Indianapolis: Burton - GM Top-10 interview part 2

CHEVY NNCS AT INDY: Weekly Top 10 with, Part II Jeff Burton MORE...BEHIND THE HAULER CHAT WITH JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS MONTE CARLO SS ADVICE TO CLINT BOWYER AFTER POCONO: "I did talk to Clint and my advice to him was to have a...

CHEVY NNCS AT INDY: Weekly Top 10 with, Part II Jeff Burton


ADVICE TO CLINT BOWYER AFTER POCONO: "I did talk to Clint and my advice to him was to have a conversation with Tony (Stewart). Tony is a heck of a racer, highly qualified. He is a very intense personality, especially with a helmet on. At the same time, when you have an issue with him, if you just go deal with it, then it is ok. Tony has proven himself. When I race with Tony, it is with the utmost respect. If I catch Tony, he gives me room. If he catches me, I give him room. We have had to work to get there, but we are there and I think Tony is open to doing that with everybody. But you deal with everybody differently. You deal with Tony by going to talk to him and then going on to the next race. You can't hold stuff in. In my eyes, Tony made a mistake at Pocono. I believe after watching it, he believed he made a mistake.

"Here is the thing about our sport and one of the coolest thing about this sport is that you guys are there as soon as a driver gets out of the car. There was talk years ago about giving the drivers a cool down period. The heck with that. What is cool is getting that response. Is getting that emotion in that answer from the driver. That is what it is all about. Any time you interview a driver immediately after he gets out of the car, you can take that for what he believes, but you can't take that for the truth. Because there is so much emotion involved and so much intensity involved he is telling you what he believes is true right then and there. But three hours later, he might go 'Hmmm, now I have a different opinion." I don't listen to post race interviews, other than sometimes they are funny to listen to but taking it for fact, I just don't listen to it because there is too much emotion. Tony was pretty vocal after the race and so were the other drivers, but that was emotion. You give that an hour or a day and then it starts to turn in to what really happened and starts turning to fact. That's why my advice to Clint was to go talk to him about it. Don't pay attention to what he said after the race any more than he should pay attention to what you said after the race. It is just too much emotion."

ON HOW MUCH SAFER CAR OF TOMORROW IS THAN CURRENT CAR: "It is safer. I don't know how to tell you what percentage safer. In some situations there is no question this car will safer. For the bigger drivers, it is a huge improvement. But we are at the point where they have got to lock it in. We are at the point where there are enough changes. Now, they have got to get it done. We have worked exceptionally hard but they have to get it locked in because we don't have the manpower to keep up with the changes they keep making. I am a believer in the program. I think the racing is going to be good with the program. We are in August; we have to lock in because we have to build all new cars. We are not adapting anything. They need to lock in on their rules, lock in on their aero package because the sooner they do that, the better the racing will be.

ON HOW THE CAR LOOKS: "I don't have a problem with that. I have seen cars that are painted and decaled up with numbers and stuff and in that configuration they are fine. I think if the racing is good, the fans will like it. If the racing isn't good, they aren't going to like it."

ON RUNNING FULL TIME BUSCH SCHEDULE: "I am running 14 -16 Busch races this year but I have no desire to run a full Cup and Busch schedule. Before everybody started doing it, I said eight years ago, it was something I would like to do with the caveat that is you had one sponsor that understood that you had to have some time off. But the work load is so heavy today away from the race track that doing both for me would just be too taxing and it would have a negative impact on my Cingular Wireless Chevy Cup program. I have an 11 year old and a five year old, I am gone a lot and I don't want to be gone any more. Doing both would be just too taxing.

'I work very hard to spend time with my kids and my wife and I enjoy spending time with my kids and my wife. At the same time I have a passion for this and there is a balance. We are used to me running 14 - 16 Busch races and the full Cup thing and make that work, that is how we are structured. Any more would be more than my family should endure. We are at the limit."

ON NEGATIVE MEDIA COVERAGE WHEN NOT RUNNING WELL: "You (media members) are going to base an opinion on me watching me drive a car and then the 10 minutes you spend with me during an interview. So your impression of me isn't a full picture. Mark Martin has a full picture, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, they all have a full picture. The respect of those guys and my peers mean a great deal to me. I never heard the whispers from them, I never had a conversation with them because they were in the deal and knew what was going on. I never had a conversation with them that made me feel like I can't drive or I am a bad person or whatever. I am pretty deaf to other things, I read a little bit of news and watch a little bit and some sports. I am more worried about what I think of me. I believe I knew what was going on and I was part of fixing it. My focus was on what do we need to do to get to the next step.

I am fortunate to have the personality that enables me to go to the next thing and pay attention to what is ahead of us. At the same time, it does allow me to enjoy when I am having success. I don't relish I am not all bubbly because at the same time I am worried about what we have to do next week. For me that works."

ON RESPECT AMONG DRIVERS ON THE TRACK: "Mark Martin is the cleanest driver. The reason we have wrecks is because it is so competitive. We don't have a bunch of drivers that are always causing wrecks. We just don't. Mark Martin is the guy that gives the most to everybody. The key is understanding when it is appropriate to do what. Mark gets that. This garage is a neighborhood, just like the neighborhood you live in. There are some people who don't like the guy who lives three blocks down and there are some people that love that guy. It is the same thing we have in here. We have personalities that just don't hit if off and some that do. But for the most part, we don't have drivers that are constantly involved in wrecks. This is an aggressive sport, the competition level is so high that makes us all push pretty hard quite often. If you ask me who was the dirtiest, I don't have an answer for that.

ON RACING AT ORP IN BUSCH SERIES: "It has been a long time since I was there. To be honest, that is what is exciting is to go back to a track that the last time there, I was a full-time Busch driver trying to make a name for myself. I ran a truck there but that was a while ago too. It is pretty neat to be racing there. I have a lot of memories of the track and they are all bad (LAUGHS). It just always seemed to be a track that didn't work out for me. It is kind of like stepping back in time for me and getting to go back to a place where I ran when nobody knew who I was and trying to earn my way in this sport."

ON POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE SURROUNDING BRICKYARD: "The cool thing about what we do is that every race is big. When we go to Pocono, for those fans there, that is a big race. I don't get caught up in all the hysteria about this being such a big race and all that. I will tell you that I enjoy running the Busch Series and any time I can do it and it doesn't negatively impact my Cingular Wireless Chevrolet Cup program, I am going to do it because it is a good little break.'

ON NASCAR CONTROLLING DRIVER CONFLICTS: "I think NASCAR has a really tough job. I have sat in the tower with NASCAR and watched then call a race so I have a unique view of it. I have obviously driven a car. At the end of the day, if NASCAR penalizes someone every time they hit someone or spins out and somebody wrecks, then we become afraid to be aggressive. They walk a fine line. They have got to decide if what is the line and it is tough. You can't watch two cars and always know the whole story. I am pleased that NASCAR does the best they can under a very tough situation. That is the best way I can say it. I don't think they always make the right call, but as challenging as the situation is that there are trying to police; and because they can't always truly understand all the factors that go in to driving a car and understand why this car caught that car at a certain place; all those things - they do a nice job of balancing that. Racing hard is part of our sport. If you are a Clint Bowyer with what happened at Pocono last week, you are thinking NASCAR didn't do enough. But if you look at it as a whole and you look at how complex and difficult it is, I am extremely pleased with what they do. I think the drivers are ultimately are responsible. NASCAR is there to make us wish we did the right thing. It is our responsibility to do the right thing."

-gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Matt Kenseth , Kevin Harvick , Clint Bowyer , Mark Martin