Blown Tire Sidelines Burton, Cat Racing Team Early in Qualifying Race at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 11, 2010) -- A blown right-front tire during the Duel 150 qualifying race at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday sidelined Jeff ...
Blown Tire Sidelines Burton, Cat Racing Team Early in Qualifying Race at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 11, 2010) -- A blown right-front tire during the Duel 150 qualifying race at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday sidelined Jeff Burton and the Cat Racing team just 24 laps into the event. Burton qualified 31st in the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevy in Saturday's single-car run time trails, providing the South Boston, Va., native a chance to better his starting position for the Daytona 500.
After rolling off the grid 16th in the 60-lap shootout event, the veteran driver made quick work of the draft and settled into the fourth position by lap six. However, 10 laps later, the July 2000 Daytona race winner began a slow and steady decent as the handling on the black and yellow machine made it difficult to navigate through the 31-degree banked turns.
After being scored 11th at the conclusion of lap 23, Burton radioed to crew chief Todd Berrier that the right-front tire was going down. Unfortunately, the tire began to unravel and damaged the fender in the process, forcing the team to head to the garage area and call it a day.
The unlucky event caused the Cat Racing team to unload their backup car to race in Sunday's Daytona 500 where Burton will start 39th.
Two-wide racing consumed the final lap where the defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson held off RCR teammate Kevin Harvick for the win by 0.005 of-a-second. Kyle Busch, other RCR stable mate Clint Bowyer and Regan Smith rounded out the top-five finishers.
"The Caterpillar Chevy just got really tight. We were really loose in practice for most of the day and we made a change at the end of the last practice which made the car a lot tighter and a lot more comfortable to drive. We just didn't know how tight it was going to be. So, we took off there real fast and got to the front pretty quickly. But, as the race wore on, it started getting tighter and tighter and tighter and it was just more than the tire could stand. I feel pretty good about where we are. The car drove great and I think we can take what we learned and apply it to be ready for tomorrow's practice and Saturday's practice. I really believe we're right on the edge of where we need to be with speed and where we need to be with handling. We'll just keep digging."