Jeff Gordon / Jeff Burton interview after wreck at Texas Waaaaaaa
Jeff Gordon comments on incident with Jeff Burton: from a Team Chevy Transcript:
Q) 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?
Gordon: "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."
Q) WHAT WAS SAID IN THE AMBULANCE?
Gordon: "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."
Q) WHAT WENT ON WITH YOU GUYS IN THE CAR AND THEN OUT OF THE CAR ON THE RACE TRACK?
Gordon: "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."
Q) 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:
Gordon: "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)."
Q) WHAT DID BURTON SAY TO YOU?
Gordon: "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."
Q) DID YOU GUYS HAVE A CONVERSATION IN THE CARE CENTER? DID YOU TALK IN THERE?
Gordon: "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."
Q) WHAT DID YOU THINK ABOUT RIDING IN THE SAME AMBULANCE WITH BURTON?
Gordon: "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."
Q) DO YOU EXPECT A PENALTY FOR GOING AFTER HIM?
Gordon: "No more penalty than what he deserves for what he did."(Team Chevy)(11-7-2010)
· Jeff Burton comments on incident with Jeff Gordon: from a Team Chevy Transcript:
Burton: "Coming off of turn four, he (Jeff Gordon) drove underneath me. I should have let him go and I didn't. The caution came out and he pulled up next to me to tell me he was upset at me and he went on. Then I went to pull up next to him to acknowledge him, to say he was right and I turned left and he was turning left and we just hung up. When we hung, off we went. I honestly don't know what happened. It was my fault. 100% it was my fault. It was like once we got together, I couldn't get off of him. I didn't mean to hit him. I meant to pull up to him and tell him he was right because he was upset with me for what happened off of turn four. I should have let him go. You can't see off of there right but you can't see over there right now. You don't to be side-by-side. I don't blame him for being for mad. I'd have been mad too."
Q) WHAT HAPPENED AFTERWARDS WHEN I SAW HIM WALKING TOWARD YOU?
Burton: "Well, like I said, I knew he was going to be mad and I don't blame and I don't blame him for being mad. He didn't do anything that he shouldn't have done. He was upset and he should have been upset. I wrecked him under caution. I didn't mean to wreck him but I wrecked him under caution. He meant to tell me he was upset and that was ok. I don't have a bit of problem with what he did. He was mad. He should have been mad."
Q) DID YOU HAVE WORDS IN THE MEDICAL CENTER?
Burton: "I have a lot of respect for Jeff. I think he has a lot of respect for me. We talked and he is still upset and like I said, I don't blame him. He understands what happened more now. It is what it is."
Q) WHAT LED UP TO THE SITUATION?
Burton: "Honestly, I came off turn four with Jeff underneath me, the sun is really bad off of turn four and it is really hard to race over there right now and I should have let him go and I didn't. Caution came out and he pulled up next to me to express his displeasure and he was right. We don't need to be racing side-by-side right there right now. I went to pull back up to him to acknowledge him and when we did I was turning left and I don't know, we hooked somehow and around we went. We just got hooked up together. I think it is the stupidest thing I think I might have ever done. Like I said I was pulling up next to him to acknowledge him to say 'Look, I'm cool, I got you' and we just got together and wrecked both cars."
Q) HOW SURPRISED WERE YOU WHEN JEFF CAME AFTER YOU WITH FISTS?
Burton: "I wasn't at all surprised. I went to go see him because I knew he was going to be mad and I fully expected it. I don't blame him. Hell, I would have been made it I had been him too. I really don't blame him. He was mad and I was right there and he wasn't some of it."(Team Chevy PR)(11-7-2010)