Loudon: Round 19 preview

* Richard Childress Racing on the Rebound: Jeff Burton Leads Team to New Hampshire * New Hampshire International Speedway Holds Unique Position in "Race to the Chase" DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 11, 2006) -- After its three teams finished ...

* Richard Childress Racing on the Rebound: Jeff Burton Leads Team to New Hampshire

* New Hampshire International Speedway Holds Unique Position in "Race to the Chase"

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 11, 2006) -- After its three teams finished 14th, 18th and 27th in the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series car owner point standings, Richard Childress Racing has enjoyed a resurgence this season.

Led by Jeff Burton's Budweiser Pole-winning performance and second-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway, RCR's three teams are all ranked within the top 16 in the car owner point standings. With momentum on its side and the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup looming on the horizon, the RCR organization has a lot to look forward to as it prepares for Sunday's LENOX Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway (1:30 p.m. ET, TNT).

Burton, driver of the No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet, leads all active drivers with four wins at New Hampshire -- and has risen to a season-high fourth in the standings. Burton and Kevin Harvick (No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet), are in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 while Clint Bowyer (No. 07 Jack Daniel's Chevrolet) is ranked second in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings.

For the first time in their careers, Burton and Harvick are in position to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, which begins Sept. 17 when the series returns to New Hampshire. The 1.058-mile track is uniquely positioned as the only track that is on the schedule for both the "Race to the Chase" (which includes the 10 events from July 1-Sept. 9) and the Chase itself. Championship-minded teams will use this Sunday's race to gather performance data and prepare for the crucial return trip in September.

"I think [this weekend] is really important," said Burton. "As a matter of fact, I think all of the next eight races are exceptionally important. If you look at the points from third to 12th, it's really locked in tight. The rest of us are fighting really hard to get into the Chase."

As for the renewed success of the legendary RCR organization, Burton says the changes have come from all areas of the team.

"We take it one race at a time and that's what we'll continue to do," said Burton. "That's one of the reasons we're better. Our company is stronger. Our support systems back at the shop from an aerodynamic standpoint, from an engine standpoint, from an engineering standpoint, from a preparation standpoint, we've stepped it up in every category. We have reorganized, rebuilt, restructured everything. And most of those things are working better than they were.

"We don't go into New Hampshire thinking, 'we're fourth in points and we're 100 or whatever points.' We go into it thinking 'how are we going to win this race?'"

-nascar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Kevin Harvick , Clint Bowyer
Teams Richard Childress Racing