NASCAR's Jeff Burton says he and Jeff Gordon 'moving forward' after fight
Jeff Burton said Tuesday that he spoke again with rival Jeff Gordon about how they came to blows at their race in Texas and that both NASCAR drivers "are moving forward."
"We had a great conversation," Burton told reporters on a conference call ahead of the next race Sunday in Phoenix. "We ended up laughing a little bit about some of the things that were said and some of the things that were done. And Jeff and I are moving forward."
Burton's No. 31 Chevrolet collided with Gordon's No. 24 Chevy at the Sprint Cup Series race last Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, and Gordon's car slammed into the wall.
After the drivers climbed from their cars, four-time champion Gordon gave Burton a hard shove and the two briefly traded swings before safety officials kept them apart.
Gordon was furious that the 43-year-old Burton, one of the most respected drivers in the NASCAR garage, had driven into him. But Burton immediately apologized and said Tuesday he didn't mean to cause a wreck.
"I can promise you this, I did not intentionally turn Jeff Gordon driver-side first into the wall," Burton said. "That's malicious and that's not just how I am."
Meanwhile, NASCAR further penalized driver Kyle Busch for making an obscene gesture at a NASCAR official that was caught on his in-car camera and shown on nationwide television.
Busch, who drives the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, was angry about a pit-road violation he'd just received, and NASCAR ordered him to park his car for two laps immediately after he made the gesture. On Tuesday, Busch also was fined $25,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31.
Busch, 25, issued an apology Tuesday, saying, "I lost my cool, plain and simple. It's not acceptable and I know that."
Burton, Gordon and Busch are among the 12 drivers in NASCAR's Chase for the Cup title playoff, but all three are out of contention with only two races remaining in the 10-race Chase.
Only three drivers still have a realistic chance: Chase leader Denny Hamlin, who won at Texas; reigning champion Jimmie Johnson, now 33 points behind Hamlin; and Kevin Harvick, who's 59 points back.