Bristol II: Jeff Burton post-race interview

Jeff Burton -- ...

Jeff Burton -- #31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet
2nd position

TELL US ABOUT YOUR RACE "Well, that was all I had. Matt had the best car tonight and he was really fast. We were real fast there at the end. We had ran well all night-the Cingular Chevrolet was fast. We put ourselves in position to knock one off and came up just a little bit short."

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO FINISH SECOND? "Feel really good. This team has been doing a whole lot there that we haven't been showing. It feels good to get what they deserve. The last two weeks I really let them down. Tonight they had great stops and it was a real good night for us."

RE: RACING AGAINST MATT KENSETH "Well, you know the thing about Matt is that Matt and I are really good friends. And, he always races me clean and I always race him clean. I could have knocked him out of the way but that's just not how I race him and he wouldn't have done that to me either. You know, I'm real happy with the way we ran. We ran well tonight. We didn't just fall into a second-we ran well. I let us down the last two weeks but I'm proud of our effort."

TELL US ABOUT YOUR NIGHT "Well, we were pretty good all night. We started out not as good as we needed to be. Kept working and making the car better and better. Had some good pit stops and got some track position. And then I was able to get by some guys. Little too tight there at the end, but it looked like to me that a lot of cars got looser and our car stayed the same. We were too loose to start, for sure, but it kind of tightened up a bit and I thought that was a good plus for us. It was a good night for us. We've run really well the past two weeks and I wrecked us at Watkins Glen and I got the wall last week, too. The last two weeks have been really disappointing on my behalf. But, we'll keep digging and try to make some good stuff happen."

Kevin Hamlin, Crew Chief -- #31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet

TELL US ABOUT HOW IT FEELS TO FINISH SECOND TONIGHT "It kind of sucks because we wanted to win, but I mean, the way our season has gone we've had a hard time capitalizing on how we've run, so it's a tremendous boost for the team to know that we can finish how we run. We just have to keep digging and it will all happen. We've not met one of our goals this year and that was to be in the Chase, but every week in our meeting, now we reevaluate our goals and our goal is to finish 11th in the points. We've just to make sure we've got everything going our way for next season right now. We're trying to make sure that if we've got anything going wrong with the team, we're trying to fix it. Just make sure next year, when we get to Daytona that everything is the way we want it to be or the best of our ability anyway. You know, we've got good people, we've had strong cars. We've had things right we've just never been able to get to end of the deal. Tonight it's a good feeling for everyone that we can do that."

RE: TRACK POSITION AND THE EFFORT FROM THE TEAM IN THE PITS "Yeah, it seems like they've done a tremendous job tonight. They've been working really hard on trying to get regrouped. They are finally getting confidence in what they're doing and I think it showed tonight. Like you say, we pretty much picked up spots every time we came in the pits tonight and that's good. Getting track position is really, really crucial. You know, with the group being on, having a good car, it all added up tonight."

NEW ENGINE PROGRAM AND R&D PROGRAMS AT RCR-IS THIS FINISH A RESULT OF THAT? "I think tonight is not necessarily a case of that, but the engine group is working really hard to try to get us more horsepower every week. And we've hired a couple of smart people there to try to reorganize the engine program. Richard's putting forth every effort there to try to turn each of our three teams around to make them perform better every week. And that's not something that's an overnight thing by any means, but we don't quit trying to improve. We've been trying to make the bodies better. We've been trying to make the engines, chassis, pit crew better. All around, everything needs to be better. So, if you don't give up on that and you try to improve every week what's you're doing. Then sooner or later when you do make the improvements like we're doing, they are going to pay off."

TRACKS COMING UP WHERE BURTON HAS RUN WELL AT. IS THIS SECOND-PLACE FINISH A SIGN OF THINGS TO COME? "Well, I certainly hope it's the case anyway. Each week is a whole new set of problems. You can't go to Fontana this upcoming week and say that we finished second at Bristol, it's just a building block. We run good at Bristol and Martinsville. We ran good at a lot of the short tracks. We didn't run good at New Hampshire and we're pretty disappointed about that. It's one of Jeff's better tracks so we've got another test scheduled at that. Basically try to go there and straighten our program out there."

MOMENTUM FROM THIS FINISH, WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON? "Well, definitely to try to finish how we've run. Like you said we've been running good, we just haven't been finishing good. Somebody else has probably got into or one we create ourselves. You know, our goal is still that we don't create any problems ourselves and do our best every single weekend we can and capitalize and get the finishes that we seem to think that we deserve, anyway. Next week at Fontana we're bringing a whole new car there-a whole different design. And the motor is actually a whole different design, so hopefully we can make all that work for us."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Kevin Hamlin