JEFF BURTON-9-Gain Ford Taurus (Finished 1st) TALK ABOUT THE CLOSING LAPS. "I'm not sure why, but our car got real tight right there at the end. It just wouldn't go like it needed to, and he (Greg Biffle) was fast. Thank God it was 147 laps...
JEFF BURTON-9-Gain Ford Taurus (Finished 1st)
TALK ABOUT THE CLOSING LAPS. "I'm not sure why, but our car got real tight right there at the end. It just wouldn't go like it needed to, and he (Greg Biffle) was fast. Thank God it was 147 laps and not 148 or 149. He was definitely faster than we were, and fortunately, the race was near the end. We were in pretty good shape if the caution had not come. The caution did come out and we freed the car up some, but I guess we didn't free it up enough. We made great calls in the pits all day, and that one we missed a little bit but we survived it."
COULD YOU HAVE GONE ALL THE WAY ON FUEL WITHOUT THAT LAST CAUTION? "We could go all the way on fuel as far as I know. They told me on the radio that I could. They told me that I needed to save tires, that we definitely could go the whole way. We were prepared to do that. We had a four-second lead, or whatever, and I could maintain that lead, so I was kinda wanting to see it go to the end. I had a lot of confidence that we could still win after we came in and I ran those first two laps and said, 'OK, we're perfect. Everything is fine.' And then, it started getting tighter and tighter, and with three to go, I looked at the board and saw how many laps were left, and I was glad it wasn't many because it was heading in the wrong direction."
DID YOU HAVE ANY EXTRA CUSHION AT THE END BECAUSE GREG IS A TEAMMATE? "I knew that Greg wouldn't intentionally hit me from behind. If he were able to get beside me, he would give it 100 percent to get by me, and I would expect no less, but I certainly felt like he wouldn't just run in there and knock me around, for sure. There was a level of comfort because of that, but at the same time, he's an aggressive racer and he's got to do what he has to do to win races for his team. Like I said, if he would have got beside me it would have been interesting. Our win has much to do with them as it does our own team. It really is. Those guys have been a big part of what we do on a weekly basis. They really help the 9 car and we hope to be helping them. We didn't help them much last year, but hopefully we're turning the tide a little bit and we can give something back."
TALK ABOUT THE SUCCESS OF YOUR BUSCH TEAM THIS YEAR. "You can never expect to go to two races and sit on both poles and win both races. That's beyond comprehension in my world. We were really excited when we figured out that Brad Parrott was available. We sat down with him, and Brad had worked with us before and it didn't work out, and I give myself, I give Jack, I give Frank (Stoddard), and I give Brad a lot of credit for not really worrying about what happened five years ago, but paying attention to where everybody was today. A lot changes in five years. People mature and people learn things. Five years ago, we wouldn't have been able to do this. In today's world, with the maturity that we all have gained, we are able to go out and get him on board. It's been wonderful, obviously. Brad has been working hard. They're just giving big effort. They're giving big effort and they're backing it up with good logic. We've got great equipment. This isn't a new car. We built it last year. It's the same car that won here in the fall, but it has some modifications that Brad and those guys have done to it. You never expect to have this kind of success, and if anybody does they're not very intelligent and they haven't been very long because this is few and far between."
WITH WINSTON CUP PRACTICE AND ROUSH TECHNOLOGY, IS THERE AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE WITH YOU COMPETING IN THE BUSCH SERIES? "I think that's a fair question. I'll answer this in two different ways. If we are not able to take advantage of the technology that we do have access to away from the race track, then shame on us. As far as at the race track, I don't make a change on my Busch car based on the morning practice in my Winston Cup car. I never have. On Friday in the Winston Cup car, the only thing we work on is qualifying. The first time we see the race track in race trim is on Saturday. When I go through the Busch garage people ask me, 'How has the track changed? How is it different?' I have no idea and no way of determining if the track is different because the car is so different. Race trim to qualifying trim is so different. The Winston Cup practice in the morning, I really don't think helps me because I've never really taken, maybe once, and I'm giving that for caution, I've never left a practice and told my Busch team, 'Go do this.' I don't know how the track has changed. I treat the Busch car as a separate entity. At the shop, everything that I can take from the Cup car, from wind tunnel information to engineering support, all of those things, I try to pull into the Busch program, which I'm sure is the same that Childress does with his teams. We're not the only Winston Cup team that has Busch cars, so we try to do that. In all honesty, We've tried to emulate what it was that Childress was doing with his Busch teams. He was able to take crew chiefs and drivers and walk them from one garage to the other. If you watched Robby Gordon when he went to the Winston Cup garage last year, Gil Martin was going right with him on a lot of occasions. They were using the technology on both cars. We haven't had success doing that yet. We are trying. I'm won't tell you that we're not trying because we are trying. We haven't figured out how to make that work. They did last year and when they did that, that was the reason Brad got hired. I didn't want to hire a Busch guy, I wanted a Winston Cup guy so we could take information from one and apply it to the other."
HOW AMAZED WERE YOU THAT YOU COULD LEAD EVERY LAP OF THE RACE AT DARLINGTON? "Sitting on the pole certainly didn't hurt that. We just had a great race car. The challenge from the 57 car was there for a while and then he faded and then it was Biffle. We had great pits stops, certainly. Anytime you lead every lap, and I've been fortunate enough to do this twice, a lot of it is pit stops. You come in leading and you leave leading. That's a big part of it. I love this race track and I tend to have success here. The car I drove was a great and we had great pit stops and that all adds up to good stuff. We had some fortune. Nothing happened bad in front of us and nobody ran into us from behind."