Texas II: Jeff Burton preview

* This Weekend's Holiday Inn/Holiday Inn Express Chevrolet Impala SS at Texas Motor Speedway ... Jeff Burton will pilot Chassis No. 066 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable in this weekend's O'Reilly Challenge. Clint...

* This Weekend's Holiday Inn/Holiday Inn Express Chevrolet Impala SS at Texas Motor Speedway ... Jeff Burton will pilot Chassis No. 066 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable in this weekend's O'Reilly Challenge. Clint Bowyer drove this No. 29 Chevrolet 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.

* Stacking Up ... Burton has never finished outside the top 10 in 13 NNS starts at Texas. He has more top-10 finishes at the 1.5-mile oval than any other drivers in NNS competition. He has completed all laps contested in those starts and ranks highest amongst drivers in lead lap finishes at TMS. The South Boston, Va., native is second best among active drivers in both wins and finishing average. Kevin Harvick has four wins compared to Burton's three, while Kyle Busch's 6.07 average bests Burton's average finish of 6.11.

* Loop d' Loop ... According to NASCAR's loop data statistics over the last nine events at TMS, Burton has been scored in the top 15 for 98.2 percent (1,184 of 1,200) of the laps contested, fifth most of any driver. Additionally, he is ranked fourth with a Driver Rating of 121.3 The Driver Rating is a formula that combines the following categories: wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The Driver Rating number is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator.

* RCR at TMS ... In 33 NNS starts at Texas, RCR-prepared Chevrolets have one pole (Jeff Green -- April 2002), four wins (Harvick -- March 2001, April 2006, November 2006, and November. 2007), 11 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes. The Welcome, N.C.,-based organization has also led 564 laps at the 1.5-mile Fort Worth racing complex.

* Rearview Mirror ... Two weeks ago, Leicht finished ninth after being involved three separate accidents in the Kroger on Track for the Cure 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park The comeback performance allowed the No. 29 team to remain sixth in the NNS owners' point standings, 38 markers in arrears of the No. 20 entry in fifth and 196 points forward the No. 38 entry in seventh.

* Texas Two Step ... In addition to his NNS duties, Burton will pilot the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet in Sunday's Dickies 500. The 34th points-paying race on the Sprint Cup Series schedule will be televised live on ABC beginning at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The race will also be broadcast on the Performance Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

* Last Time Around ... Burton led a total of 16 laps en route to an eight-place finish the last time NASCAR's junior division visited Texas in April. The 27-time NNS winner was a mainstay in the top 10 for most of the race before fading to 11th following the event's final yellow flag on lap 189. After pitting for tires and fuel, Burton was able to pass three cars in the closing laps to score his 13th consecutive top-10 at TMS.

* Testing 1-2-3 ... This past Monday, Burton was one of six drivers that took part in the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series new car test at Talladega Superspeedway. The six-hour open test, which included both single-car and drafting runs, was the first testing session the new generation of cars have done on a superspeedway. The new car will run in four events next season -- Daytona International Speedway in July, Michigan International Speedway in August, Richmond International Raceway in September and Lowe's Motor Speedway in October.

* RC on PARADE ... Richard Childress was ranked fourth in the "Celebrities Who Give Big" article in the November 1, 2009 issue of Parade Magazine. Childress and his family donated $5 million in July 2008 to start the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. Other celebrities included the late Paul Newman, Brad Pitt and Angelia Joie, Mel Gibson, Oprah Winfrey, Oscar De La Hoya, Barbra Streisand and Leonardo DiCaprio.


You have 12 top-10 finishes in 12 starts, no wins, but you have never had a bad run at Texas Motor Speedway. "We've always run well there and a few times, I thought we might have a shot to win. We were in good shape and one thing happened or another, but our Nationwide Series program at RCR has been incredibly good there. This past year, we didn't have a year we wanted to have, but we are continuing to work really hard. We're going to Texas this time with a whole other approach and something completely different than in years past. I'm really excited for that. The Holiday Inn Racing team has worked hard, trying some different stuff, and this will be the first opportunity we have to try and race it."

You participated in the NASCAR Nationwide Series new car test on Monday at Talladega. How did the session go for the RCR team? "It went well. Every test we've done with the new Chevrolet Impala has gone well and this test was no different. On Monday, we did a few single-car runs before drafting. We learned a lot about the aerodynamics and what areas we need to improve on with these cars to make racing in the Nationwide Series better. It's a working process, but the test was positive all around."


What are the keys to getting around Texas? "Texas is a track where speed is more important than handling. You have to have a good handling race car there, but the speed comes first. Other tracks we race at, a car can be faster when it handles well in and off the corners. At Texas, the Nationwide Series cars carry at ton of speed when entering the corners. This track is similar to California in that respect. Once in the corners, drivers can find the groove where their car handles the best in order to be fast."

-credit: rcr

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Drivers Jeff Burton , Kevin Harvick , Jeff Green , Paul Newman , Clint Bowyer , Stephen Leicht , Kyle Busch
Teams Richard Childress Racing