Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NEWSMAKER; Burton: Respect Key for Drivers

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NEWSMAKER; Burton: Respect Key for Drivers

Article excerpt

Jeff Burton is considered the elder statesman of the NASCAR garage area. When he talks, people listen.

When he talked about the rash of on-track problems in NASCAR's new era of allowing drivers to police themselves, he was clear that rough driving is nothing more than a lack of respect. He talked about keeping score and retaliation, among other things, last week at New Hampshire. Here are excerpts of that interview:

DO YOU BELIEVE IN PAYBACKS?

I'm not one of those guys that every time something happens to me I store it away and try to go get them back - I think that's a terrible way to live.

DO SOME DRIVERS GET MORE LATITUDE WHEN IT COMES TO ROUGH DRIVING THAN OTHERS?

Well, I thought [the road course race at Sonoma, Calif., two weeks ago] was horrendous. I thought the behavior shown last week from driver to driver was completely unacceptable. If our sport is going to become that, then we need to change it from racing to demolition cars because that wasn't racing last week. The track is very difficult. Ultimately, it's the drivers' responsibility to have some respect for each other. The last 10 laps of that race didn't look like we were the best drivers in this country. It looked like we were some of the worst drivers in this country. Again, it's just ridiculous.

IS IT BECAUSE YOU GUYS ONLY RACE ON ROAD COURSES TWICE A YEAR?

That has nothing to do with it. It has to do with respect. Everybody in this garage knows how to use the brake pedal and use the throttle and use the steering wheel. Yet people chose not to do use it correctly because it was either in their best interest to run over the guy in front of them, or they were trying really hard to keep from getting run over from behind. …

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