The good: If you've taken a look at the stats posted on this page,
you'll understand that this will be a short section. Really, the only
good that came out of last season for Green was how quickly he was able
to gel with the No. 43 crew because that is what guaranteed him the job
for 2004. The season also started on a very good note when Green took
the pole for the Daytona 500. When he then finished 39th in that race,
it set the stage for what must have felt like the longest season of his
career -- despite the fact he didn't even race a full schedule.
The bad: Green was fired by Richard Childress Racing in the middle of
the season and then got fired by Dale Earnhardt Inc. after that. He
posted an average finish of 25th and never made any real noise after
winning the Daytona pole.
Key stat: 26. After two firings, Green only competed in 26 races in
What needs to be done: A lot. Green, an outstanding Busch Series
competitor, has a lot to prove at the Cup level. The 43 team he now
drives for has the same task. The team will need to eliminate a lot of
the mechanical trouble it has had in recent years and find a way to
close the gap in horsepower, also. For his part, Green is going to need
to stop finding his way into so many wrecks.
Guarantee: This won't be the career move that launches Green into the
spotlight. There are some good drivers still available, so if Green
doesn't perform from the start he might not finish the year in this car.
Prediction: Look for Green to compete for a top 25 finish, but anything
more will be asking a lot.
Did you know: Jeff, who won the Busch Series title in 2000, and his
brother David, who was Busch champ in 1994, were the first siblings to
both win major auto racing championships.
Can Jeff Green improve on his one Top 10 finish in '03? Will he finish in the top 25 overall, or is that a pipe dream? Share your thoughts on Green's prospects for 2004.