JEFF BURTON-99-Citgo SUPERGARD Taurus "Certainly there was a big wreck there off of turn two and that changed the outcome, I think, quite a bit. It looked pretty nasty in the mirror, I hope everybody's okay. We made a move late in the race and...
JEFF BURTON-99-Citgo SUPERGARD Taurus
"Certainly there was a big wreck there off of turn two and that changed the outcome, I think, quite a bit. It looked pretty nasty in the mirror, I hope everybody's okay. We made a move late in the race and got ourselves in pretty good position, but we weren't fast enough to be leading. We weren't a car that needed to be leading the pack, and Little Earnhardt pushed me and pushed me and pushed me and got me to that point, but I really didn't want to be there, because I knew we weren't fast enough. So, the line came on the outside and we ended going back to about 10th and then we fought our way back up to about fourth, and then that deal happened there. I looked in the mirror, I saw it going on and I knew it was then a three-car race. I looked at every possibility of what I could do to get myself the best chance to win, and it just wasn't going to happen for us, so I had a choice - the 20 or the 8, and the 8 had helped me so much get to where I was the right thing to do was pay the 8 back for the work he had done. And, the 8 had run up front all day. That's not a good spot to be in because you got one guy pissed off at you, another guy happy at you. I guess the only thing you can do, really, is worry about yourself, that's what racing's all about, it's a self-serving sport, and I went with the guy that I thought gave me the best chance to finish the best I possibly could, because I thought he had the fastest car on top of everything else. Again, if I was going to push somebody, I wanted to give myself the best chance to finish in second, and in addition to that, I was going to push the guy, provided it wouldn't hurt me, I was going to push the guy that helped me during the race."
HIS THOUGHTS ABOUT HIS LAST PIT STOP.
"We put on four tires and filled it full of fuel, and we knew we could go the rest of the way at that point. We actually didn't want any more cautions then because we weren't sure that everybody else could go the whole way. You get to be 50 to go and it's just go get yourself in position to put yourself in the best position possible at the end of the race. From the last stop on, that's what it was really about."
WITH TAKING ON FOUR TIRES, WERE YOU WORRIED ABOUT TRACK POSITION?
"No, it only cost us two or three spots, and most people put on four. When you get three-wide and all the air's around these cars the way they are, you need as much grip as you can possible get. So, we decided to put on four and that was definitely the right ting to do."
YOUR CAR DIDN'T SEEM TO BE THE STRONGEST, BUT EVERYBODY WANTED TO RUN BEHIND HIM.
"The difference is, when you lead a pack, you've got to be fast. Like when I was behind Earnhardt I wasn't not trying to pass him, I couldn't pass him. I had the field behind me and I could not pass him. They just have less drag than we do, so they're just faster down the straightaway and through the corners. I could battle with me car - as long as somebody stayed behind me I was okay, but I wasn't going to win this race unless something odd happened and I got myself three-wide and came off turn four on the last lap with something weird happening. We're just not fast enough. I didn't see anybody - nobody at Roush was fast enough to win, I don't even think the Yates cars were fast enough to win. We just have too much drag with this package. The cars drive okay, but they're just slow. They're slow in qualifying, they're slow in racing. We can hang in there, we can battle, and put ourselves to get good finishes, but you won't do what Little Earnhardt has done at Daytona and here with what we got right now."
DID EARNHARDT'S CAR LOOK AS STRONG AS IT DID AT DAYTONA?
"Yeah. I though that there were a few cars that were strong, too. At Daytona I thought it was a one-car race. Today I thought the 55 was pretty strong. I think the 20 was strong - I think he just goofed around all day and waited until the end, I think he was real fast. Certainly the 8 car was one of the top three or four cars. Some people made gains on him maybe a little bit, but not a lot. They got a real nice package right now - they're real fast, stuff handles good, and he does a nice job of putting it where it needs to be."