Burton and Gordon Moving Forward

Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon

"Jeff (Gordon) and I have had our conversation, and we have no issues going forward whatsoever." (Photo: Getty Images)


Video: Burton Talks with Gordon

The on-track incident and post accident tangle between Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton at Texas Motor Speedway is in the rear view mirror for both veteran drivers.
Burton, who took complete blame for the accident that took both drivers out of Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 on Lap 191, reiterated his apology for what took place and says he and Gordon are back on the same page.
“Jeff and I have had our conversation, and we have no issues going forward whatsoever,” said Burton. “I feel comfortable that we had a great conversation; we had a chance a little bit to reflect on several things and I feel comfortable going to Phoenix and moving forward.”

Although he took responsibility for starting the crash, which spilled over into a fight between the two on the backstretch when an angry Gordon confronted Burton in the aftermath, the Richard Childress racing driver restated that what happened was not intentional.

“I can promise you this: I did not intentionally turn Jeff Gordon driver-side first into the wall,” Burton said. “I’ve raced since I was 7 years old, and you would have a hard time walking around and finding somebody who said I wrecked them on purpose.

“That’s a dangerous way to wreck somebody, it’s a malicious way to wreck somebody and I’ve never, ever, ever been part of that.”

Despite his claim, Gordon did not believe Burton at first - a reaction that was understood.

“All the evidence says I wrecked him on purpose,” Burton said. “He obviously expressed his displeasure the way that he did. I’ll be honest, I didn’t have a problem with that. He didn’t swing at me, 
“I’m sure he wanted to. He was mad enough to.”

As one of the most respected drivers in the Sprint Cup Series, it’s important for Burton to remain held in that regard by Gordon and all of his fellow competitors.

“Anytime you’re in a situation with somebody and it’s a negative outcome, that’s got to hurt your standing with them,” Burton said. “You have to earn that back. I think Jeff has a lot more respect for me today than he did on Sunday.

“It means a great deal to me that my peers respect me,” said Burton. “We’re not always going to agree, and that’s cool. That’s what makes the world go ’round.

“Someone may disagree…I do want them to respect me. But I have to earn that. You can’t be in situations like I was in on Sunday and expect everyone to have the utmost level of respect for you. I’d like to think I’ve earned a certain amount of respect and when I do screw up, my history and my track record helps me.”

As for Gordon, Burton considers him someone who deserves the same kind of respect he’s after.

“I have always had a tremendous amount of respect for Jeff,” Burton said. “He conducts himself in a very good fashion, has been a great champion for our sport. He is a great race car driver. He’s one of the guys that really helped grow the sport.”

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