BURTON TO REACH MILESTONE AT RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY; VIRGINIA NATIVE HOPES TO PASS GANT, EARNHARDT ON NASCAR BUSCH SERIES ALL-TIME WIN LIST RICHMOND, VA 4/11/06- As the NASCAR Busch Series celebrates its 25th anniversary this season,...
BURTON TO REACH MILESTONE AT RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY; VIRGINIA NATIVE HOPES TO PASS GANT, EARNHARDT ON NASCAR BUSCH SERIES ALL-TIME WIN LIST
RICHMOND, VA 4/11/06- As the NASCAR Busch Series celebrates its 25th anniversary this season, one of the most popular and successful drivers in the series' history will reach a milestone of his own in his next race. When South Boston, Virginia native Jeff Burton visits his home track for his next NASCAR Busch Series start on Friday, May 5 at Richmond International Raceway, he will be making his 250th start in the popular series.
While reaching that mark has demonstrated longevity and consistency, the popular NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver has also notched an impressive 21 wins in the NASCAR Busch Series, including two at Richmond International Raceway. His 21st victory, which he recorded earlier this season at Atlanta Motor Speedway, moved him into a tie for sixth on the series all-time wins list with legends Harry Gant and Dale Earnhardt.
"I did not know that I was tied with Harry Gant and Dale Earnhardt, wow," Burton said. "To have me mentioned in there in the same sentence with those guys is a great honor and privilege for me." With a laugh, Burton added, "It would mean even more to pass them."
If it happens at Richmond International Raceway, it will be with a new sponsor. After piloting a handful of races in the No. 21 Coast Guard Chevrolet earlier this season, Burton will drive the No. 29 Holiday Inn Chevrolet.
"It's real exciting to have Holiday Inn come on board," Burton said. "Those guys are so hooked up and they're really anticipating getting into motorsports in a big way. They have a big campaign they're going to kick off this summer and the race car has a lot to do with that."
Burton is just as excited about the prospects for their performance on the track after a recent test at Richmond International Raceway. "This is a brand-new team, all brand-new cars, all brand-new equipment. It's the first time that we've all gone together and worked together so we're learning a lot about ourselves and what we don't do well, what we do do well. That's very important to us to come here and do that because we're learning that we need to be way more efficient and how we make changes. We're learning that some people are stronger in areas than we thought they were and so it's really important for us to come here. The speed has been very good, I'm very excited about the speed of the car and it's not the fastest car here on the third lap but on the 20th lap it's very fast and you watch these races and that's what's really important."
Winning is also important to Burton. He can't think of a better place to reach his historic milestone of his 250th start and perhaps pass a couple of legends in the process by winning in his home state. "I can remember coming here as a kid and watching the races and I ran a late model race here at the old fairgrounds. Then to be able to come here and race at this facility- which I consider to be as far as racing goes for the fans, for the drivers, for TV, to me, this is like the ultimate racetrack. It's got multiple grooves, it's got enough speed, it's got action. I've been fortunate to win some Busch races here and a (Nextel) Cup race. This is my home state and I take a lot of pride in being from Virginia and hopefully good things can happen to us on that weekend."
Fans who want to see Burton reach his 250th career start and perhaps pass Gant and Earnhardt on the all-time NASCAR Busch Series win list can visit www.rir.com for tickets or call 1-888-472-2849. Tickets are $45 (reserved) and $35 (general admission) in advance and $50 (reserved) and $40 (general admission) on race day. Children 12 and under are admitted free in the general admission sections with a ticketed adult.