Jeff Burton, No. 31 AT&T Mobility Impala SS met with members of the media and discussed starting the Chase, on Jeff Gordon losing the points lead after the reseeding, racing at Dover, his outlook on the Chase this year compared to last year, how...
Jeff Burton, No. 31 AT&T Mobility Impala SS met with members of the media and discussed starting the Chase, on Jeff Gordon losing the points lead after the reseeding, racing at Dover, his outlook on the Chase this year compared to last year, how many points should be given for a win, how Clint Bowyer will fare in the Chase, Bowyer's progression from last year to this year, cheating in sports, the sponsorship battle with NASCAR and his mindset difference between leading the Chase and being 10th.
Select quotes from driver interview:
THOUGHTS ON OPENING UP THE CHASE FOR THE NASCAR NEXTEL CUP: "I feel good about where we are. I know that we have some areas we need to improve in, there's no question about that. We need some speed. We haven't been as fast as we need to be. We've been just a little bit off pace. We're not in left field but we're a little bit off pace. Much the same way we entered the Chase last year but we're working hard. We feel like we have some new stuff coming that hopefully can make some more speed and I think our team is mature enough and I'm mature enough to win this thing. We've just got to go make it happen. It's going to be a long 10 weeks; a lot happens in this sport in 10 weeks. If you think about it, having a 10-week stretch with no problem is very, very difficult to do so we have to minimize our problems but we also have to lead laps, run in the front and get good finishes. That's what our game plan is."
JEFF GORDON LED THE POINTS ALL YEAR BUT IS NOW SEEDED SECOND BECAUSE JIMMIE JOHNSON HAS MORE WINS THAN HIM. DO YOU THINK THAT NASCAR SHOULD REWARD THE REGULAR SEASON POINTS LEADER? "I would be disappointed (if I were him) for sure but everybody knew going in what the points were and that there's been a cry in the public and in the media about wins being more important than just finishing fifth. That's what this point structure does. It's an example of 'be careful of what you ask for'. It's been a constant cry in the garage from fans and media about wins should mean more. Now they do, now the guy that led the points pretty much the whole time is second. So it's an example of. there's always the other side of things. It doesn't matter to me, whatever the rules are, it's our job to take advantage of it. It is an example of when you get something, you have to understand it's not all positive. There are other sides."
LAST YEAR YOU LEAD THE CHASE POINTS FOR A WHILE - DO YOU THINK YOU CAN DO THAT THIS YEAR? THERE ARE TWO MORE DRIVERS IN IT THIS YEAR. "I think the two extra drivers makes it harder, there's no question. Our series right now is full of high competitions, full of good teams, good drivers so when you put two more in it, it makes it harder. There's no doubt about that. Can we do that again? I think we can. We'll see. The results will be the results. I know that my team is mentally prepared. I know that last year was a great experience for us. Even though when we look back on it we feel like we may have let one get away, at the end of the day we learned something from it, it made us stronger, built character. Hopefully, and I said last year, we were laying a down payment on the championship. Now it's time to get some equity back."
-credit: gm racing