JEFF BURTON, DRIVER OF THE NO. 31 AT&T IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Kansas Speedway and discussed racing at Kansas, the new drug policy, the potential of a second date at Kansas and more. ON HIS THOUGHTS OF RACING AT KANSAS. ...
JEFF BURTON, DRIVER OF THE NO. 31 AT&T IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Kansas Speedway and discussed racing at Kansas, the new drug policy, the potential of a second date at Kansas and more.
ON HIS THOUGHTS OF RACING AT KANSAS. "Well it's the first of the 1.5-mile tracks in the Chase and I think it's going to be important to run really well here. Even though this race track is quite a bit different than Charlotte and quite a bit different than Atlanta or Homestead or any of the 1.5-mile tracks, I still think it's important to run well on this kind of race track. It's a big test for us this weekend. We've struggled with the 1.5-mile tracks, it's been our weak point and we've been talking a lot about being able to do it better and having better stuff coming and those kind of things. We need be able to show that we can do it and lay some points down and have a good finish."
ON THERE NOT BEING A BANNED SUBSTANCE LIST IN THE NEW DRUG POLICY. "I'm not well-versed in drug testing. I believe and the one thing that I do understand is that the little bit that I've read about that it seems like the banned substance list is always changing. It seems like it's hard to stay ahead of the curve in putting the list of all the banned substances because scientists and chemists are always trying to create something that's not on the banned list. Putting names on the banned list on the surface of it seems like a good idea but is problematic as well. The fact that this policy is a little more open I think has some real merit to it all though that gives the sanctioning body or not necessarily the sanctioning body but the testing group a little bit of free reign with what at the moment should be a banned substance. That's a negative to not having a list. Again, I'm not real well-versed but on the surface of it I see that. I kind of see both sides of it.
"I'm okay in not having a list because if you were taking something that is illegal obviously that's going to be bad for you, but you could potentially be taking something that has a medical research behind it, that has been created to make you be able to function better physically. We now have a policy that because it is kind of an open policy and no names, now it's your responsibility to make sure you're doing the right thing. You really don't have an out in saying well I took this because my trainer said to take it and there's nothing in it that's on the banned substance list, now the responsibility rests on your shoulders. If your trainer or someone in healthcare wants you to take something you can't look them in the eye and say is this on this banned substance list. They can't give you that answer and now it forces you to go do the research and call the right people to make sure you're doing the right thing. It puts responsibility at the end of the day on the user. I'm okay with that. I mean I'm really okay with that.
"Fitness, really that's what we're talking about. Honestly if you're doing heroin, you pretty much know you're out there, it's illegal and you're in trouble if you get caught. If you have a trainer that's real pro-active in some sort of fitness type of drug or supplement you may not know if that's right or not. He can't look you in the eye and say it's not on the banned substance list. You've got to go make sure. So I think there's some real merit to that. That to me is our biggest issue. If you're trying to do the right thing not knowing you're doing the wrong thing, that's when I have sympathy. In my eyes, this policy makes it easier for me to pick up the phone and call the laboratory and say okay my trainer wants me to do this am I okay. Now I took the responsibility to call the laboratory and the laboratory has the responsibility of getting back with me. That to me I'm good with."
CAN YOU GIVE US YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE SEASONING OF THE TRACK AND RACING THE COT FOR THE FIRST TIME? SECONDLY, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE POTENTIAL OF COMING TO KANSAS CITY TWICE? "Well I think the track has certainly aged. Typically that's what happens when the tracks get older, the grooves widen out and you have more options assuming the track is shaped to except that. This track is shaped to accept that so I think we'll see some of that on Sunday and Saturday as well and I think that is ultimately good for racing. Being able to run different places, I think that's a good thing.
"As far as being out here twice, I don't know. Clint (Bowyer) thinks we should. I'm a proponent of being in as many places as possible which may or may not mean I want to be here twice. I think it's in our sports best interest to be in a lot of different places. Where those different places are, however it maps out I think that's really good. I don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about whether we should be in a place twice or not because I don't get a vote so I really don't think a whole lot about it."
ON THE PRESSURE'S CLINT BOWYER IS FACING GOING FOR TWO CHAMPIONSHIPS AND IF HE WOULD PERSONALLY WANT TO BE GOING FOR BOTH AT THIS TIME OF YEAR. "Well if you set out to win both championships it's a hell of a lot better than not being going up for both, that's the way I view it. Listen, we can't forget that we do this for fun. We are playing a game that we wanted to play when we were seven years old. That's the way I view it. Having an opportunity to race for championships is a hell of a lot better than not having that opportunity. Points have a way of taking some of the fun out of the sport because you can't just run a race and say okay that's done we'll go run the next one. They all mean so much so we tend to stress ourselves out about it.
"I think it's important to remember that we started doing this for fun and we need to keep doing it for fun. That's doesn't mean we don't try hard and you put a lot of effort in, you're upset when things don't go well, we certainly get that way but what the heck try as hard as you can, ask the people around you to try as hard as you can and put one hundred percent effort into it. If you do that and the results are good then that's great, if they're not then go swing the bat again. That's really all you can do."
WHAT'S YOUR ANALYSIS OF THE (GREG) BIFFLE SURGE RECENTLY AND IS HE THE FAVORITE NOW? "They're a dangerous team. Every year we have these conversations. Last year it was Clint (Bowyer), the year before that it was us, the year before that I'm not real sure who it was, I wasn't in it so I wasn't paying attention, but every year somebody I don't want to say comes out of the woods but surprises people and puts themselves in a position to win when nobody picked them. That's what they've done this year. Whether they can do it for eight more weeks or not I don't know. They could, they look really strong. There's five 1.5-mile tracks coming up, that's where I think the sixteen has been their best at the big race tracks. But there are a lot of variables. You still have Martinsville coming up, you still have Talladega coming up, a lot of stuff is going to happen between now and the end of the Chase. If people ask me to pick a favorite, I don't have a favorite. I really can't pick a team and say this is the team that I think is going to win because I don't think Biffle's team is going to win the next eight races. They won the first two, but I don't think they're going to win the next eight. Who steps it up, who makes the least amount of mistakes and there's a lot of stuff going on. They're capable of winning it, there's no doubt about that but I'm not about to put them in the favorite category nor anybody else for that matter."
ON BEING INVOLVED IN A RIVALRY DURING THE CHASE "That's not what I want. I want to be leading it. Might be what ya'll want. It's the playoffs. It's the same as the Giants getting on a role last year when everybody wanted the quarterback and the coach and everybody else fired on the team and they got on a roll and got going when it counted. It's the same thing. I think that's good for our sport. I don't know there's an argument that says you always want the Dallas Cowboys to be playing for the Super Bowl. Some people will argue that I don't know. To me it's more compelling when it's just good racing and good competition. I think it's more compelling if there's eight teams, ten teams. If we've got four races to go and there's still eighth or ten teams that have a real shot, not just a mathematical shot, but a real shot to win, I think that's what makes it cool myself. Some people think it's better if you have only two and if you had Kurt Busch and Carl Edwards going at it, some people think that's better. I don't know."
-credit: gm racing