Jeff Burton, No. 31 AT&T Mobility Monte Carlo SS, met with members of the media at Homestead-Miami Speedway and discussed being named NASCAR person of the year, how Jimmie Johnson needs to drive on Sunday, how difficult it is to play it safe, what...
Jeff Burton, No. 31 AT&T Mobility Monte Carlo SS, met with members of the media at Homestead-Miami Speedway and discussed being named NASCAR person of the year, how Jimmie Johnson needs to drive on Sunday, how difficult it is to play it safe, what it is about Hendrick Motorsports that makes them so good, if he thinks Rick Hendrick has something that other team owners don't, how he feels about one organization dominating the sport, if he's ready to bid farewell to the Monte Carlo, his opinions on Robbie Reiser's position change, what his team needs to do to be better than the No. 48 team, how he grades his team's progress this year, how he feels about the Roush/Yates merger, if he thinks there is a correlation between the outgoing car and the rise of NASCAR, what teams have learned and still need to learn about the new car and whether or not a new tire needs to be created for the new car.
HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO PLAY IT SAFE AS AN ATHLETE? "How many football games have we seen get blown away because they're playing prevent defense? I think you've got to press and there is a big difference between being 100 percent and 98 percent. There is a big difference. When you start trying to be 85 percent I think that's when you get in trouble but Jimmie is a really good driver and Chad is obviously a really good crew chief and it's probably more nerves for them than anything else. If they just go out and execute the way they've done most of the year they'll be fine."
IS IT GOOD OR BAD FOR THE SPORT WHEN ONE ORGANIZATION DOMINATES? "I think it's good for the sport that the two best teams are racing for the championship. That's what we have right now - the No. 48 and the No. 24, I don't think anyone can argue that they have been the best teams this year. I think that's a good thing. I do believe the championship would be more exciting to watch if there were other car owners and teams involved. I do believe that. I don't know that it's bad for the sport because they've deserved it. When someone goes out and works hard and does a good job, I certainly don't want to downplay that and say that it's bad for the sport. I think that they're the two deserving teams. Our points system, in my opinion, is a points system that has let the best two teams go out and battle for the win. So I think there's a lot right about that."
HOW WOULD YOU GRADE YOUR TEAM OVER THE COURSE OF THE SEASON? "We've done a good job. We haven't done a great job. My grading scale is pretty tough. If you look at us in comparison to the entire field I think you could give us a' B+' but if you look at us and you grade us on our goals I'd have to give us a 'C.' Our goals were to win more races, lead more laps, win a championship and we've fallen short in several of those categories. So I'd have to give us a 'C' but that's because I have high expectations. A lot of people are going to look at that and say 'well, he's just being a brat, he had a good year and he's saying he had a 'C' but the reality of it is, we're not here to be here. We are here to make the Chase; that's a great thing to make the Chase, but we're here to contend for the championship and we didn't do that in a year where I thought we could. So we're disappointed."
-credit: gm racing