Homestead: Jeff Burton preview

* This Weekend's Holiday Inn/Holiday Inn Express Chevrolet Impala SS at Homestead-Miami Speedway ... Jeff Burton will pilot Chassis No. 066 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable this weekend. This is the same No. 29 ...

* This Weekend's Holiday Inn/Holiday Inn Express Chevrolet Impala SS at Homestead-Miami Speedway ... Jeff Burton will pilot Chassis No. 066 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable this weekend. This is the same No. 29 Chevrolet that Casey Mears finished second with at Texas Motor Speedway two weeks ago after Clint Bowyer drove it to Victory Lane at Dover International Speedway in September. Stephen Leicht also raced this Impala SS five times this season, finishing sixth and 11th in both Nashville Superspeedway events, eighth at The Milwaukee Mile, sixth at Gateway International Raceway and 10th at Iowa Speedway. Last season, Bowyer drove this former No. 2 racer to a ninth-place finish at Kentucky Speedway and to a seventh-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway, while Stephen Leicht drove it to an 18th-place finish at Texas in October.

* Burton at Homestead ... In six NNS starts at HMS, the 27-time series race winner has earned two wins (2007 and 1998), three top-five and four top-10 finishes. Additionally, Burton has led 69 laps of competition at the mile-and-a-half oval.

* Back in the Day ... In 2007, RCR's No. 29 Holiday Inn team only needed to start the 300 miler at Homestead to earn the NNS owners' championship. Instead of being conservative during that race, Burton led a total of 51 laps en route to his second NNS victory at 1.5-mile, progressively-banked race track. His previous win there was 1998 when he made a last-lap pass to earn the victory.

* Burton's 2009 NNS Stats ... In 12 NNS races this season, the South Boston, Va., native has earned one top-five and nine top-10 finishes. He boasts an 11th-place average finish and has completed 99.1 percent (2,118 of 2,137) of the laps contested.

* RCR at HMS ... In 21 NNS starts at Homestead, RCR-prepared Chevrolets have two wins (Kevin Harvick --2004 and Burton -- 2007), 11 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes. The Welcome, N.C.,-based organization boasts an average start and finish of 14.4 and have led 460 laps at the 1.5-mile South Florida facility.

* No. 29's Collective 2009 stats ... In the first 34 NNS races this season, the No. 29 Impala SS earned one pole (Bowyer -- Daytona, July), two wins (Bowyer --Daytona, July and Dover, September) eight top-five and 24 top-10 finishes. Bowyer, Burton, Leicht and Mears have a combined 12.3 average start, a 10.3 average finish and have completed 98.7 percent (6,430 of 6,515) of the laps contested.

* 115 for 'Always Staying Under Green' ... RCR's No. 29 Holiday Inn Chevrolet has made 114 starts among five drivers in NASCAR's junior division dating back to 2006. All told, Bowyer, Burton, Leicht, Mears and Scott Wimmer have combined to earn nine wins, 39 top-five and 77 top-10 finishes.

* Rearview Mirror ... Last Saturday, Bowyer finished fourth in the Able Body Labor 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. Although the reigning NNS champion spun on the eighth lap, he and the No. 29 team battled back to earn the top-five finish. The solid performance allowed the RCR team to remain fifth in the NNS owners' point standings, 84 markers behind Kevin Harvick Inc.'s No. 33 entry in fourth.

* Double Duty Driving ... In addition to his NNS duties, Burton will pilot the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 400-mile race. The final points-paying race on the NSCS schedule will be televised live on ABC beginning at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The race will also be broadcast on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

* Welcome Home ... Two members of the No. 29 team originate from the Sunshine State. Team engineer Paul Flury hails from Hollywood and gasman Thomas Costello is from St. Petersburg.


Can you talk about your twin wins at Homestead and what they were like for you?

"Homestead has been a really fun track for me. The first time I won there, I passed Jimmy Spencer in Turn 4, coming to get the checkered flag and that was pretty cool. Then, we won a couple years ago to clinch the championship for Richard (Childress) and that was pretty cool, too. It's been an exciting race track for me."

Is it hard to find a good line around a track with the progressive banking, such as Homestead-Miami Speedway?

"I think you definitely have to hunt for the best line. As a driver you have to be open to trying different lines so you can find which line works best for your car. The problem lies when you are trying to get your car set up during practice. You question yourself as to what line you want to run. It's really easy to set your car up for one line then move somewhere else and find out that it doesn't work as well. You really have to be committed to where you want to run and stay there."


What are the keys to getting around a place like Homestead-Miami Speedway?

"Homestead makes for great racing. The progressive banking allows the drivers to pick a line that's working best for them at any given time. At first, everyone tries to run the bottom but, as the race unfolds, drivers begin moving up to a line where their car performs better. For the No. 29 team, we're bringing the same car that won at Dover and finished second at Texas. Hopefully, we can have another solid run and finish the season strong."

-credit: rcr

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About this article
Drivers Jeff Burton , Jimmy Spencer , Kevin Harvick , Casey Mears , Scott Wimmer , Stephen Leicht
Teams Richard Childress Racing