On a Comeback
Kentucky native David Green
is a top driver in the NASCAR
Busch Series this season
Green returns to the Bluegrass State
to race at Kentucky Speedway in June
By Ruth Wright
(June 2003) Veteran driver David Green celebrated his first NASCAR Busch Series win since 1996 on April 12 at Nashville Superspeedway in Tennessee.
Green and his No. 37 Timber Wolf Pontiac team narrowly edged out the No. 21 Curb Records/Chan-nellock Chevrolet driven by Johnny Sauter to capture the checkered flag in the Pepsi 300, the eighth race of the Busch season.
Busch Series driver
David Green of
I think we put an exclamation point on showing the world how good our racing team is, Green said. After the win, Green triumphantly hoisted the championship guitar up high as fans cheered the seasoned racers comeback victory in Music City.
Comeback is just the word to describe Greens season thus far. First in point standings after the May 10 Charter Pipeline 250 at Gateway International Raceway in Illinois, Green is proving to the racing community that hes still got it. Last year, the 45-year-old 1994 Busch Grand National Champion faced uncertainty when he found himself without a ride for the first time in many years.
Last year was tough, said Green in mid-May by telephone. I honestly didnt know if Id ever get a shot to drive again.
Green had nearly given up hope of getting back behind the wheel when, near the end of the season, he hooked up with Hendrick Motorsports, driving a car for the injured Ricky Hendrick for the last six races of the year.
If that deal hadnt happened, I think everybody would have written me off, said Green.
David Green drives for Brewco Motorsports.
Instead, Green managed to pull off four top-10 finishes for Hendrick, and in doing so, he captured the attention of Clarence Brewer of Brewco Motorsports. We knew that he had the talent and knew he could drive but that he had been out of a ride for about a year, said Brewer.
Brewer approached Green toward the end of the year about driving for his team the following season. That was about the time we were ready to name a full time driver for 2003, and he was the perfect fit, Brewer said.
For Green, it was just the opportunity he was looking for. Clarence said he wanted an experienced driver, and that was music to my ears, Green said.
Experience is exactly what Brewer got when he signed Green for a full Busch season this year. A native of Owensboro, Ky., Green has been racing since his early teens, beginning with go-karts in the early 1970s. In 1980, he started running stock cars at Kentucky Motor Speedway near Owensboro, and in 1989, Green hit the big time with his first Busch Series start at Hickory Motor Speedway in North Carolina. Two years later, in 1991, he captured his first Busch victory in Lanier, Ga.
Since then, Green has added five winning runs, including his most recent in Nashville, and a Busch Grand National championship title to his credentials. In addition to experience behind the wheel, Green has worked his way through the ranks of the sport building race cars and supporting other drivers from the pits.
Green has more than his own career of which to be proud. The motorsports legend has a family legacy as well. Greens dad, Dave Green, raced drag cars in the 1960s, and his two brothers, Jeff and Mark, have had their own successful NASCAR careers. In 2000, when Jeff claimed the Busch championship, he and David made history by becoming the first brothers to hold NASCAR championship titles.
To have not just one of us, but the three of us all having great careers in NASCAR is a blessing, and Im proud of that, Green said.
June cover of RoundAbout's
Besides family, Green said there are many others who have profoundly influenced his racing career, including Mike Alexander. When I first got started, Mike Alexander gave me the first opportunity ever to sit in a Busch car, he said.
Green credited Bobby Labonte and his family for helping him stay there. Bar none, Bobby Labonte, Terry Labonte and the whole Labonte family stepped in when there was absolutely nothing going on. I was so close to (giving up on it), and those were the guys who stepped in.
That was in 1992, when after Greens team lost its sponsor he was named to drive the No. 44 Slim Jim Chevrolet for Labonte.
Green is also quick to thank Rick Hendrick for fielding him for several races last year and Clarence and Tammy Brewer for putting him back in the drivers seat for another full Busch season this year.
You wont find better owners to drive for or a better sponsor, said Green. Sometimes it feels like its too good to be true.
But true it is, and there have been no regrets this season for either Green or Brewer. You never know when you hire someone how its going to work out, said Brewer, who admitted that sometimes a team just doesnt gel. With David, it was just the opposite. David came in and immediately he and the crew chief and the chief mechanic were able to understand what the other needed.
Continuing to do a good job is especially important to Green when he returns home to Kentucky on June 14 for the Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo at the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.
"Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo"
at the Kentucky Speedway, Sparta, Ky.
June 14, 2003
(All times EDT-fast time)
Friday, June 13
5 p.m. Lexington Herald-Leader Pole Night
8 p.m. "The Kentucky 150" NASCAR Kodak Southeast Series All-Pro Race
Saturday, June 14
5:30 p.m. Mark Wills in concert, B-105 Country SoundStage
8 p.m. "The Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" NASCAR Busch Series Race
For More Information Visit: www.kentuckyspeedway.com
If we do our job, well be one of the guys to beat, Green said. I think the biggest thing is, I have to be careful not to try too hard because it is my home track and the track I want to win on more than any other.
Brewer said he has big expectations for the teams performance at Kentucky Speedway, especially since it is a stand-alone event not paired with a Winston Cup race. Were in our own back yard, and we dont have to compete against Winston Cup drivers dropping down. I really think we have a shot to win, he said.
Brewco Motorsports headquarters is in Central City, Ky., just south of Owensboro
In addition to the race in Sparta, Green plans to return to Kentucky at the end of the month for an appearance at the Owensboro-Daviess County Kentucky Motorsports Festival. Green currently lives in Concord, N.C., with his wife, Diane, and two children, Kaylie Rae, 6, and Austin, 2.
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