Jeff Burton, No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Monte Carlo SS, met with members of the media at California Speedway and discussed the team's objectives at California, not adjusting his driving style, the heat in California, the sunset between turns...
Jeff Burton, No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Monte Carlo SS, met with members of the media at California Speedway and discussed the team's objectives at California, not adjusting his driving style, the heat in California, the sunset between turns three and four, what a number means to a driver, his number, getting even on the race track, racing at Richmond, the stable of cars the team has, the danger element in NASCAR, the competitiveness of races, on how the strong cars get stronger towards the end of a race and the importance of track position.
Select quotes from driver interview:
ON THE HEAT AT THE TRACK: "It's hot, it's definitely hot. There's no question about it. It's hotter than we prefer, for sure. But that's what we do. Condition is really important, having the cars so that they keep as much heat out as possible is really important. It's something everybody is going to have to deal with but we shouldn't be surprised. We're in California in August and September; it's going to be hot."
WITH THE RACE STARTING AT FIVE O'CLOCK, THERE'S A 35-35 MINUTE WINDOW OF SUNSET WHERE IT'S HARD TO SEE. "Yeah, it's right across (turns) three and four and there is a moment as you go down the back straightaway as you approach turn three that you are really at the mercy of what you can't see. It's an uncomfortable situation, not the best situation in the world but it's similar to. we kind of have that problem in Atlanta too and a few other places. But here it seems to be worse than everywhere else and certainly if we can do something about it it would be nice."
ON THE DANGER ELEMENT IN NASCAR: "It's not as dangerous as it was 10 years ago. I do think that people have become so accustomed to watching a guy pop out that they're pretty immune to it. Everybody does their best to minimize anything when it does happen. The driver does, NASCAR does, the media does. A lot of times we're hurting more than people ever know about because you don't want everybody to know you're hurt. I always laugh when I watch a race and a guy takes a big hit and he gets out of the car and someone says 'oh, he's okay, he got out'. They don't have a clue if he's okay or not. Unless he's carried out, he has to get out. So I always find that a little humorous. From the outside looking in, 'hey, he got out, he's okay'. Okay sometimes is a relative term but this is a dangerous sport. Anytime you strap yourself into something that's propelling down a straightaway at 200 miles an hour you have the potential to get hurt and that's just the way it is. That's part of our sport and I do believe that we' ve all become a little immune to it. And that's a good thing. That's a really good thing. But it's still a very dangerous sport."
-credit: dodge motorsports