Burton, Cat Racing Team Capture Top Five in Richmond Jeff Burton made his home state fans proud by piloting the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet to a fourth-place result in Saturday night's Crown Royal Presents the Heath Calhoun 400 at Richmond ...
Burton, Cat Racing Team Capture Top Five in Richmond
Jeff Burton made his home state fans proud by piloting the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet to a fourth-place result in Saturday night's Crown Royal Presents the Heath Calhoun 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
The Richard Childress Racing team's second top-five and third top-10 finish vaulted them three spots, to ninth, in the overall point standings. After 10 races complete, Burton & Company are 220 markers behind point leader and RCR teammate Kevin Harvick and 34 points forward of fellow stable mate Clint Bowyer in 12th.
After posting dismal results of 25th at Phoenix and 32nd at Texas and Talladega, a home state welcome was just what the doctor ordered for the South Boston, Va., native.
He rolled off the starting grid 17th for the 400-lap affair and made quick work of those in front of him. Burton gained five positions in the opening five laps before diagnosing the handling of the Caterpillar Chevy to crew chief Todd Berrier.
A loose-handling condition would plague the RCR entry for most of the race, but with the help of the right adjustments and lightning-quick pit stops, Burton was running with the frontrunners just prior to halfway.
At lap 230, the 1998 fall Richmond race winner took the lead from eventual winner Kyle Busch and held it for the next 20 circuits.
A long green-flag run ensued, in which two cycles of green-flag pit stops took place that helped Burton maintain the runner-up spot during the run.
Three caution flags plagued the closing 33 laps, where restarts and a hard-charging Busch, moved the veteran driver to fourth before the checkered flag waved.
Burton was one of eight drivers who held the point in the 300 miler, marking the seventh of 10 races in which the Cat Racing team has led at least one lap.
Busch was followed to the finish line by Jeff Gordon and RCR teammate Harvick. Burton and Carl Edwards rounded out the top five.
Fellow RCR driver Bowyer finished 12th.
Under-the-lights racing continues next weekend when NASCAR's senior circuit makes its annual trip to the track "Too Tough too Tame."
"We have been really happy with the way our cars have run this year. We've been in position to win a lot of races and led a lot of races but haven't found a way to do it. Kyle (Busch) was able to make something happen on the outside that I couldn't make happen. We were good, but we weren't quite good enough to get it done. This is what we needed tonight -- momentum and laying some advantages down. We were a little conservative there at the end because of the way things have been going but, in the end, I couldn't make happen what the No. 18 was doing. I'm really proud of everybody on the team and real appreciative for all of our sponsors who have stuck with us through tough times."