JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 AT&T MOBILITY MONTE CARLO SS, MET WITH MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA AT POCONO RACEWAY AND DISCUSSED HIS MEMORIES OF BILL FRANCE, JR., HIS REACTION TO THE PENALTY IMPOSED ON KURT BUSCH, THE AFFECT OF CREW CHIEF CHANGES MID-SEASON, HIS...
JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 AT&T MOBILITY MONTE CARLO SS, MET WITH MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA AT POCONO RACEWAY AND DISCUSSED HIS MEMORIES OF BILL FRANCE, JR., HIS REACTION TO THE PENALTY IMPOSED ON KURT BUSCH, THE AFFECT OF CREW CHIEF CHANGES MID-SEASON, HIS THOUGHTS ON THE POSSIBILITY OF RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING ADDING A FOURTH TEAM AND OTHER TOPICS.
ON THE PASSING OF BILL FRANCE JR. AND HIS MEMORIES OF HIM: "Over the last three or four years I got to know Bill much better. I really didn't know Bill that much before then and he invited my wife and myself to go to some things with him and got to know him much better and was privileged to do that. He was a really neat guy. He always knew who was in charge when he was around. You always knew where you stood when he was around. You hear a lot about how tough he was and he was. He was a really tough guy and I think he was the right guy for the sport at the right the time. He was willing to make tough decisions and stand by those decisions and at that same time what you don't hear a lot about is how compassionate he was. He offered things to me and my wife that I never could imagine someone would offer us. He just was a really giving and caring person, at the same time the other side of him was really tough and sometimes abrasive but that's who he was and it was really cool to get to know him."
ON HIS REACTION TO THE PENALTY IMPOSED ON KURT BUSCH: "I think the penalty should have been really severe. I think that there's no question the severity of it is real important for a deterrent standpoint and also from a punishment standpoint. I think there's a lot of people in the garage that believe he got off easy - 100 points is huge though. You think about it, there's 13 races to go in the Chase and he's got 100 points to make up in addition to what he has to make up already. They parked him, not only did they penalize that 100 (points), whatever he lost but not being able to back out the other day, he lost those points too. Maybe that was only three points, I don't know how many it would have been but it was something and it's a pretty severe penalty. You could say he deserved more though."
WERE YOU SURPRISED THERE WASN'T A SUSPENSION? "I thought there was a possibility of a suspension. I'm not going to say I was surprised there wasn't a suspension but it wouldn't have surprised me if it would have been a suspension."
ON THE RASH OF CREW CHIEF CHANGES MID-SEASON THIS YEAR AND WHAT THAT DOES TO A TEAM: "Well you know the old saying that change is good, that's not necessarily true. Good change is good and the reality of it is if the crew chiefs that come in have success then everybody will rally around them. If they don't have success then everybody always questions 'well that wasn't the right thing to do' and questions the people that made that decision to do it. It really depends on the results of how it's handled within the team. I found that most teams in the garage are really resilient to changes. I don't think most teams in the garage like change but they're very resilient to it and typically are willing to give everybody a chance. But a lot of it has to do with the amount of success that people have when change is made."
ON BEING IN ABOUT THE SAME SPOT AS HE WAS LAST YEAR IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE PRE-CHASE SEASON AND IF HE APPROACHES EACH YEAR ANY DIFFERENT: "I think the experience is the same. I think the situations are different. Situationally this sport moves so quickly that last week is different than this week. You can't approach everything the same but I think the experience is the same. I think having gone through it last year benefits our whole team, not just me, it benefits all of us - understanding the pressure, understanding a little more about what's coming. At the same time you have to do what's right for the situation that you're in and that again can change every week and you don't know what you have to deal with a lot of times until you're dealing with and that's what's hard about our sport."
YOUR THOUGHTS ON MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: "I'm good with it as long as we've got good gas mileage. I certainly like the races that end without fuel mileage being a factor as most teams in the garage and I think the fans do too. A good old-fashioned race is always better than not. At the same time it's part of racing. Being able to make the power you need to make and make good fuel mileage is something you have to do in our sport. If people can get more miles than we can then we've got to go to work. When we get more than they do then we've done a nice job."
HOW LIKELY DO YOU THINK IT IS THAT RCR WILL GO TO FOUR TEAMS? "I think it's likely. That could be a 50 percent chance, a 51 percent chance or a 90 percent chance but I think it's likely."
ANY WORD ON WHO MAY DRIVE AND THE SPONSOR? "We've been in a lot of discussion lately about it. Obviously we can't divulge what's on our minds but we have some exciting things that could happen and we have some exciting things that might not happen. There's a lot in the air right now that we don't 100 percent know what's going to happen there. But we believe, for the most part. there's negatives to having a fourth team. Having a fourth team doesn't guarantee success. A matter of fact is it guarantees more challenges. Having a fourth team guarantees you you have more to deal with and more problems that you're going to have to deal with than without a fourth team. The question is 'do the benefits outweigh the disadvantages'. We believe that with the structure we have in place, with the people we have in place, with some modifications to those that we can absorb a fourth team and do a good job of it helping the other three teams and the other three teams helping it. The only reason that we want to do a fourth team is that we can add to the resource pool and hopefully we can gain an advantage and in some cases catch up with some people. That's the only reason we'd want to do it. We do understand that it's going to be a difficult thing. It's not all positives. There's things that. we've got to make it positive. We've got to do the things that are necessary to make it work. I've been part of a one-car team, a two-car team that was really a three-car team but we really acted like it was a two-car team. I've been part of a five-car team, I've been part of a well-working three-car team. I've seen a lot of it and I can promise you that having more teams doesn't assure you more success. Having more resources that are well-thought-out and a good game plan around those resources with a means of checks and balances helps you have success, but you have to be able to do all those things. If you can't do all those things then having more teams is actually a bad thing."
-credit: gm racing