David Green is starting his first full year, replacing Steve Grissom, with the 41 team after joining the team midway through the '98 season. The first order of business will be to actually qualify for the races -- the team used 15 provisionals in '98, but won't be able to repeat itself in '99.
Green's rookie Winston Cup season wasn't nearly as much fun as the '94
Grand National series championship and '96 runner-up finish on that
circuit. He didn't qualify for the Daytona 500 at start of season or Atlanta
finale, along with three others in between. Best finishes were 16ths at
Charlotte in May and at Talladega in October.
"We were testing here, and that's about what we ran. I'm fairly happy with that. They paved and changed the look of the track (since testing). It being a different color caught me off guard a little bit. We had to change engines this morning and lost practice time. Qualifying was the first lap on that engine. ... It wasn't a pretty lap but sometimes the ugly ones are the
fastest. Everyone was saying the same thing -- slick, slick, slick ... We
made an adjustment or two to compensate for a slick race track.
Green drove the Caterpillar Chevrolet owned by Buz McCall in 1997 in his fulltime debut on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series circuit. Green's first experience driving a NASCAR Winston Cup car in a regular-season race was at Bristol in April, 1995, as a replacement driver for Labonte.
His second NASCAR Busch Grand National win, in April, 1994, came when he was driving the Labonte-owned No. 44 Slim Jim Chevrolet (which he drove to the 1994 championship). As a Busch rookie in April, 1991, he came in second to Labonte in the Budweiser 250. Green qualified fourth fastest for the 1995 Food City 500, driving Labonte's Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet. The car actually started fifth, because Derrike Cope and Green qualified with identical times, but Cope led Labonte in the point standings. That same day, Green put his No. 14 Bobby Labonte Racing Busch car on the pole for the Goody's 250. Won 1991 Goody's 300 Pole in Daytona in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division as a rookie.
Won first NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division race in 1991 in rookie season at Lanier, Ga. Named to drive for Bobby Labonte Racing and Slim Jim in 1993 in the NASCAR Busch Series. Won the 1994 NASCAR Busch Series championship with Labonte and Slim Jim.
Winning the Busch Pole Award in '94, '95 and '96 and getting invited to be in the Busch Clash were all highlights of Green's career..
His younger brothers Mark and Jeff also race in NASCAR, all started in go-karts, where David was a WKA national champion in he won four of his first five races.
Green relocated to Nashville in old NASCAR All-American Challenge Series and won six poles and five races. He assisted driver Mike Alexander in 1988, then ran a handful of NASCAR Busch Series races in 1989 and 1990 with Day before landing Martocci ride for 1991.
He won a race at Lanier Raceway during rookie season, then parted ways with Martocci. Sat out the 1992 season while working for Bobby Labonte as a team mechanic.
He got his shot at the NASCAR Busch Series when Bobby Labonte moved up to NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing at end of 1992 season. Now he follows his former boss to the top series in the sport.
Green's team manager is Butch Enders, a 25-year veteran of the NASCAR Busch Series and road racing. He will be assisted on race weekends by team strategist Kirk Shelmerdine, who earned four NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship rings with Dale Earnhardt.
His wife Diane takes an active role in his racing endeavors.
Sources: NASCAR Press Guides, Star and News staff reports.