Jeff Burton, No. 31 AT&T Mobility Impala SS, met with members of the media at Talladega Superspeedway and discussed what he expects to see at Talladega, drivers making their NASCAR debut here, expecting the "big one," the difference between the...
Jeff Burton, No. 31 AT&T Mobility Impala SS, met with members of the media at Talladega Superspeedway and discussed what he expects to see at Talladega, drivers making their NASCAR debut here, expecting the "big one," the difference between the two cars at this track, what he hopes to learn in practice today, if this is a typical Talladega weekend, how difficult it is to see in the cars, the impact of a possible plate change, his mindset on where his team sits in the Chase standings, the difference between the May and October race in Charlotte, Jimmie Johnson at Charlotte and if Johnson's Chase battle in 2006 gives him hope about his own chances at the 2007 championship.
Select quotes from driver interview:
ON WHAT HE EXPECTS TO SEE AT TALLADEGA: "I expect to see big packs. I think you're going to see however many cars didn't have a bad pit stop or didn't get in a wreck or something are going to all be in one big pack. I think with the more cars you get out the easier it's going to be in the pack so I really don't expect to see a whole lot different racing than what we see normally here with the Cup cars."
ON DRIVERS MAKING THEIR NASCAR DEBUT AT TALLADEGA: "I don't think this is the best place to have your first Cup race. I think that it's the easiest place we go to drive. Riding around by yourself here is no challenge what so ever. It's extremely easy to do but when you put 42 other guys out there it gets pretty hectic and the decision making is different in these cars than it is normally every week. But I think understanding the car and knowing them means a great deal. Like I said, in many ways this is the easiest place to go and in other ways it's the hardest place to go. I don't think it's the ideal place to run your first Cup race.
DOES IT MAKE YOU NERVOUS RACING WITH THEM? "I think that they're good drivers and I think that they're skilled and I think that they obviously have the ability. The only thing in question is the experience and the question is would they be better off and the rest of the field be better off for them having more experience somewhere else. The answer is probably yes. Having said all that, if you watch these races most of the wrecks in these races start in front with the guys that normally run in the front so I'm contradicting myself a little bit because we always talk about the rookies, we always talk about the young guys and at Daytona and Talladega the veterans always cause the wrecks so I've always thought that was an interesting phenomenon."
ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO CARS AT THIS TRACK: "It's really odd. In one way this car catches the draft back quicker and in other ways you lose the draft quicker. It's very situational. What's going on in front of you has a great deal to do with whether or not you can keep up with the draft, whether you can enclose on the guy in front of you and I think there's a whole lot we don't know yet. I think we have a tremendous amount to learn about what we need to do with these cars and the reality of it is until Sunday we won't be on the track with 43 cars and 25 cars is not the same as 43 cars. The biggest pack we had down here at the test is maybe 20 cars, most of them were 10, 12 car packs. We have a lot information that's going to get thrown to us pretty quickly here and we're going to have to learn real quick because I think there are a lot unknowns as far as how to drive this car, the best way to drive it, the best way to pass. There's a whole lot more to learn."
-credit: gm racing