Jeff Burton, No. 31 AT&T Mobility Impala SS, met with members of the media and discussed his opinions on NASCAR's new generation race car, the development of Clint Bowyer this season compared to last year, his mentoring role with Clint, the level...
Jeff Burton, No. 31 AT&T Mobility Impala SS, met with members of the media and discussed his opinions on NASCAR's new generation race car, the development of Clint Bowyer this season compared to last year, his mentoring role with Clint, the level of intensity during the Chase, if it's actually a disadvantage to have all his teammates in the Chase, on how far he'd go to help Clint win the championship, his opinion on drivers contributing to political affiliations and if the Impala SS gives him more leeway to move somebody without spinning them out.
Select quotes from driver interview:
ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF CLINT BOWYER THIS SEASON AND THE CHANGES HE'S SEEN IN HIM SINCE LAST SEASON: "Just having been there done that I think is a big help for Clint. Clint has limited experience racing asphalt race cars. Honestly he really does. And I think going through a year.they ran well last year but had things happen during the race. The deal with Pocono with (Tony) Stewart on the front straightaway, there were several situations last year that he got in that he may not have been at fault in but he learned a lot from it. It's just hard to have that limited experience and be as good as you can be. I think those experiences really help Clint. If you think about it, Clint's never been a guy to get in a lot of trouble on the race track. He's never been in the middle of a lot of stuff but I think that he even is more so that now because he understands the cars a little more. He understands the game a little more. Clint has the driving ability to win championships and win races, there's no question about that. Matching that experience level with that talent is really impor tant and I think that's where I see the biggest difference is him just kind of understanding, seeing the big picture a little bit more. When you're a rookie.and don't forget Clint was pretty much on the fast track getting here, that's a lot going on. It's a long year, a lot of stuff happening, a big lifestyle change. I think you kind of almost have to go through that to understand it and going through it I think helped Clint."
IF CLINT HAD THE CHANCE TO WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP AT THE LAST RACE, WOULD YOU BLOCK IN ORDER TO HELP YOUR TEAMMATE OUT? "I hate these scenarios. I understand why you have to ask it. I think that at the end of the day I have to have Clint Bowyer's respect but I also have to have everybody's respect on the race track and the only way to have people's respect is to conduct yourself in a fashion that you would want done to you. I am not wanting to be in that position nor would I want one of my teammates to be in that position. At the end of the day I have to wake up, look at myself in the mirror and know that I did the right thing and sometimes doing the right thing is a hard thing to do but I couldn't intentionally harm someone else's effort to try to help our company's effort in a blatant way. That's not to say that I won't race someone maybe a little harder than I would but you got to remember all that comes back and whatever you do is going to be done to you as it should be in our sport. That's how it works. At the end of the day, I have to know that I've done the right thing for me and my tea m and having the other drivers' respect and if you cross that line I think you got big trouble for yourself."
-credit: gm racing