Jeff Burton, No. 31 AT&T Mobility Impala SS, met with members of the media at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) and discussed his outlook for Sunday's race, what he learned in this year's Chase for the Nextel Cup, comparing the successful level...
Jeff Burton, No. 31 AT&T Mobility Impala SS, met with members of the media at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) and discussed his outlook for Sunday's race, what he learned in this year's Chase for the Nextel Cup, comparing the successful level between Richard Childress and Hendrick Motorsports, if Clint Bowyer's year has been a surprise, if he sees similarities between the No. 48 Chevy team resembling the No. 24 Chevy team in 1998, his assessment of NASCAR Illustrated ranking him 12th for next year, if his mindset is any different this season heading into the final event of the year and if teammates competing for the championship is good for the sport.
ON HIS OUTLOOK FOR SUNDAY'S RACE: "Well this Car of Tomorrow thing has not been our strong point. We worked real hard trying to get better at it. Going into next year, being ready for next year I think it's real important to kind of gauge where we are with the Car of Tomorrow development for this type of race track. So I think this is a pretty important race track for us because it will help us gauge some things we've changed trying to get ready for next year and hopefully we can leave here feeling good about that."
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT THE CHASE THIS YEAR? HAVE YOU LEARNED ANYTHING BESIDES THAT RICK HENDRICK'S BUNCH IS HARD TO BEAT? "Obviously they're really good. They're playing at the top of their game right now, no question. I think every Chase is different. If you look at last year's Chase, it took someone completely different to win than this year's Chase would have taken so I think every year is kind of independent of the other years. If you look at what Jimmie and Jeff have been able to do, I'm not sure they've had a bad race. Neither of one of them have had a bad race. Clint really for that matter hadn't had a bad race and last year everybody had bad races. I'm really good at stating the obvious - the better you can run the better chance you have at winning and the better you finish the better chance you have at winning it. Those three teams have done a good job doing that this year but if they would have had this kind of year last year they'd be leading this thing by a huge amount. So every year is different and what it takes to win is different. I have learned that for sure. So basically I've l earned nothing."
CAN YOU COMPARE THE LEVEL OF SUCCESS THAT RICHARD CHILDRESS HAS HAD IN WINNING CHAMPIONSHIPS TO THE MORE RECENT HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS CHAMPIONSHIP SUCCESS LEVELS? "Certainly I think they are comparable. Obviously Hendrick is able to do it now and we haven't been able to do it now and our focus is on the present. There was a time and I believe there will be a time again where Richard (Childress) pretty much was the dominant factor in the sport, he and Dale (Earnhardt). I think we can do that again but we're not doing it now. I think they are comparable. The difference being (in) today's world Hendrick is doing it with two teams and ultimately may be able to do it with three or four teams where when Richard was having their success it was more one team. So it's a different world now. The success level is similar. I think it's similar. It looks similar to me but it is in a different time and the way that you do it today is different than the way you did it then. Dale Earnhardt could go off and he and Richard and 20, 30 guys could go off and make that happen where today you have to have four drivers (or) five drivers (and) 400 or 500 emplo yees. It's just a different ball game."
-credit: gm racing