Charlotte II: Jeff Burton preview

* This Week's Caterpillar Chevrolet at Lowe's Motor Speedway ... Jeff Burton will race Chassis No. 283 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new this season, this is the same Caterpillar Chevrolet Burton drove to...

* This Week's Caterpillar Chevrolet at Lowe's Motor Speedway ... Jeff Burton will race Chassis No. 283 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new this season, this is the same Caterpillar Chevrolet Burton drove to a 25th-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July after a cut right-side tire during the latter stages of the Brickyard 400 spoiled the makings of a top-15 finish. The South Boston, Va., native also piloted this No. 31 racer to an 18th-place finish at Michigan International Speedway in August and to a 34th-place result at Atlanta Motor Speedway last month due to a vibration and a speeding penalty. Most recently, Burton drove this chassis at Dover International Speedway where he posted a 16th-place effort.

* 850 NASCAR Starts for JB ... Burton will reach another career milestone when he takes the green flag in Friday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway by making his 850th career NASCAR start. Since his NASCAR debut at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on March 13, 1988, Burton has made 541 Sprint Cup Series starts, 304 Nationwide Series starts and four Camping World Truck Series starts. He will tie Bill Elliott with 850 NASCAR starts for 11th on the all-time NASCAR starts list, trailing Kyle Petty in 10th with 885 collective starts. Two weeks ago at Kansas Speedway, the South Boston, Va., native became the 26th driver to make 540 starts in NASCAR's premier division and is one of only 12 drivers to have competed in 300-plus Nationwide Series events.

* Charlotte Details ... In 31 starts at LMS, Burton boasts three wins, eight top-five and 15 top-10 finishes. His first two victories at the 1.5-mile tri oval came in the Coca-Cola 600 events in 1999 and 2001 and enters the weekend as the defending race winner.

* Double Duty Wheelin' ... In addition to his driving duties with the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet Impala SS at LMS, Burton, a 27-time race winner in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, will pilot the No. 29 Holiday Inn/Holiday Inn Express Chevrolet Impala SS in the Dollar General 300 on Friday, Oct. 16 Live coverage of the 200-lap event will be televised on ESPN2 beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

* Last Time Around ... In a race where nearly half of the Chase contenders fell victim to various circumstances, Burton and the No. 31 RCR team were able to master the 24-degree banked Lowe's Motor Speedway by winning last season's Bank of America 500. Although he tussled with a somewhat loose-handling Chevrolet, Burton never raced outside the top seven for the entire 500-mile showdown. Pit calls played a pivotal role as fuel-only stops helped the No. 31 team prevail, including the gutsy call crew chief Scott Miller made on the day's last caution period that occurred on lap 297. The veteran driver led the final 57 laps en route to his third victory at the Concord facility.

* RCR at Charlotte ... In 107 starts at LMS, RCR has earned five points-paying victories. Four of those were won by Dale Earnhardt, while Burton added to that total with a win in the October 2008 race. Kevin Harvick also recorded an impressive win at the 2007 All-Star Race to go along with Earnhardt's three victories at the annual all-star showcase, giving RCR nine total Sprint Cup Series checkered flags at LMS. Additionally, RCR boasts 19 top-five and 35 top-10 finishes at LMS with seven different drivers including Earnhardt, Ricky Rudd, Mike Skinner, Harvick, Burton and Clint Bowyer. Richard Childress, a former driver on NASCAR's senior circuit, contributed two of those top 10s from 1978-1979.

* The Collective RCR ... In 30 races this season, RCR's four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entries have notched nine top-five and 28 top-10 finishes. The No. 29 team kicked off the 2009 season with a win in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. RCR-prepared cars have also completed 33,299 laps with four different drivers including Burton, Bowyer, Harvick and Casey Mears. RCR teams have led 188 laps and all four teams have earned just shy of $17 million combined purse money in 2009.

* RCR Celebrates with Fans ... In honor of its 40th anniversary, RCR will host a Fan Day at the Welcome, N.C. complex on Thursday, Oct. 22 from 9 a.m. -- 5 p.m. Activities include driver and pit crew autograph sessions, self-guided tours of RCR's Sprint Cup and Nationwide as well as ECR's engine shop, radio remotes, musical entertainment, pit crew competition, viewing of the DALE movie, question-and-answer session with team owner Richard Childress and much more. General admission to RCR's Fan Day is just $5, which will benefit the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma. For more information, or to purchase advance tickets, please visit www.rcrfanday.com.

JEFF BURTON:

Does your 25th-place finish in the Coca-Cola 600 indicate how you were running during the race?

"There were circumstances that didn't help us but we ran better than where we finished. Charlotte is a race track that has been really good to us. It's a place where we have been successful at and I'm expecting to run well there this weekend. The spring race was frustrating because of certain circumstances, including the rain factor at the end. Next thing you know, the race was over. We've made tremendous strides since then. The tire we ran earlier this season threw us for a loop, starting with the All-Star race. The three RCR cars in that race were running last and we learned a lot over the next weekend that made us more competitive. We'll have a better insight going into this race than we did the last race."

The spring race at Charlotte started in the daytime and ended at night. This weekend's race is being run at night in its entirety. Does that help with the setups of the cars or is it different?

"It's not a whole lot different. We've been racing at night for such a long time in Charlotte that we have an understanding of what is going to happen. I prefer the full night of racing. Going from day to night is a little difficult because you know the track is going to change and it's hard to make a lot of changes to the car. But, every time I ran well in the (Coca-Cola) 600 during the day, we've ran well at night, too. It's an issue but it's not as big an issue that some people make it out to be."

-credit: rcr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Burton , Bill Elliott , Mike Skinner , Kyle Petty , Kevin Harvick , Casey Mears
Teams Richard Childress Racing