NASCAR BGN: David Green Matches Best Series Finish at Talladega
26 April 1999Talladega, AL- Owensboro, KY native David Green matched his best Talladega Superspeedway showing and scored his second top 10 finish of the 1999 season with a 10th place finish in Saturday's Touchstone Energy 300 NASCAR Busch Series race.
At the start, Green launched the No. 41 AFG Industries/Safelite AutoGlass Chevrolet Monte Carlo from the 13th position. His mission was to move toward the front and into the lead draft as quickly as possible. A drafting partner isn't the only key to success on the 2.66 mile high banked superspeedway. Track position can also make or break a day.
"Drafting partners are important but track position is just as important" said Green, who claimed the NASCAR Busch Series championship in 1994. "You need friends out there, definitely, but no matter how many friends, brothers or partners you have, being up front is crucial."
By lap 10, Green moved into the top five. Securely among the leaders, he settled in, waiting patiently for his chance.
"In superspeedway races, the first 100 laps don't mean much," said Green. "As long as you are in the lead draft, you can wait to make you move in the last 10-15 laps."
Another factor of racing at Talladega Superspeedway is 'the wreck'. Competing at speeds approaching 200 mph, in a pack of 20-30 cars, separated by inches can equal disaster. One small miscue by any of the drivers usually results in a multi-car crash. Avoid 'the wreck' and you assure yourself a solid finish.
On lap 68, 'the wreck' occurred. It started when two cars made contact in turn one. When the smoke cleared, 23 cars were left with heavy damage. Luckily, no drivers were injured. Green was nearly in 'the wreck' but managed to escape damage despite a bump from another car.
"Is there damage?" Green asked his crew.
"None. You are all clear," said crew chief Tim Hamer.
Green continued on.
With the race nearing the conclusion, the lead pack began to shuffle. Each driver attempted to put himself in position to grab the victory. Drafting partners were paired. Track position was exchanged. Battle lines were drawn.
Green made his move but found himself stuck in the middle and without a drafting partner. He fell to 13th position but fought back and took the checkered flag in 10th place.
"The car was great," said Green. "If I had more experience running up front in superspeedway races, I'm sure we would have done better. I've made several starts on superspeedways, but not many were in cars capable of winning. This car was one of the most competitive cars I've ever raced at Talladega."