Fontana II: Jeff Burton preview

This Week's Caterpillar Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway ... Jeff Burton will pilot chassis No. 317 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new this season, this is the same Caterpillar Chevrolet Burton drove to an...

This Week's Caterpillar Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway ... Jeff Burton will pilot chassis No. 317 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new this season, this is the same Caterpillar Chevrolet Burton drove to an eighth-place finish at Pocono Raceway in August and to a 24th-place result at Michigan International Speedway just two weeks later after being involved in a wrong place, wrong time incident with under 50 laps remaining.

The Chase Report ... In the Chase for the Sprint Cup's first three events, Burton and the Cat Racing team posted a 15th-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway when the No. 31 Chevrolet coasted around the 1.058-mile facility during the final two laps after running out of fuel. They followed that performance with a runner-up effort at Dover International Speedway, prior to scoring an 18th-place finish at Kansas Speedway last weekend as a result of the handling on the Caterpillar Chevrolet going away in the latter stages of the event. The Todd Berrier-led team has registered an average finish of 11.6 in the first three Chase events. Those three finishes place the Cat Racing team ninth in the point standings, 101 markers outside of the top spot with seven races to go before the 2010 champion is crowned.

Jeff Burton Live ... Burton is one of several drivers who will sign autographs at the Stater Bros. Racefest event on Thursday, October 7 from 6 - 8 p.m. at the Auto Club Speedway FanZone, located behind the frontstretch grandstands. Three hundred tickets will be given out on a first come, first serve basis.

JEFF BURTON:

You finished third at Auto Club Speedway in February. Does that run give you confidence going into Sunday's race? "It certainly does. We ran really well in the second half of the race. The first half of the race we struggled a little bit with handling and Todd (Berrier,crew chief) kept working on the Caterpillar Chevy and made it better. I got busted for speeding on pit road and, for some reason, that turned our day around. We took off right after that. We had to restart last and got up to sixth quickly. So, that definitely gives me confidence. Fontana is a demanding race track but it's fun to drive and I think we carry the momentum over to this weekend's race."

Looking at the points right now, can anyone in the Chase afford one bad race? "I think a lot of things can still happen. Certainly, as the Chase goes on, more people are going to get eliminated. The problem is that you start getting enough points behind, and a lot of people between you and the leader, and then you have to go through all of them. That makes it more difficult. Obviously, some people's chances are lower than they were when the thing started. I think there are a few teams that are teetering on not being able to be afforded another bad race. I don't want to say anybody's eliminated, but, certainly, people are getting really close."

Is there extra pressure when you haven't won a race yet? Are you trying to accomplish two things at once? "We're racing for a championship. Winning races gets you more points and we need to get the most points. I'm not thinking about winning races for any other reason than that. In the back of my mind, I'm not saying 'oh no, we haven't won a race this season.' I don't think like that. Matter of fact, if you were to ask me how many races it's been since my list win, I honestly couldn't tell you. I don't like not winning, but worrying about it doesn't fix it. It's on to the next race and you always try to do better."

-source: rcr

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton
Teams Richard Childress Racing