A Look Back In Talladega History: Jeff Burton Shares Memories
Jeff Burton remembers watching race broadcasts of Talladega Superspeedway as a child. Years later, millions of people at home now watch him as he tears around the high-banks of the 2.66 mile superspeedway in the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing. A 16-year veteran of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Burton recently shared some of his favorite memories of Talladega.
“I grew up watching races and the Sunday that Talladega was on, you knew it was going to be an exciting race,” said Burton when asked about his first start at Talladega in the 1992 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. “To come here and have the opportunity to race at this facility was just an awesome feeling. I’m still really amazed that I can be racing at the track that I watched my heroes race.”
Burton has made 35 starts at Talladega Superspeedway in the IROC, NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Though he has scored 13 top-10 finishes during that time, he has yet to win at NASCAR’s Most Competitive Track. It’s Talladega’s reputation for tough competition that keeps Burton hungry for a win.
“I’ve never won here and that’s one of the things that means a lot to me, to try and get a win here. This track has such a reputation for being hard to win on and I’ve been disappointed I haven’t found a way to do it. I just haven’t had many really high moments here. There have been some exhilarating laps, that’s for sure, but no real high moments yet.
“I just think the reputation of it (makes Talladega special). People don’t understand how physical this race is. When I say physical, it is rough. When this race starts winding down and the laps start dwindling away, the aggression picks up a great deal. It gets very aggressive. I don’t want to say it is scary, because I don’t want you to think I’m scared at any point, but it will get your attention. It is very intense, it will flat get your attention and I think when that is over, and you’ve come out on top, I think that’s very rewarding.”
With the April 24-26 Aaron’s Dream Weekend quickly approaching, Burton is hoping that he is the one coming out on top this time. Regardless of the winner, Burton says one thing he can guarantee is an exciting race.
“The only thing I can guarantee you is you are going to see an incredible finish. You are going to see a lot of action and you are going to see three-wide and four-wide racing. People will be trying to take a year that hasn’t been so good and turn it into a good year and people that have had a good year will be trying to protect that. This is an extremely aggressive race and the only thing I can guarantee is that you’re going to see excitement. There’s no question about that.”
In 2009, Talladega Superspeedway proudly celebrates forty years of the most competitive racing in NASCAR. While the track has seen changes made to the cars that circle its high-banks, the surface that they race on and the grandstands that thousands of fans fill twice a year, one constant remains; Talladega Superspeedway is authentic NASCAR racing at its finest.
Race fans should make plans now to experience part of Talladega’s history in 2009 during the triple-header, Aaron’s Dream Weekend, April 24-26, featuring the ARCA RE/MAX Series, the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. For tickets, visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA. For our hearing impaired guests, please call TDD 1-866-ISC-TRAK (1-866-472-8725). Tickets also are available in person by visiting the Talladega Superspeedway Ticket Office from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. CDT, Monday- Friday.
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