Friday, August 2, 2013

What Jeff Burton means when he says, "Some drivers aren't race fans"

   Friday morning, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Burton was asked about the different perspectives in what makes good racing - from the driver's seat and from fans watching on TV - and how they don't always mesh.
   Burton was asked if there was any way fans can appreciate what the driver's perspective and vice versa. Burton's answer may surprise you.
   “Not completely. Some drivers aren’t race fans. They race because it’s about them which is fine, there’s nothing wrong with that. We have other drivers that are big race fans. If a driver is a race fan, I think he can understand what the race fans are thinking and what they are saying but not in the extent that you pay however much money as you pay to sit in your seat and you watch a raced that wasn’t satisfying to you. The driver, no matter what the quality of the race is for the fan, his effort and his dedication it might be racing for 15th but he’s doing is best all day to find a way to go to 14th," Burton said.
   "I go up in the (race control) tower a few times a year, go up on the spotters stand or whatever and watch a race. Man, it’s a different perspective. It looks like everybody is just riding around. I’ll be honest, I’ve driven these things for a long time, there’s times I’m up there thinking, 'Man, just drive it in the corner', but it’s just not that easy. It’s hard for both sides to see the other side, but I think drivers understand the fans want to see exciting racing. I think the fans know that the drivers want to be involved in exciting racing. It’s way more fun to run side by side and be in the middle of a real tight battle than it is to be nose to tail trying to find your way around one guy. It just is, so we want to be part of that, too."