Burton Leads Laps, Finishes Eighth in Budweiser Shootout
Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar team led the most laps and gained valuable information that they'll transfer over to next weekend's Daytona 500 despite finishing eighth in the season opening, non-holds barred Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. The South Boston, Va., native was pushed to the lead by Richard Childress Racing teammate Kevin Harvick, completing the initial 25-lap segment of the 75-lap event running 1-2 . After a routine four-tire pit stop during the event's 10-minute break, the 2000 Daytona July race winner returned to competition for the final 50 laps and, in spite of being separated from Harvick at the restart, he hooked up with fellow RCR stablemate Clint Bowyer. The new duo drafted to the lead before competitor tandems would join them, moving Burton to eighth in the closing laps where he remained in that position when the checkered flag fell.
"Obviously, we are disappointed with the finish. We are going to need to go back, analyze and figure out what didn't work out. For whatever reason, Kevin (Harvick) pushed my car better than Clint's car. We need to figure that out. I don't know why that was. I thought Kevin and I were in great shape. Once we got separated, he didn't push the car in front of him as well as he pushed me and I didn't get pushed by Clint (Bowyer) for whatever reason. It is a car thing. That happened late in the race so, game over. The Caterpillar Chevrolet ran well. It is driving me nuts, leading a lot of laps and doing all this stuff and not win the race. We did a lot of that last year. It is not my intention to do it this year."