This Week's Caterpillar Chevrolet at Dover International Speedway ... Jeff Burton will race Chassis No. 302 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new for 2010, Burton drove this Caterpillar Chevy to a 12th-place...
This Week's Caterpillar Chevrolet at Dover International Speedway ... Jeff Burton will race Chassis No. 302 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new for 2010, Burton drove this Caterpillar Chevy to a 12th-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway last month where he overcame a pit road commitment line violation to be in contention for the win, leading with 10 laps to go. However, a nine-car incident brought out a lengthy red flag and after the engines re-fired and green-flag racing continued, the handling on the No. 31 Chevy went away in the closing laps and Burton held on to finish 12th.
Welcome Home ... One member from the Cat Racing team hails from "The First State." Daniel Blizzard, front-tire changer on the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevy, calls Mt. Airy home. Ray Wright, strength and conditioning coach for all of RCR's Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series' teams, is from Charlotte Hall. Wright is a 1997 Mizuno All-American and Maryland Player of the Year in baseball.
What is your mindset going in to Dover?
"Dover is an exceptionally fast race track. For a mile-long race track, it generates a lot of speed. You're in the throttle a lot of the time, there's a lot of banking and you really have to work hard to get your car to turn well. You have to make it turn well and keep it where you can run on the bottom. You don't want to lock in where you can only run on the bottom. You want to be able to run different grooves. If you can do those things, you can run really well there."
Over the past few years, you have been steady as a rock. Last year, you recorded a pair of 16th-place finishes at Dover.
"It seems like every time we went to Dover, we ran between fourth and 10th. And, we were never quite good enough to win but were somewhat competitive. But, finishing 16th in both races is disappointing because Dover is a track that I'm real comfortable on, even though it is intimidating. I feel like I have a rhythm with the track and last year's results were definitely out of the norm for me."
You said the race track is intimidating. Does Dover's nickname hold true?
"If Dover doesn't intimidate you, then you're lying. It's a fast race track with a lot of speed and heavy concrete walls. "The Monster Mile" is a fitting name for that race track. You have to be aggressive but if you cross the line, you'll get in trouble. Even though it's challenging, I really like going there."
Do you compare Dover to Bristol?
"Dover is a lot like Bristol, much more like Bristol today than before they changed it. But, the speeds are so different that it's hard to compare them. The fact that they are both high-banked concrete race tracks means that they have some similarities. I'm certainly not going to tell you that the set-ups we run at Bristol or the way we drive at Bristol are the same as Dover. They require different set-ups and different driving styles, but they are similar in the fact that they're both concrete. Typically, if you get into something, it's big at both Dover and Bristol."