Richard Childress Racing
March 12, 2012
Jeff Burton Perseveres and Scores 14th-Place Finish at Las Vegas
"I'm proud of this team for not giving up today. We didn't roll over when things got bad and turned nothing into something."
Start – 22
Finish – 14
Laps Led – 0
Points – 15
After spending a majority of the 267-lap event outside of the top 20, Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team bounced back for a 14th-place finish in the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Burton began the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in “Sin City” in the 22nd position. From the beginning of the event, the South Boston, Va., native reported to crew chief Drew Blickensderfer there was no grip on the 1.5-mile race track due to hot and sunny weather conditions. Blickensderfer and the No. 31 pit crew went to work on the Chevrolet Impala throughout the first 100 laps of the event, making several chassis and tire pressure adjustments on pit road as Burton stopped for routine service. The 21-time Sprint Cup Series race winner ascended into the top 15 just past the halfway mark of the event, but after a four-tire green flag pit stop on lap 170, the loose condition returned and the team fell one lap down to the leader. Under a lap-230 caution-flag period, the Richard Childress Racing driver was awarded the “lucky dog” pass, allowing him to return to the lead lap. Blickensderfer took advantage of the situation and made the call to return to a setup where Burton ran his fastest lap times of the race. The adjustments boosted the handling on the No. 31 Chevrolet and the 44-year-old driver gained eight positions over the final 25 laps to bring home the top-15 finish. Burton now sits 15th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 43 points behind current leader Greg Biffle.
JEFF BURTON QUOTE:
“To start off, we got behind on Friday when I ran over debris from the No. 42 car and lost valuable practice time sitting in the garage. I’m proud of this team for not giving up today. We didn’t roll over when things got bad and turned nothing into something.”