Note: This was originally posted March 27, 2007.
This week my hat's off (oops, let me find it and put it on first.... There!) to Jeff Burton, driver of the 31 Cingular Chevy. Jeff could have won the race at Bristol on Sunday, but he didn't. He could have caused a spectacular finish, spinning out the leader, Kyle Busch and going on for the win. But he didn't.
In a way, I was a bit disappointed in ole Jeff, but after thinking about it, I have to admire the younger brother of one of my favorite drivers, Ward. Getting away from the topic, but you're probably asking, why do I like Ward Burton? It's real simple. I love listening to him talk. I'm a Southerner by birth as well, and I'm sure my accent would turn some people's heads in certain parts of the country, but Ward has that wonderful South Virginia drawl that, to me at least, is the best thing since Bill Elliot. (I like Elliot and Hermie Sadler for the same reasons!)
Getting back to Jeff, I watched several times the attempted pass with less than a lap to go on Sunday. Jeff drove with such precision, I don't think the world's best surgeon could have put a scalpel blade between the two cars, but Jeff never touched Kyle. That, my friends, was precision driving.
Jeff Burton has been around a long time, has won quite a few races, and has to be one of the truly good people in this world. Jeff's beneficiary in this case, Kyle Busch, is widely known for his aggressive driving style. If the tables had been reversed, I imagine that we would have seen the spectacular last lap wreck. Jeff Burton's in the wall! Kyle Busch wins!
I preferred the finish we did have. Jeff made an incredible outside move on Jeff Gordon right after the restart. Burton isn't a cautious driver, but he's a very careful and precise driver. More than that, Jeff Burton is a very courteous driver. I think that quite a few of the other drivers out there Sunday could learn a few lessons from Jeff Burton.
Especially the eventual winner of the race.
If you'd like to comment on anything I write, please don't hesitate to contact me at Kf4mgz@yahoo.com I can't promise that I'll answer every e-mail, but I will read them all, and any criticism, good or bad, I will take to heart.