Jeff Burton and team owner Richard Childress saw the handwriting on the wall and decided to part ways at the end of the 2013 season.
WELCOME, N.C. (Sept 4, 2013) -- Jeff Burton, driver of the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS for Richard Childress Racing, has announced he will not be driving that car after the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Burton, 46, has driven for RCR since 2005.
The native of South Boston, Va., has won four of his 21 NSCS victories with the team. He also earned seven NASCAR Nationwide Series wins with RCR and was an integral part of their 2007 NNS Owner's Championship.
"I strongly believe in the No. 31 team as to what we can achieve this year, and for the team in seasons to follow," Burton said. "However, the financial realities for next year were obvious to both Richard (Childress) and me. So, we talked about it and both made the decision to make this move for the team's future.
Caterpillar will continue to sponsor the No. 31 Chevrolet SS.
"Jeff has been a true professional in every sense of the word," said Greg Towles, Cat Racing Program Director. "On behalf of Caterpillar dealers, customers and Cat employees, we thank Jeff for his commitment to the No. 31 team and the Cat Racing program."
A new driver for the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS will be named in the future.
"We have been working hard to try and get all the funding in place to have four Sprint Cup teams in 2014," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "With the date on the calendar getting closer to 2014, we just couldn't run partially funded teams next year. Knowing what Jeff's plans were in 2015, he and I worked out an agreement for him to step out of the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet after this season. Jeff has been nothing but a professional driver, an asset to RCR and a great person for our organization since coming on board in 2005.
"Jeff has also been a great ambassador for Caterpillar and the other partners we've had on the car throughout the years. I can't thank him and Caterpillar enough for how great they've been as we work through this transition.
"We intend to finish out 2013 in a strong way and I look forward to the possibility of Jeff still being part of RCR in the near future, just not driving the No. 31 car. I have been watching his son, Harrison, and the success he's having. Hopefully, we can have another Burton in one of our cars someday."
Richard Childress Racing