Burton Brothers Battle, So Do Batteries

HIGH POINT, N.C. - Last years Las Vegas 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was a race that brought door-to-door racing between two brothers. Ward Burton, driver of the No. 22 Caterpillar Racing Pontiac, and his younger brother Jeff, who drives...

HIGH POINT, N.C. - Last years Las Vegas 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was a race that brought door-to-door racing between two brothers. Ward Burton, driver of the No. 22 Caterpillar Racing Pontiac, and his younger brother Jeff, who drives the No. 99 Exide Batteries Ford, battled side-by-side for the closing laps. Ward came short of winning his second NASCAR Winston Cup race while his brother went on to victory. But in 2000, Ward and his team are ready to capture the victory and they have a new battery to give them the extra power to make it past little brother Jeff. Caterpillar has produced a CAT Battery, which the race teams are now using to power around tracks across the country. "Caterpillar has two lines of batteries - Premium High Output (PHO) and General Service Line (GSL)," said Marti Vance of Caterpillar. "The PHO battery is built to Caterpillar specifications and are now used by the Caterpillar Racing teams with drivers Ward Burton and Andy Houston, driver of the No. 60 NASCAR Craftsman Truck team. The CAT battery is the only genuine Caterpillar part used by the race teams and they are not altered in any way. The same battery that powers our customers CAT Equipment and Engines also powers our race teams. "Because of the high, cold, cranking amps and reserve capacities, the PHO has received the maximum performance ratings in the battery industry. This rating means easier starts using less of the battery's capacity. This allows the battery to last longer since it cycles less and stays in the fully charged state longer. The PHO battery is designed to perform in the harshest environments and the door-to-door- racing with his younger brother is about as harsh as it gets." Heading into this weekend's race there is not only a sibling rivalry, but also a battery company rivalry. The No. 22 Caterpillar Racing team hopes that the new CAT battery gives the team the extra charge it needs to get to victory lane. "We're going to do whatever we can to get that No. 22 Caterpillar Racing Pontiac to victory lane," said Burton. "We came out of Daytona with a top-10 finish and last week we ran third at Rockingham. We keep doing that and we'll get to victory lane no matter what. We have built a great team and we're right there on the edge of victory. We've learned to run consistently and now the natural progression is to get to the winner's circle" Ward thinks that Las Vegas could be the place that they get sweet redemption. "Las Vegas has a great track surface and it is a great track for everyone to run on. There is more than one groove and it's got some banking in it, so it makes it easy to pass on. It is also wide enough to have some good side-by-side racing - just like Jeff and I did last year. A good track lets you have that kind of racing without the wrecks." Burton relishes in the battery rivalry, but says that being brothers and competitors complicates things. "It's been fun, but it does complicate things a little bit. It's not really about him beating me, but that the same car and team beat us three times last year. Luckily for us, each time we've raced side-by-side it hasn't resulted in a bad incident. The fan response has been unbelievable. That is the first thing that people mention and they give me a lot of support, so that part is fun." It's fairly certain that the Burton brothers will continue to battle on the racing tracks. This time, the No. 22 Caterpillar Racing team hopes that the battle is won by the older Burton brother - Ward. Caterpillar is making every effort to help its driver. That is why they have introduced the PHO battery to the race teams. The No. 22 Caterpillar Racing team is charged up and ready to conquer Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ward Burton , Andy Houston