NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
AAA TEXAS 500
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER RACE NOTES & QUOTES
November 7, 2010
Taking the biggest hit in the points were four-time champion Gordon and Jeff Burton, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet. The two Team Chevy Chase drivers made contact on lap 192 as they were slowing for a caution. The damage ended Gordon's day immediately. Burton attempted to return to competition but was only able to complete two additional laps. Gordon who finished 37th, dropped to sixth in the points order and Burton, the 36th place finisher, is now in 12th position.
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 DUPONT CHEVROLET – ON INCIDENT WITH JEFF BURTON, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET, LAP 192:
BURTON HAS SAID IT WAS DEFINITELY HIS FAULT. HE OWNED UP TO THAT. WHAT IS YOUR PERSPECTIVE OF WHAT HAPPENED AND WHY YOU WERE SO ANGRY?
"Oh, well, I'll walk you right through it. We went down into (Turn) 3. He went wide going into (Turn) 3. I got to the inside of him and there were four car widths between us and he drove from the wall all the way down to me; almost in the second groove up. I didn't understand why and so the caution came out and we went down into (Turn) 1 and I just drove up next to him. I didn't even touch him. And I don't know, I guess he was just really frustrated with the way his car was handling or something and he just drove into my right rear and put me in the wall under caution. Of all the people out there, I never thought that would happen to Jeff Burton and me. I've always has a tremendous amount of respect for him. But I certainly lost a lot of respect today. I don’t think we're going to be able to fix the DuPont Chevrolet. We were battling enough as it was but I really had confidence we were going to be able to battle back and get a decent finish, maybe a top 10 or 15, but that's certainly not going to happen today."
WHAT WAS SAID IN THE AMBULANCE?
"I was walking toward him and I started going through all the scenarios in my mind. Thankfully I had a long walk down there to him because I thought about the least amount that I wanted to do. I wanted to show him how upset I was but I wanted to do a whole lot more than that. But I held back and I'm just still in disbelief; I didn't want to be in the ambulance with him, I can tell you that. But we got in there. I like Jeff. He's a guy that's usually very rational and I respect his opinion. He apologized and said it was his fault. He said he didn't mean to do it and whatever. It's over."
WHAT WENT ON WITH YOU GUYS IN THE CAR AND THEN OUT OF THE CAR ON THE RACE TRACK?
"We were having a tough enough day with the DuPont Chevrolet and we were hoping when the sun went down that we would be able to get it tuned in there. But actually the car was about the best it had been right there. We were slowly making our way forward. We got up to Jeff and he went high going into (Turn) 3 and I kind of went to about the second lane up and he just drove all the way from the wall all the way down to my doors and said the sun got in his eyes. But I just wasn't real happy about that and just drove up next to him going into (Turn) 1 after the caution came out to kind of say what was up with that and he just turned in my right rear and wrecked me. I mean it tore it up. I've experienced a lot of things in this sport but I can't say I've experienced anything like that before and from somebody that I've had a lot of respect for. Jeff Burton is a great race car driver but and then afterwards I was just so mad I was just trying to think of how I could who him my displeasure. I wanted to do a lot more than that but I thought better of it. We had our words and a little scuffle and got in the ambulance and now we're back there (in the garage) trying to get it fixed.
"He (Burton) went up to the wall where he was running and I went down to about the second groove where I was running and by the time we got in the middle of the corner, he just turned left and got on my door and got me really loose. He said the sun got in his eyes. Then the caution came out and we got down into (Turn) 1 and I just drove up next to him to show him my displeasure about what went on and he just wrecked us; just flat-out wrecked us and turned us right into the wall and collected himself.
"It was pretty stupid and he admitted it later. But I certainly wanted to show him how upset I was and I'm not ashamed of anything I did and we'll try to fix it and get back out."
THAT WAS AN INTENSITY WE HAVEN'T SEEN FROM YOU VERY OFTEN IN YOUR CAREER. IF YOU FELT THAT WAY, YOUR FANS WANTED YOU TO GO FOR IT:
"Well, he deserved a lot more than that, I can tell you that. That kind of stuff is just ridiculous and uncalled for. Jeff and I; I just like the guy too much and we'll be able to go on and race one another and stuff like that. I just couldn't believe how much respect I lost for a guy like Jeff to do something like that. I thought it was really stupid. Sometimes I can't hold my emotions back and believe it or not I was holding them back right there (laughs)."
WHAT DID BURTON SAY TO YOU?
"He was trying to talk to me and explain to me what happened. He felt like I came up on him and that he didn't mean to wreck me but I'm sorry, I will never believe that. I've been driving a race car long enough to know what your intentions are and I know what they were there."
"I think maybe if a guy wrecks you prior to that but I didn't do anything to him. I was just showing him I wasn't happy. I didn't touch him. And he just flat-out wrecked me. I don't know. The last few weeks have not exactly gone our way and I feel like what happened in Martinsville, I deserved a little bit of that, not all of it but maybe I did some through the past, but I can't think of anything me and Jeff Burton have ever had a disagreement with that should have led to that."
DID YOU GUYS HAVE A CONVERSATION IN THE CARE CENTER? DID YOU TALK IN THERE?
"We talked during the whole ambulance ride in. When you're too upset like that, you don't care to hear about any explanation as to what went on. I know he's sorry but he's sorry because he got caught up in it himself."
WHAT DID YOU THINK ABOUT RIDING IN THE SAME AMBULANCE WITH BURTON?
"Well, I didn't want to ride in the vehicle with him, I can tell you that. I wanted to go confront him, that's for sure, but it wasn't fun. He talked. He talked a lot, you know? But I didn't say a whole lot."
YOU'VE BEEN GETTING BOUNCED AROUND A LOT THIS YEAR. WAS THAT ANY KIND OF BOILING POINT FOR A SEASON'S WORTH OF IT?
"If somebody does something stupid, I'm going to be mad about it and I'm going to show him my frustration. If I could have gotten to Kurt Busch after Martinsville it would have been the same thing. I didn't see him. And I had time to calm down. And I walked down there hoping I would see Jeff, and I did. I'm lucky I had a long enough walk to think about what I wanted to say and do because if I hadn't of had that long a walk, I would have done something I would have regretted."
DO YOU EXPECT A PENALTY FOR GOING AFTER HIM?
"No more penalty than what he deserves for what he did."