Coca-Cola 600 Pit Note #1
SUCCESS OF THE COT: David Green, former NASCAR Busch Series champion, is returning to the Busch Series for his first race this year in the No. 91 TRD Toyota owned by Riley Industries, which moved from Indianapolis, Ind., to Mooresville, N.C., at the end of the 2006 season. The Riley effort is joined by Eddie D'Hondt, at one time the general manager at Robert Yates Racing (RYY) and a long-time modified competitor.
It should be pointed out that Green, older brother of racing brothers Mark and Jeff (No. 66 Haas/Best Buy Chevrolet), did the majority of testing for Hendrick Motorsports in NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow (COT). "Yeah, I did," said Green, "about 10-12 times at different tracks within the last year."
With the help of Green's testing, Hendrick Motorsports has won all five of the COT races to date with Jeff Gordon (No. 24) winning three, Jimmie Johnson (No. 48) one and Kyle Busch (No. 5) the first one at Bristol, Tenn. Green was not surprised when NASCAR announced earlier this week it would step up the introduction of the COT, using it at all races, starting in 2008.
"I know this is what Rick Hendrick has been planning all along with the way he's set up and conducted testing for the COT," said Green. "He has a couple of outstanding road racers doing all his road-course stuff with the help of Gordon. So he's way ahead of everything and everybody."
Not only is this Green's return to the Busch Series; it's the debut for the company owned by father and son Bill and Bob Riley. Riley is a big player in the sports car racing industry, building and engineering its own chassis.
"We do all our own stuff right there in the shop at Mooresville," said Green. "We are planning on running the next Busch race and some others after that, too, but it all depends on a sponsor, which we don't have yet."
Riley/D'Hondt also has plans to put Green into a NEXTEL Cup for some races in 2008 and go for a Busch Series championship in 2008.