Richard Childress Racing
May 1, 2012
Jeff Burton Event Preview: Aaron's 499
"Typically, it's easier to draft at Talladega rather than Daytona. The track is wider and there are more places to go."
Event Preview Fact Sheet
No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet
May 6, 2012
Race Notes and Quotes:
This Week's Caterpillar Chevrolet at Talladega Superspeedway ... Jeff Burton will race chassis No. 343 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This chassis, built in 2011 for RCR's No. 29 entry with driver Kevin Harvick, competed in three superspeedway events last season including the Daytona 500 where an engine failure relegated Harvick to a 42nd-place finish. Harvick also guided this machine to a top-five finish at Talladega Superspeedway in April 2011 (started-38th, finished-fifth) and a top-10 finish in July in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway (started-31st, finished-seventh). Burton got behind the wheel of this Chevrolet in the 2012 Budweiser Shootout at DIS where he was involved in an early incident but battled to an 11th-place finish.
Career Talladega Stats ... The Aaron's 499 marks Burton's 37th start at the 2.66-mile superspeedway and 629th-career Sprint Cup Series entry. He earned five top-five and 14 top-10 finishes along with 147 laps led at the historic track.
Getting Loopy on Eastboga Blvd ... Burton has garnered impressive NASCAR Loop Data statistics at Talladega Superspeedway since the inception of NASCAR Loop Data Statistics in 2006. He leads all drivers entered for the 500-mile event with a driver rating of 91.3, has the most green passes with 5,426 (3,834 of those passes coming while running in the top 15), the seventh-best average running position (15.8) and has spent 1,596 laps in the top 15, rankinghim third..
Featured Cat Dealers ... Thompson Tractor Company Inc. and Puckett Machinery Company will be featured on the deck lid of the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.
Thompson Tractor Company, Inc. is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala, and was founded in 1957 by Hall Thompson. Thompson Tractor Company, Inc. is comprised of four main divisions (Thompson Tractor Co., Thompson Power Systems, Thompson Lift Truck Co., and the Thompson Cat Rental Store), and has operations in Alabama, Georgia and Northwest Florida. Thompson is the exclusive full-line Caterpillar dealer for Alabama and Northwest Florida. For more information visit our website: www.thompsontractor.com.
Puckett Machinery Company is the Caterpillar heavy equipment, rental services and engine dealer for central and southern Mississippi. Puckett Machinery has six full-service heavy equipment facilities conveniently located throughout the southern half of Mississippi - in Jackson, Gulfport, Natchez, Meridian, Hattiesburg, and Brookhaven. They also have five Puckett Rents Cat Rental Store facilities in Biloxi, Hattiesburg, Jackson, Madison, and Meridian, Mississippi which provide quality rental equipment, Cat Compact Construction Equipment, and a wide range of contractor supplies. There are also two Puckett Power Systems locations in Jackson and Gulfport serving the engine and generator needs of central and southern Mississippi. Puckett Machinery is fully and completely committed to providing higher quality products, more choices, greater expertise, finer support and, ultimately, better overall solutions.
Race Fever ... Burton will take part in a Q&A and autograph session at the 2012 Race Fever event held on Friday, May 4 at 6:30 p.m. Central Time. The 27th annual event, event benefits the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind and is held at the SPEED Channel Dome in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. For additional information and tickets to the event, call (256) 761-3571 or (256) 761-3369.
Walk of Fame ... Burton was nominated as a candidate for the 2012 Talladega Walk of Fame at Davey Allison Memorial Park. Located in downtown Talladega Ala., the park's focal point is to salute NASCAR racing legends selected by the fans. The voting is by online ballot only and fans can vote at http://www.talladegawalk.com.
Sprint Fan Vote. Vote Now, Vote Often ... Fans have the opportunity to vote Burton into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 19 with the Sprint Fan Vote. The Sprint Fan Vote launched in 2004 as a way to bring one more deserving driver into the Sprint All-Star Race to compete for the $1 million payout. There are three ways you can vote for Burton and votes from your Sprint, Boost and Virgin Mobile phones count double.
