top twenty-five finishes through the first fourteen races, he went on a string of nine consecutive races finishing no lower than 26th.[8] The string included three top-ten finishes, one of which was his best career finish in the New England 300, finishing 2nd to race winner Ward Burton. The runner-up finish brought him up to 18th in the points standings, and Green stayed in the top-twenty for the rest of the year. His 17th-place points standings finish is the highest of his career in the series. The four top-fives and six top-tens are also the most Green has had in one Winston Cup season.

Green began 2003 by winning the pole for the Daytona 500 and had a 7th place finish at Texas Motor Speedway, but otherwise failed to finish higher than 20th and crashed twice. After an incident with teammate Harvick at Richmond, Richard Childress Racing fired Green on May 5. Two days later, he was picked up by DEI to drive the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet, replacing Steve Park, who was hired by Childress to drive the #30 that Green left. Green fared no better than 16th in twelve races, and was replaced by John Andretti. He was also replaced in the road-course races by Ron Fellows. In reaction, Green said he was not given the opportunity to improve the situation.[9] After missing three events, Green drove the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Intrepid for Petty Enterprises in the Dover 400 because the original driver, Christian Fittipaldi, had a commitment to drive the #44 in four races. After driving the Dodge again in the EA Sports 500 the next week, he became the driver for the rest of the season on a race-to-race basis. Green's best finish with the team was a 16th-place finish at Dover International Speedway; team owner Richard Petty expressed anticipation that the team could work well together after a few months.[10] Green finished 34th in the points standings, and was signed to drive full-time for the team for the next season.

While Green had four top-fifteen finishes in 2004, including a 7th-place finish in the Subway 500, he would fail to finish in eleven races, the most DNF's for one season in his career. Five were caused by engine failures, while the other six were accidents. The eventual 30th place finish in the standings remains the lowest result for Green in a full-time season. He would continue to struggle in 2005. He failed to finish in the top-ten the entire year, with his best finish of 11th coming in the Coca-Cola 600. Green's 29th-place finish caused Petty Enterprises to announce on November 11, 2005, that Bobby Labonte would replace him following the season's end.[11]

JeffGreenCar

Jeff Green's 2006 #66 Best Buy Chevrolet

Green signed with Haas CNC Racing and became the successor of Mike Bliss in the #66 Best Buy Chevrolet, which had been changed from #0 to celebrate the sponsor's 40th anniversary.[12] His new crew chief was Robert "Bootie" Barker, who had been subject to rumors of replacement before the 2006 season.[13] In the Daytona 500, Green crashed midway through the race when Dale Jarrett clipped the right-rear of his car; Green would call this "stupid" and a "rookie" move.[14] He rebounded from the 42nd place finish in the next nine races, finishing no lower than 26th and rising to 21st in points. After finishing four laps down at Darlington, he recovered from a pit zone infraction penalty at Lowe's Motor Speedway and finished 12th. Green's best race came at the UAW Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, in which he finished 7th after starting 35th, breaking a 70-race streak without a top-ten. After another top-ten finish at Martinsville Speedway, he ended the season 28th in the points standings.

Green returned to Haas in 2007, and had three sixth-place finishes but was released with four races to go in the season. In 2008, he attempted four Cup races with Wood Brothers Racing and Front Row Motorsports respectively, but did not qualify for any of those races. He did qualify for three races in the Nationwide Series in the #31 Key Motorsports Chevy with a best finish of 28th, and ran eight races with their #40 truck team. His best finish was a seventh at Las Vegas.

In 2009, Green continued his part-time schedule in the Nationwide Series, running for Day Racing, MSRP Motorsports, MacDonald Motorsports and Key. His best finish was 21st at Nashville Superspeedway.

As the 2010 Nascar season begins Jeff Green has no full-time ride in any of the top three series. Unfortunately for Green another year without a full-time ride seems likely.

Conflicts with fellow driversEdit

While in the Busch Series, Green developed a rivalry with Kevin Harvick. The drivers were prime contenders for the 2000 and 2001 championships, with Harvick beating Green out in the latter year. Green would become a teammate of Harvick's in the Winston Cup in 2002; both rejected the notion that they could not get along. While their first season together passed without incident, the second did not end well. During the 2003 Pontiac Excitement 400, Harvick ran into the rear of Green's car while Green was attempting to avoid a conflict between Ryan Newman and Ward Burton. Harvick began apologizing for the spin-out, and cameras showed that Green's car had hesitated before the collision. Green was outraged by the incident and confronted Harvick's crew chief, Todd Berrier, later saying, "Tough to be teammates when it seems like there's only one car at RCR."[15] He was fired by Childress the next day, who said that change was needed after the relationship had gone awry.[16]

After a relatively quiet 2004, Green took part in a much-publicized feud with Michael Waltrip during the early 2005 season, especially during races at Martinsville and Darlington, where Green and Waltrip wrecked each other on several occasions.[17] While no penalties were assessed against the drivers, NASCAR ordered them to discontinue the incidents.

During the 2006 season, at the Chevy Rock and Roll 400, after being involved in a crash with Jimmie Johnson on lap 252, Green drove back onto the track, and, while 51 laps down while repairs were made, then slammed into Johnson just after he had spun off the bumper of Reed Sorenson on lap 322, resulting in his car being ordered to the garage for the final 78 laps (resulting in a 41st place finish).[18]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 NASCAR.com (2006). Jeff Green - Biography. URL accessed on June 17, 2006.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Best Buy Racing (2006). Bio - Jeff Green. URL accessed on June 18, 2006.
  3. Motorsport.com (2000). Jeff Green ten years in Busch Series. URL accessed on March 2, 2006.
  4. Jayski's Silly Season Site (1998). April 28, 1998. URL accessed on June 17, 2006.
  5. Kiser, Bill (2000). Jeff joins brother David as Busch Series champions. SCENE Daily. URL accessed on June 17, 2006.
  6. racing-reference.info. Jeff Green 2000 Busch Series Results. URL accessed on June 18, 2006.
  7. David-Green.com (2006). David Green's Biography. URL accessed on June 18, 2006.
  8. racing-reference.info. Jeff Green 2002 Winston Cup Results. URL accessed on June 18, 2006.
  9. Smith, Marty (2003). Andretti to replace Green in No. 1 Chevrolet. NASCAR.com. URL accessed on June 18, 2006.
  10. Montgomery, Lee (2003). Petty pleased with Green's work in No. 43. NASCAR.com. URL accessed on June 18, 2006.
  11. Spoor, Mark (2005). Labonte lands in Petty's No. 43 Dodge. NASCAR.com. URL accessed on January 15, 2006.
  12. TMCnet (2006). Best Buy Racing Enters NASCAR Nextel Cup Series as Primary Sponsor of Car Number 66. URL accessed on June 18, 2006.
  13. Fox Sports (2005). NASCAR This Morning Q&A: Bootie's back in '06. URL accessed on January 15, 2006.
  14. Utter, Jim (2006). Green rips Jarrett for 'rookie' move after 4-car wreck. ThatsRacin.com. URL accessed on June 18, 2006.
  15. Smith, Marty. (2003). Green enraged after incident with Harvick. NASCAR.com. URL accessed on June 18, 2006.
  16. Rodman, Dave (2003). Green out at RCR, no replacement named. NASCAR.com. URL accessed on October 19, 2006.
  17. Smith, Marty (2005). Waltrip, Green feud all night at Darlington. NASCAR.com. URL accessed on June 17, 2006.
  18. NASCAR Chevy Rock'n'Roll 400 Lap-by-Lap. NASCAR.com. URL accessed on December 9, 2006.

External linksEdit

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