Under-Caution Incident Thwarts Run for Burton at Texas Jeff Burton and the Caterpillar Chevrolet were involved in an under-caution incident just past the halfway mark in Sunday's AAA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway that resulted in an upsetting ...
Under-Caution Incident Thwarts Run for Burton at Texas
Jeff Burton and the Caterpillar Chevrolet were involved in an under-caution incident just past the halfway mark in Sunday's AAA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway that resulted in an upsetting 36th-place finish.
The disconcerting occurrence moved the Cat Racing team to 12th in the Chase for the Sprint Cup with just two races remaining in the season. The South Boston, Va., native is now 76 markers in arrears to RCR teammate Clint Bowyer's 10th-place tally.
Coming off a disappointing result last weekend at Talladega, the Todd Berrier-led team looked to rebound at a track that has been very good to the veteran driver.
In true Burton fashion, the 21-time Sprint Cup Series winner battled adversity and found a way to rise to the top when it counted. He rolled off the starting grid 16th, fought a loose-handling condition in the No. 31 Chevy that struggled with turn and overcame going a lap down to the leaders when a loose wheel forced him down pit road for a tire change to running inside the top 10 by lap 156.
The next battle to conquer was an extremely loose-handling Caterpillar Chevrolet that hampered Burton's driving over the next 30-plus circuits, moving him to 18th on the score board. But, knowing what the dilemma was, the No. 31 gang looked forward to the next pit stop to remedy the conditions.
Unfortunately, the lap-191 caution period that the team was looking for was never made use of when, under yellow-flag conditions, Burton and Jeff Gordon tangled coming off turn two after the No. 24 machine swerved around and in front of the RCR entry. As Burton was turning left to acknowledge Gordon's frustration, the two cars got hung together when the No. 24 entry was turning left as well, heavily damaging both of the competitor's Chevrolets.
The encounter relegated both teams to the garage area and after lengthy repairs to the No. 31 Chevrolet, Berrier sent his driver back on track to make one lap around the Texas oval in order for the team to gain one available position in the rundown and, therefore, was credited with a 36th-place result.
Denny Hamlin two stepped his way into Victory Lane after beating a hard-charging Matt Kenseth to the finish line. Mark Martin, Joey Logano and Greg Biffle balanced out the top five.
RCR teammates Kevin Harvick and Bowyer finished sixth and seventh, respectively.
NASCAR's senior circuit continues a westward trek when it takes Round Nine of the Chase for the Sprint Cup to Avondale, Ariz., for the second and final stop of the season at the desert oval.
JEFF BURTON: "We were coming off of turn four and he (Jeff Gordon) drove underneath me. I should have let him go and I didn't. The caution came out and he pulled up next to me to tell me he was upset at me and he went on. Then, I went to pull up to acknowledge him, to say he was right. I turned left and he was turning left and we just hung up. When we hung, off we went. I, honestly, don't know what happened. It was 100 % my fault. It was like once we got together, I couldn't get off of him. I didn't mean to hit him. I meant to pull up to him and tell him he was right because he was upset with me for what happened off of turn four. I should have let him go. I don't blame him for being for mad. I would have been mad, too."