NO. 66 HAAS CNC RACING CHEVROLET
NEW HAMPSHIRE PREVIEW
CAREER MILESTONE: This weekend will mark a career milestone for Jeff Green, as he is scheduled to make his 250th NEXTEL Cup Series start at New Hampshire International Speedway. Green made his Cup series debut on September, 10, 1994, at Richmond International Raceway, when he was 31 years old. Driving the Sadler Brothers’ No. 95 Ford, Green completed just 42 of 400 laps before transmission troubles ended his day.
In all, Green has 503 total starts in NASCAR’s three national series heading into this weekend (249 NEXTEL Cup Series starts, 253 NASCAR Busch Series starts, and one NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start).
Jeff Green: “Someone asked me how I feel about making my 250th Cup start. I guess it’s kind of a big deal, but when you look at guys like Ricky Rudd and Terry Labonte and how many starts they have, 250 is just a drop in the bucket.
“I will say I feel very blessed to have been given the opportunity to compete at this level long enough to get to 250 starts. I pinch myself when I think that I’m just a kid from Owensboro, KY., that gets to race cars for a living. Michelle (Green, Jeff’s wife) and I are very lucky people. This sport has been great to us.”
CHASSIS: Haas CNC Racing Chassis No. 406- This car of tomorrow chassis was used in a test session at Bristol Motor Speedway in early March, and Jeff Green drove this car in the NEXTEL Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway earlier this month. In that race, Green finished 30th after losing several laps while his team replaced a flat tire during a green flag run.
LAST RACE AT NEW HAMPSHIRE: After starting the race from the 20th position, Green completed just two laps of the 300-lap event before he found trouble on the front stretch of the 1.058-mile speedway.
Green was running in the outside line of cars just before the start/finish line on lap 3, when the No. 5 car, driven by Kyle Busch, moved up in front of Green’s No. 66. Green made contact with the right rear of Busch’s machine, causing Green to lose control and slide down the track before making hard contact with the inside retaining wall.
The accident severely damaged both the front and rear of Green’s car, and track workers had to load the entry onto a wrecker to get it back to the garage area. Green and his team were out of the event less than 10 minutes after the race began, and finished 43rd.
Q&A WITH DRIVER JEFF GREEN:
What do you think of New Hampshire International Speedway, now that it’s been a few years since they’ve done some paving work to the facility? “Well, it’s not nearly as bad as it used to be. Still, when they run the other series with different tires on the same weekends we’re there, the first 10 (Nextel) Cup cars that go out during qualifying are going to be sliding all over the place. It’s tough to get grip in the tires when the other rubber is down. Other than that, I like racing here.”
Since you raced a lot on shorter tracks earlier in your career, do you enjoy the tracks like New Hampshire? “Yeah, I do like the shorter tracks. It seems like when we go slower, we race harder, if you can believe that.”
Q&A WITH CREW CHIEF HAROLD HOLLY:
The past few weeks have to have been frustrating for you and the team. What are your thoughts on this weekend? “The past five weeks have definitely been frustrating. The thing is, it’s not like we haven’t had cars that are competitive. We’ve gotten into a couple of situations that were just bad luck, and then we’ve made some mistakes as a team that has cost us at a couple of other races. The bad luck things you have no control over, which is why you have to minimize the mistakes.
“The team knows what we have to do. No one wants to be put in the position of being outside the top-35. We feel like we can make up some ground this weekend at New Hampshire. We did really well at a couple of the other car of tomorrow races, and I have no reason to think we can’t do the same this weekend. If we perform at Daytona like we did in February, we have a real shot at a top-10 or even a top-five. We had a bad pit stop that put us back in the field and we got caught up in Jimmie’s (Johnson) crash, but the car was stout, and we had been in the top-five for a lot of the race.
“Again, we just need some good luck, and we need a mistake-free day. Once we get some positive momentum on our side, I think it will snowball.”
FISHER HOUSE FUNDRAISER: The No. 66 entry will again carry the logo for the Fisher House Foundation this weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway.
Members of the military and their families often must travel great distances for specialized medical care. Fisher House Foundation establishes "comfort homes," facilities built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers, to provide lodging for families of hospitalized military members.
With 38 locations throughout the US, and six more scheduled to be completed this year, the not-for-profit Fisher House organization has assisted over 110,000 military families since its inception in 1990, saving those families more than $90M in lodging, food and transportation costs.
The No. 66 displayed a special paint design at the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend to promote the kickoff of a Best Buy fundraising campaign for Fisher House.
From now through the week of July 4th, donations to Fisher House can be made at any cash register at all Best Buy retail locations, or any time from the Best Buy website, www.bestbuy.com.
In addition to the fundraising efforts, Best Buy is supporting Fisher House through hands-on volunteer opportunities for Best Buy employees at Fisher House locations, and other activities. Several Best Buy vendor partners are making in-kind donations of products needed by current and future Fisher House locations, including laptop computers, television and other electronics. Best Buy employees will volunteer their time to install these products.
Jeff Green: “We’re getting down to the final days for fans to be able to go to Best Buy stores or to BestBuy.com and donate to the Fisher House. We’re running a Haas Automation paint scheme this weekend, but the team wanted to keep the awareness going, so we’re running the decal on our ‘C’ post. I’m very proud to help the troops anyway we can, so this has been a really rewarding fundraiser for myself and the team.”
NEW ENGLAND CONNECTION: Jack Dyer, who drives Jeff Green’s motor coach, is from Bangor, Maine, and he and his wife, Bonnie, still own a cottage on Swanville Lake in Swanville, Maine.
Dyer got his nickname, “Mad” Jack Dyer, from his days as a race car driver. He drove everything from Street Stocks to Pro Stocks from 1980-2000 at tracks around Maine, including Speedway 95 in Bangor, Unity Raceway, and Wiscasset Raceway.
Prior to becoming a motor coach driver, Dyer made his living as a mechanic in Bangor. After working as a diesel mechanic for the Greyhound Bus Line for 16 years, Dyer went to work for the Bangor Daily News, where he maintained and repaired the newspaper’s trucks.
JEFF GREEN’S HISTORY AT NEW HAMPSHIRE INT’L. SPEEDWAY: In 13 Nextel Cup Series starts at New Hampshire International Speedway, driver Jeff Green’s best qualifying effort was a 15th-place starting spot in July, 2005, while driving the No. 43 car for Petty Enterprises.
Green’s best finish was a second-place effort in this race in 2002, while driving the No. 30 for Richard Childress Racing.
HAAS CNC RACING’S HISTORY AT NEW HAMPSHIRE INT’L. SPEEDWAY: Haas CNC Racing’s best qualifying effort at New Hampshire International Speedway was a 12th-place starting spot, which came with driver Ward Burton in the July, 2004, event. The team’s best finish was an 18th-place result, scored by driver Mike Bliss in the July, 2005, race.