Burton, Cat Racing Team Finish 23rd in Fontana Despite piloting a finicky Caterpillar Chevrolet throughout the entire 400 miler at Auto Club Speedway and finishing 23rd, Jeff Burton and the Todd Berrier-led crew advanced one position, to eighth,...
Burton, Cat Racing Team Finish 23rd in Fontana
Despite piloting a finicky Caterpillar Chevrolet throughout the entire 400 miler at Auto Club Speedway and finishing 23rd, Jeff Burton and the Todd Berrier-led crew advanced one position, to eighth, in the 2010 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship point standings.
Regardless of the unexpected outcome, a handful of Chase contenders fell victim to various circumstances that helped the Cat Racing team keep their championship hopes alive. Even though they lost 76 points to point leader Jimmie Johnson, they gained ground on those ahead of them in the standings. With six races remaining until the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion is crowned, the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing team sits 177 points in arrears to Johnson, 70 outside the top five and just 15 behind Carl Edwards' seventh-place tally.
After rolling off the starting grid from the inside of row eight, the South Boston, Va., native was quick to notice that the transmission on his No. 31 Chevrolet wasn't letting him switch gears easily, a slight quandary that would hamper his restarts throughout the 400-mile showdown. As a result, he dropped a couple of positions after the green flag was initially displayed, but was able to muster those positions back and notched three more by lap 16 before the handling on the black and yellow machine drastically changed.
Burton tussled with an extremely loose-handling black and yellow machine for the remainder of the 200-lap contest, racing between 17th and 28th, and using all of the caution periods as opportunities to remedy the ill-feeling RCR entry.
To the team's dismay, the majority of adjustments made didn't seem to alleviate the difficulties the Caterpillar Chevrolet was battling and, in the end, the 2010 Chase contender was credited with a less-than-desired 23rd-place result.
Tony Stewart took home the trophy, which secured the 2010 Manufacturer's Cup title for Chevrolet, while RCR teammate Clint Bowyer, Johnson, Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman balanced out the top-five finishers.
Fellow RCR stablemate Kevin Harvick finished seventh.
Next weekend, NASCAR's senior circuit returns to the east coast where the No. 31 Caterpillar hauler will leave the RCR shop and take a short trip south on I-85 to Concord, N.C. for the final night race of the season.
JEFF BURTON: "It's extremely disappointing to finish 23rd. The race track was slick and we couldn't get the Caterpillar Chevrolet's handling to match up, so we struggled with a loose condition throughout the entire day. It's definitely go time right now and we can't afford to give up more points. But, this team fights hard and we'll take that attitude to Charlotte and fight with the best of them."