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Saturday, September 4, 2010

News Conference Notes from Saturday Morning: Jeff Burton

Jeff Burton took the stage at 10:09 a.m. and started by saying what a good year it has been for him and the other RCR Teams. He said his hope is to guarantee his place in the Chase this week so he can go out at Richmond and "just have fun". Burton said it is important to get back into the rythym that the team had in July.

When asked about being adriver who have come close to the Championship and not made it if the Jeff Burton Team just not have the talent to get the job done Burton chuckled and said "That's a hell of an icebreaker". He went on to say that the record tells a story and that it's hard to look at a guy like Jimmie Johnson and say that he has won the last four Championships because of luck. He said that you can't look at a team and blame not winning on bad luck. He says there have been mistakes made that have kept him from a Championship, he hasn't found a way to get there yet, but says that is that one thing out there that would be disappointing to leave his career without a Championship win.

Burton was asked about information sharing if all three RCR Teams made that Chase. Jeff said that nothing changes with information sharing. "The reason we are in that situation is because of sharing information and working with each other...that needs to continue...whoever didn't do that would need to go somewhere else." Burton says that RCR has made it clear that information has to be shared between the RCR Teams to be able to beat the Hendricks cars.

Burton said that his feeling about night races is that historically tracks gain more grip in night races but today that isn't really the case with the CoT. He said grip and speeds go up for everybody, and that the biggest impact is waiting all day to race at night. Jeff recognized that fans appreciate and enjoy night racing.

Burton says the 48 Team has struggled more this year than in others but that they are a "tough race team...hard to beat." He said that great teams still go through struggles and still find a way to come out on top. Burton said if the 48 wins the Championship it will be talked about that the 48 Team dominates and not about his earlier struggles in the year.

Jeff said the seasoned asphalt at Atlanta is so slick and speed fell off so much that he compared the track to Rockingham last year. He said this track changes more from qualifying to the race more than any track on the circuit. He said that is part of what is fun about Atlanta. Cars that don't run well early run great late and vice versa. Small changes can make huge differences at Atlanta.

Jeff said he does feel that the most important thing is winning, no matter where one is in the points. He thinks that late races mean a lot to everyone because of the chance to get the bonus point for first. Burton said he always goes out trying to finish first, but they are happy at the end of the day to get 8th place points as opposed to 20th place points. He said learning from one week makes it easier to run better the next week.

Jeff said Richmond and Martinsville are his "hometown" race tracks and are big races for him. He said Richmond is a special race to run at for him. He said that racing in front of people who know him as a person instead of just a driver is special. Saying that running at Richmond he never knows where the line will be because the conditions change so much each race. It's a challenging race track, he says.

Addressing Atlanta as a night race, he knows the track will gain grip from practice to the race because of the transition from day practice to night racing. He says it is important to understand those differences to apply them to other night races and next year.

Burton says that new leadership at RCR is improving the company and says that Scott Miller's move from Crew Chief of the 31 Team to his position is upper management is a good one. Jeff said that Miller is intelligent, quick on his feet, and a true passion for RCR to perform at a high level. He said the decisions being made this year have obviously improved the three RCR team's performance but won't change things now as much as they will in 2011 and 2012. Jeff indicates that RCR will continue to improve over the next few years.

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