Richard Childress Racing
March 27, 2012
Jeff Burton Event Preview: Goody's Fast Relief 500
"In my opinion, it's one of the hardest tracks we go to on the circuit. To perform well at one of those short tracks means something."
Event Preview Fact Sheet
No. 31 BB&T Chevrolet
Goody’s Fast Relief 500
April 1, 2012
Race Notes and Quotes:
This Week's BB&T Chevrolet at Martinsville Speedway ... Jeff Burton will race chassis No. 329 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable this weekend. This No. 31 Chevrolet, originally built in 2010, has seen significant track time over the last two seasons including Texas Motor Speedway in Nov. 2010 (started-16th, finished-36th), Bristol Motor Speedway in Aug. 2011 (started-21st, finished-15th) and New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Sept. 2011 (started-18th, finished-13th). Burton also tallied a top-five finish at Phoenix International Raceway last November, finishing fourth after starting 14th.
Virginia is for Lovers ... Burton grew up just an hour away from Martinsville Speedway in South Boston, Va. Sunday's event marks Burton's 36th start at the half-mile facility and 625th-career Sprint Cup Series entry. He has amassed 10 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes, led 940 laps and made one trip to Victory Lane in 1997.
Loopy in the "Hot Dog City" ... Burton has garnered some impressive NASCAR Loop Data statistics at Martinsville Speedway since 2006. He has the eighth-best driver rating (89.5), spent 4,242 laps running in the top 15 (eighth-most), led 366 laps (seventh-most) and ran the fastest lap on track 269 times (seventh-most). Burton has also made 683 green-flag passes with 364 of them coming while running in the top 15 under green-flag conditions.
Official Bank of RCR ... BB&T is one of the largest financial services holding companies in the U.S. with $174.6 billion in assets and market capitalization of $14.9 billion, as of Dec. 31, 2011. Based in Winston-Salem, N.C., the company operates approximately 1,800 financial centers in 12 states and Washington, D.C., and offers a full range of consumer and commercial banking, securities brokerage, asset management, mortgage and insurance products and services. A Fortune 500 company, BB&T is consistently recognized for outstanding client satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Greenwich Associates and others. The RCR partnership with BB&T has enjoyed great success both on and off the track in the past five years, including the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series driver's championship with Clint Bowyer and multiple trips to victory lane in NASCAR's premiere division at Richmond and Talladega Superspeedway. The relationship began at the start of the 2007 Nationwide Series season and moved up to Sprint Cup Series action in 2009.More information about BB&T and its full line of products and services is available at www.BBT.com.
Meet the Press ... Burton will field questions from the gathered media inside the Martinsville Speedway infield media center on Saturday, March 31, at 10:15 a.m. ET
Building a Legacy ... During his 20-year Sprint Cup Series career, the veteran RCR driver has earned 21 wins, 131 top-five and 244 top-10 finishes in 624 starts. Burton has also tallied six pole awards and led 6,506 laps.
Rewind to Last Week ... Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team finished 22nd in the Auto Club 400 after NASCAR officials shortened the scheduled 200-lap event to 129 laps due to rain.
Points Racing ... Burton is now 15th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, just 13 points out of the final Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup spot.
JEFF BURTON QUOTES:
Last October, it seemed like Martinsville Speedway was the beginning of the resurgence of the No. 31 team.
"We had to make a lot of changes. Obviously, things weren't very good. We went to Phoenix International Raceway and Martinsville Speedway for tire tests and got our footing there late in the year. Then we went back and performed well. It was a small comeback for us. We were actually better than sixth. Towards the end of the race, we had some trouble on restarts and missed the opportunity to finish in the top five. We performed well all day, had a solid weekend and that felt good because Martinsville is a very difficult race track. In my opinion, it's one of the hardest tracks we go to on the circuit. To perform well at one of those short tracks means something. It doesn't mean that we fixed everything, but it did put us on the right track."
What do you mean when you say that Martinsville Speedway is a tough track mentally?
"To go fast in these cars, you have to be aggressive. You hear people say, 'you have to drive them easy.' That means you have to drive them really aggressive to the point where it is too aggressive. Then you have to back off just a touch. The brakes and components are so good today that you don't save your car anymore. It is 500 laps of hard racing. You have to be very precise. You never catch a break or get to say to yourself, 'you get to chill out here for a little while.' Someone is always on your bumper or right next to you. People tend to get road rage at Martinsville because of the pressure and there is so much stuff in your face all the time. Mentally, it is difficult to stay focused and not let everything that is going on around you let you make decisions that are wrong for you. You have to remember why you are there and who you are. You also have to stay focused on what you are doing on that lap that will get you there."
Sometimes road rage leads to these multi-car pileups with innocent victims. What are your thoughts on that?
"Lately, we seem to have a lot of retaliation. This 'boys have it' thing, while it might be interesting to watch, has created a scenario where you do something wrong to someone, they have full freedom to wreck you. That's not a good thing. Worse than that, there is a driver out there riding along and has nothing to do with the conflict and gets caught up in it. We see a lot of that, especially at Martinsville. It's one of those places where, at any point, the guy in front of you can go around. It's really easy to spin a driver out at Martinsville, probably easier than anywhere else we go. People tend to use that. For years, we have heard drivers say, 'well, that's plate racing' or 'well, that's short-track racing.' No, it's not. That's all on you. Take accountability for what you did. Martinsville is one of those places where people use that as an excuse. At the end of the day, the drivers are in control of the situation."