Rare Occurrence in Blown Engine Results in 36th-Place Finish for Burton, Cat Racing Team in Daytona 500
Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar team showcased a strong performance in the first half of the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, but eight laps shy of the race's halfway mark, the engine expired in the extremely fast black and yellow machine that relegated the team to a 36th-place result. At the drop of the green flag, Burton and Richard Childress Racing teammate Clint Bowyer picked up where they left off from Thursday's Duel 150 event, choosing each other as their dancing partner for much of the showdown's first 92 laps. For the most part, they competed in the top 10, avoided multiple incidents and only dropped to as low as 24th the entire time. Burton led on two different occasions for a total of five laps on the 66th, 67th and 75th - 77th circuits before retiring the RCR entry to the garage 16 laps later when the engine broke - a rare occurrence that last happened in October 2007 at Talladega Superspeedway.
"We are asking a lot out of the engines here for sure. These are tough situations. To run at all, you have to run them 240 (degrees) or so and that may be a little more than we need to be running. We thought we were well within our limits, but maybe not. But listen, I'm proud of everybody. This whole Cat Racing team busted their butt to come down here and put their best foot forward. We ran well all week and I am proud of everybody. I'm disappointed - exceptionally disappointed. But, I'm not going to hang my head. The effort was too good to be disappointed about."
-source: rcr E