Volume III, Issue 2, Page 16

Driver of the #31 AT&T Mobility Chevrolet


What would it mean to you to win the Daytona 500? 

JEFF BURTON :  Over Christmas I went to Ward's (Burton, his brother) house, and his Daytona 500 trophy was in his house there. You know, I don't know what it was about it, but I saw that trophy and it was like it was the first time I had ever seen it. My son was down there, he's seven, and I said, "You know what that is?" He's like, ‘Yeah, that's the Daytona 500 trophy.’ It was pretty special seeing that. 

Having that trophy sitting there, that's the biggest race you can possibly win in our sport. That's something that no one can ever take away from you, and that's something that you'll always cherish and your family will. That's a special thing. 

…If you look at a trophy like that and have that sitting in your house, that's a different kind of win. It's one of those that last forever, and it has so much meaning, the importance of it. The 50th anniversary only enlightens and enhances that. It would be really special.

Elliott Sadler said the bumpers now match up so well that bump drafting looks might be an even bigger issue.

JEFF BURTON :   I think he's probably right. The great question is honestly how the car is going to handle. My inclination is that they're going to handle bad enough where I don't think bump drafting is going to be a factor. I think the factor is going to be who can put their cars where they want to put them. 

Bump drafting really becomes a problem when you have the 43‑car packs with no other option to pass somebody other than get the bump draft thing going. I think this is going to be a different kind of race. I think handling is going to be really important. 

The other thing about the bump drafting when the bumpers do line up, it doesn't cause the problem that we saw with the other cars. We had a lot of wrecks in the other cars that people said were bump drafting when it was just wrecking. There's a difference. Running into the back of somebody isn't bump drafting, that's running into the back of them. Those mistakes won't show up as much in this car because the bumpers do line up. 

You think about Martinsville in the spring, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson racing, Jeff gave me some pretty good shots and nothing happened. Had he done that with the old car, something would have happened. Bump drafting is going to always be an issue. I think it's actually less of a negative with this car because the bumpers do line up, which of course that means we're going to do it more, which of course means that it might put us right back in the same spot. Ultimately the bumpers lining up are a good thing, but I honestly believe that handling is going to be so important after 15, 20 laps that bump drafting is not going to be the major issue. 

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