This Week's Caterpillar Chevrolet at Phoenix International Raceway ... Jeff Burton will pilot Chassis No. 319 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new for 2010, this Caterpillar Chevrolet was put through its...
This Week's Caterpillar Chevrolet at Phoenix International Raceway ... Jeff Burton will pilot Chassis No. 319 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new for 2010, this Caterpillar Chevrolet was put through its first paces at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September where the 17-year veteran was credited with a 15th-place result after running out of fuel with two laps remaining in the 300 miler and coasting to the finish.
You scored a runner-up finish in this race last year. What does the No. 31 team need to do to better themselves by one spot?
"Phoenix has been a really good race track for me. I felt that if we had qualified better and been up front earlier, we would have been hard to beat in that race. We were really fast and got by a lot of cars early but never had good track position until later in the race. It's been a while since I've won there and we're going back to finish where we left off in the fall. The key for us to do that is to go back better than we were and rebound after we finished 25th in the spring. Our result didn't reflect how well the Caterpillar Chevrolet ran. We got a penalty for pitting outside the box that placed us out of contention, and the long green-flag runs hurt us because we weren't able to get our lap back. We have some unfinished business at Phoenix, and we're going to give it everything we have on Sunday."
Describe racing at Phoenix.
"It's a really cool race track. Both ends of the race track are completely different. It's not really a short track. It's like a small superspeedway. The straightaways are long and restarts are really aggressive. The front straightaway is down hill, which leads to a really sharp turn one corner. The exit of turn two is like nowhere else I've ever been. Turns three and four are big, long, sweeping corners. Some people can run the top and some can run below the apron, which gives the drivers different options. It's a challenge because it's so different on both ends of the race track."
What is the Cat Racing team working on over these final two races of the season?
"It's been a fun year and it's been a really discouraging year all at the same time. For us, we need to execute in these last couple of races. We've run well, we're fifth or sixth in laps led and we are in that same area in number of races led. Our performance has been good - not been great, but it's been good. Our average running position is much better than our average finishing position. That's why we're in the spot that we're in. I want to see us continue to run well. We had a really fast car at Phoenix earlier this season and we led a lot at Homestead last year. These last two races are tracks that we performed well at the last time we raced there. I want to see us be able to do that, but I want to see us get the finishes that we weren't able to get. That's what the final two races are about."