NASCAR announced earlier this afternoon that Sunday's scheduled running of the New Hampshire 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway has been postponed. Ford drivers Jeff Burton and Jimmy Spencer gave their reaction to the...
NASCAR announced earlier this afternoon that Sunday's scheduled running of the New Hampshire 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway has been postponed. Ford drivers Jeff Burton and Jimmy Spencer gave their reaction to the postponement on Thursday.
JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo SUPERGARD Taurus -- "There's part of me that wants to go race this weekend. I think it's important not only for me, but my family and for everybody in the country to try to get back to normalcy. At the same time, it's difficult understanding what is the amount of time that you need to not do anything. Certainly, we want to pay respect to the victims, the families to the victims and to the whole country in general for what's happened, so it's difficult to know if it's appropriate or if it's not appropriate. In the grand scheme of things, not running this weekend is probably the right thing to do. It makes me mad. Part of my emotions in this thing is that I want to make sure that the idiots that did this don't win. With all the pain that they've caused, we've got to make sure they don't win and that's part of me wanting to get back to normalcy. I want to just shove that back into the face of these idiots and show them that we are resilient."
DO YOU FEEL THE LOGISTICS OF TRYING TO GET TO NEW HAMPSHIRE WAS THE MAIN REASON THE RACE WAS POSTPONED? "The way I was dealing with that was John Andretti and I were close to driving. We had put a deadline of six o'clock this evening. If they hadn't opened up the airspace by six, we were gonna start driving. Then I started thinking, 'That's just me, what about all of the fans and the people who wouldn't be able to get there?' So, logistically, it was certainly turning into a nightmare. This is an extraordinary situation, so I think it calls for a proper amount of attention to be paid to it and it looks like to me that's what it's getting."
NASCAR SEEMED TO MAKE THIS DECISION IN STAGES. "They certainly left themselves open to do whatever they felt was the right thing to do and I applaud them for that. We should never just give up. We need to fight the whole way. Before we postpone or delay something we've got to fight it, and I think they did that because the fans deserve it. I mean, there are times when I get mad at NASCAR because we're waiting in the rain and I'm thinking, 'What in the hell are they doing?' But you've got to fight it. You've got to try to give the fans what they came to see. We are racers and we race in all kinds of conditions."
YOU MAY GET THOSE CONDITIONS IN NOVEMBER WHEN THIS RACE TAKES PLACE. "We will get those conditions in November."
JIMMY SPENCER --26-- Kmart Taurus -- "I compliment NASCAR for making this decision because even though a lot of people are gonna be inconvenienced by this, I think out of respect for being an American citizen we need to respect what happened in New York City. I feel like NASCAR has done the right thing without question. We need to mourn what happened in the United States this week and, more than ever, we need to realize how strong we have to be. We have to make our military stronger and we have to make all kinds of different things happening in our country right now stronger because I look at it in a way that it could very easily be a NASCAR event, where they could do sabotage to a NASCAR event, and that bothers me a whole lot."
WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THE RACE PRIOR TO THIS ANNOUNCEMENT? "I thought it should have been cancelled immediately. Once we knew what had happened and knew there were gonna be thousands killed in New York and Washington, I thought it should have been cancelled. I'm very lucky. We didn't lose any of my friends or family in that situation, but there are thousands of families that have been affected by this. I tip my hat to NASCAR for doing this because I think it's a compliment to the American people."