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“They’re Not Happy”: Jeff Burton Not on Board With Fans’ Discontent Around NASCAR Short-Track Product

Gowtham Ramalingam

"Thank you to my NASCAR family": Jeff Burton reflects on biggest honor in 75th year of the sport

After four short track races in the 2024 season, NASCAR has arrived at a platform to look back and see how well the racing experience has improved them. The last two weekends – In Richmond and Martinsville – proved to be a fair reflection of the advancements that have been made to the Next Gen cars as there were minimal car failures. But does that mean the promotion has fixed short-track racing? Many would say ‘no’.

The biggest problem that drivers and fans had with racing on short tracks was that the cars couldn’t make passes. Complaints have continually arisen about how close-gapped racing without a lot of shuffling around the track is a dull and frustrating affair. However, racing icon Jeff Burton doesn’t agree with those opinions. Conversing with former crew chief Steve Letarte on NBC, he revealed why.

“I hear some people say they’re not happy with the short track package,” he said. “The race is not good? Go to the track! At the track, man, it is super competitive. It’s not the same kind of race that we saw 10 years ago, there’s no question about that.” He continued noting the differences in the tire wear from a decade back to now to make his case.

How short track racing has forced drivers to perform over the weekend

Burton’s take was that the competitiveness now seen on race day has demanded drivers and teams to pay more attention to qualifying and pit stops. He said, “I do think track position is more important than it used to be, there’s no question about that. But what that means is that qualifying is important. Pit stops are important. All the things that you have to do to complete a weekend have become more important with this car.”

While he agreed that the tires being more durable and not wearing as much as the drivers would like is an issue, he reiterated that all efforts were being made to fix it. Once it’s fixed, Burton believes that short-track racing will be as interesting as it once was for everyone. “There will be a continued effort to try to make the speed fall off as the run goes on. There’s a lot of effort going into it and I think once we get to that, I think the short track racing we’ll see a lot of what we saw 10-15 years ago,” he concluded.

Post Edited By:Srijan Mandal

About the author

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham is a NASCAR journalist at The SportsRush. Though his affinity for racing stems from Formula 1, he found himself drawn to NASCAR's unparalleled excitement over the years. As a result he has shared his insights and observations by authoring over 350 articles on the sport. An avid fiction writer, you can find him lost in imaginary worlds when he is not immersed in racing. He hopes to continue savoring the thrill of every lap and race together with his readers for as long as he can.

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