Like father, like son

July, 29, 2007

INDIANAPOLIS -- Leave it to the offspring to figure out the real meaning of his father making the field for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.

No one was happier about Ward Burton earning a spot in the race than Jeb Burton, Ward's 14-year-old son.

When asked what it meant to him, Jeb said. "That money will go a long way toward paying for my go-kart program."

Jeb, who already is 2 inches taller than his 5-foot-6 father, is a talented young racer with NASCAR aspirations.

"One day he's going to show us how to do it out here," Ward said.

Jeb said he was sweating it out Saturday, knowing his father had to earn one of the seven available spots in the field by his qualifying speed. Burton got the last open spot with a lap at 179.655 mph in the No. 4 Chevy.

"I was praying," Jeb said. "It was really hard waiting to see if my dad would get in."

Tony not so terrific
Tony Stewart always finds a way to show his surly side, which surfaced during his behind-the-hauler interview Friday.

Two weeks ago, he and teammate Denny Hamlin had a meeting with team owner Joe Gibbs about settling their differences and not taking it out on each other on the track.

Earlier this season, Stewart was called to a meeting in the Nextel Cup hauler with NASCAR officials after he inferred on his radio show that races were rigged.

So Stewart was asked this question Friday: What has more impact, a meeting with Gibbs or a meeting in the NASCAR hauler?

"Having to deal with guys like you that ask stupid questions like that," Stewart said. "That's worse than either of those two things."

Stewart also was asked what makes Indianapolis Motor Speedway so special.

"You're kidding, right?" Stewart asked. "You don't know the answer to that? Do you want me to find somebody to tell you real quick so we can go on with stuff that people don't know the answer yet? If they don't know that by now, they won't figure it out."

Terry Blount

ESPN Staff Writer



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