Richmond: Jeff Burton press conference

JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo Taurus (Finished 3rd) "I thought we had a nice day today. We ran in the top five most of the day. I thought we had a real competitive car and with the right changes we certainly were gonna have a chance to win. We cut...

JEFF BURTON --99-- Citgo Taurus (Finished 3rd)

"I thought we had a nice day today. We ran in the top five most of the day. I thought we had a real competitive car and with the right changes we certainly were gonna have a chance to win. We cut a right-rear tire with about 100 to go and that really hurt us. I was trying to get into the pits and I basically had to stop. When I did, the 7 car got me from behind and caused a big wreck up there in three and four. It wasn't his fault, it was more my fault than his, but I had a flat tire and I was going too slow and I pulled in front of him. That was some bad luck for us, but, at the same time, if he hadn't gotten into us we would have been two or three laps down. So, we had some bad luck and then we got in a wreck and thought we had worse luck, but the wreck actually helped us. Boy, you don't say that many times. So we went from there. I think we came out 28th with about 100 to go and drove up to third, so that was all we had. That was all we could get with the situation we had."

THE CAR LOOKED PRETTY BEAT UP. DID YOU THINK YOU COULD COME UP TO THIRD? "I knew people kept running into me over in three when I was wrecked, but nobody ever hit the wheel. I never felt anything on the steering wheel, so I thought we were gonna be OK. The body was tore all to pieces, but that doesn't really matter I guess."

WHAT ABOUT THE TRACK CONDITION? "You know, the sealer has made this race track -- not this weekend, but every other time -- has made this race track just an incredible place to race with two-wide and sometimes three-wide, and the ability to run in a lot of places. So, why the sealer didn't have that same effect this time, I have no idea. If you would have asked me over the winter, 'Should they have sealed the race track?' I certainly would have said, 'Yes,' because sealing the race track has been what's made this race track great. Why it didn't work, I don't know. The track had just a tremendous amount of grip in the groove, but you didn't want to leave the groove. In the past, you'd go looking for somewhere to run, but today you couldn't. I don't know why that is. It's really odd that the sealer works nine times out of 10 and the one time it doesn't it's as bad as it was, but the groove was incredible. There was a tremendous amount of grip, but out of the groove it was slippery."

"There's no question that Winston Cup fans are the best fans in the world. I've been to a lot of major sporting events and cherish going to those events, but, I've got to tell you, every race is like a Final Four and every race is like a Super Bowl. I've been to all of those things and the atmosphere at a Winston Cup race each and every week matches their events when it's the biggest event of the year. These fans make our sport what it is and there was no question in my mind that the stands would be full today. Actually, there are a lot of men who are probably happy because they got out of having to cut the grass today on Sunday. It probably worked out pretty well for them. There's a truck race coming on at four and there's no way they can get the grass cut between now and then, so there are a lot of couch potatoes that are happy today."

WHAT ABOUT THE ROUSH CARS? "We're not gonna judge that on one race, but they've certainly been carrying the load for Roush Racing and trying to pull us along. That hasn't been like that in the past, but it surely has been like that this year. It's not my intention to be the worst car at Roush or the worst car anywhere for that matter. It's an agonizing sport when things are going wrong and we work really hard. Those teams aren't working any harder than we are, they've just done a better job of getting equipment and the drivers have done a better job of telling them what they need than we've done. We're paying real close attention to what they're doing. Starting at Pocono and from there on we'll have brand new cars that are much more like their cars and we'll see what we can do. If we can't have success with the same equipment that they're having success with, then we've got to look in the mirror and figure out why we can't. I look forward to that. We've always found a way to not be the worst team at Roush until this year and I think, given time, we'll find our way back to the top and, hopefully, at least to where we were in Winston Cup when we were a top-five team on a fairly regular basis."

HOW BIG IS PATIENCE STARTING FROM THE BACK? "I've been doing this a long time. As competitive as things are today, you've got to go -- you've just got to go. In the past, a long time ago, people used to kind of just pace themselves a little bit, but I'm gonna tell you, when they drop that green flag everybody starts racing and it stops when they drop the checkered. There is very little down time anymore. It used to be that six or seven years ago you could get to fourth and just ride around and wait. Man, you can't do that anymore. You've got to go and run hard. It's so competitive and that's why we're having wrecks. We're having so many wrecks because you can't back off the guy in front of you and give him a little room. You've got to be right on his bumper so you can try to get under him and everybody is doing that. It used to be just seven or eight cars or 10 cars would do it and now everybody is doing it because everybody is competitive. It's made for great racing, but it's also made for big wrecks and it's made for people being mad at each other and passing under caution and all those kind of things that get us mad at each other. But that's what you've got to do, you've just got to go run hard every lap."

WHAT ABOUT CARS CHANGING ENGINES AND THEN WINNING FROM THE REAR? "I told you all a long time ago that it didn't matter where you qualified and it still doesn't today. If your car will run, you can win from any position on the race track. The races are long enough where you can come from the back and it doesn't matter where you qualify, it really doesn't. Thank God for me because I don't know how to qualify, but you can win from any position if your car will let you do it. If your car won't let you do it, you aren't gonna win from the pole. If you can't run fast enough to win, no matter where you start you won't win. If you can run fast enough, you can win from anywhere, I truly believe that."

IS THERE AN UPDATE ON JACK? "I'm not gonna give you any specifics because things change so rapidly that I might miss something. I'm just gonna say that he's doing really well. He's been transferred to Michigan and he's doing remarkably well."

-ford racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton