Never-Give-Up Attitudes Result in Top-20 Finish for Burton
A loose wheel in the early stages of Sunday's Jeff Byrd 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, coupled with low battery power on the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, left Jeff Burton and the Todd Berrier-led team deep in the field, but their never-give-up attitudes rose to the top, and the team recovered nicely by nursing their machine home to a 20th-place result. After starting the 500-lap showdown in the 17th position, the power in the South Boston, Va., native's black and yellow machine shut off just 28 laps in. NASCAR displayed the caution when Burton's problems triggered a chain reaction behind him as competitors checked up and sought different avenues. The veteran driver manually switched ignition boxes inside his No. 31 Chevrolet before returning to competition nine laps later. Soon after, on lap 75, the veteran driver informed the team of a loose wheel and immediately made an unscheduled green-flag pit stop for four fresh tires, placing the Cat Racing team two laps down to the leader and in 36th position. Berrier and Company spent the remaining 400-plus laps, including eight caution periods, focused on improving their position while keeping an eye on the low voltage that was fluctuating on the backup battery. After it was all said and done, they advanced 16 spots before the checkered flag waved. Although their performance was unexpected, the No. 31 team's optimism and their keep-fighting mindset propelled them three spots in the overall championship point standings, to 29th, and are a mere 15 markers in arrears to cracking the top 20.
JEFF BURTON QUOTE:
"These last few races have been really disappointing because of different situations that we ended up finding ourselves in. The Caterpillar Chevrolet has been real competitive but it's been wrong place, wrong time circumstances or things out of our control. Today, the power went out in the beginning of the race that we had to nurse and a loose wheel put us down a couple of laps. But, Todd (Berrier, crew chief) kept the team in check and positive and we turned a day that could've been a lot worse into a top 20."