Text "VOTE" to 229466 from any mobile handset
Use the NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile application on your Sprint Android device
Voting on handsets is unlimited
There is no voting time limit in 2012
The Sprint Experience
Voting stations will be set up in the Sprint Experience mobile display each race weekend
Team Pocono vs. Team Dover ... Dover International Speedway and Pocono Raceway are teaming up for a celebrity softball game featuring Burton and Carl Edwards on Tuesday, May 15 at Campbell's Field, home of the Camden Riversharks in Camden, N.J. The game, billed as Team Dover vs. Team Pocono, marks the first time two NASCAR tracks have joined forces to promote their respective races. Burton will captain "The Tricky Triangle" team while Edwards will lead the "Monster Mile" squad. The teams rosters will be filled out with drivers from the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, as well Philadelphia-area athletes and celebrities, and members of the local media. Gates open at 4 p.m. with the game beginning at 4:30 p.m. Following the softball game, Burton and Edwards will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the 7:05 p.m. Lancaster Barnstormers vs. Camden Riversharks baseball game. Access to the Team Dover vs. Team Pocono celebrity softball game is free with a ticket to that night's baseball game. Tickets for the Riversharks game start at just $5, and all children ages 16 and younger that wear their NASCAR gear get in free. In addition, the United Way of Camden County offers free admission for any child that wears the uniform of the little league team they play for to the game. For tickets, call 1-866-SHARKS-9 or visit www.riversharks.com.
Career Statistics ... During his 20-year Sprint Cup Series career, Burton has earned 21 wins, 131 top-five and 244 top-10 finishes in 628 starts. The veteran RCR driver also tallied six pole awards and led 6,506 laps.
Race Rewind ... An on-track incident on lap 310 knocked Burton and the No. 31 BB&T Chevrolet team out of contention in the Capital City 400, relegating them to a 31st-place finish at Richmond International Raceway.
Points Racing ... Burton is 20th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 64 points out of the final Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup spot.
JEFF BURTON QUOTES:
After running at Daytona International Speedway, what do you expect this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway?
"Last year, you went into the race with a strategy. You knew exactly what you wanted to do and who you were going to work with. We knew last year going in that (Clint) Bowyer and I were going to be together no matter what. You had that strategy with him and that was it. Now the strategy is wherever you are, go figure out how to make it work with whoever is available. You still have your teammates who you prefer to work with, but it is hard to always do that. You aren't always in the same place. If you are running eighth and your teammate is running 16th, there isn't enough benefit to drop back to 16th and go get him anymore. I also think we will have some cautions early and a string of them late in the race. Pack racing, although it might be fun to watch, creates a lot of big multi-car accidents. A lot of drivers like this pack racing better. I personally think that things get taken out of your hands a lot easier in this kind of racing. I think it will be a safe bet to say that there will be a lot of cautions towards the end of the race. It will get four-wide and really aggressive in the big packs. That is all a given."
How much different will the race at Talladega Superspeedway be this year than last year with pack racing compared to the two-car tandem drafts?
"We are seeing drivers learn to use different strategies. You ask yourself, 'what is it going to take to win this race?' It is a different strategy to win than what it took last year. You can push a little bit, but you can't push enough to help your teammate or the driver in front of you. With the shorter spoiler, it seems like pushing someone else doesn't give you the benefit it used to, but it still gives you some benefits so you still want to do it. Typically, it's easier to draft at Talladega Superspeedway rather than Daytona International Speedway. The track is wider and there are more places to go. It is an evolution for the driver to find out what it takes to win in these restrictor plate races."
What do you have to do to put yourself in position to win at Talladega Superspeedway mentally?
"There are more hurt feelings in this kind of racing. Pack racing always leads to driver thinking their teammate or buddy hung them out to dry. Last year with tandem racing, most drivers sat down and said, 'I'm going to run with you no matter what.' Now drivers are going to get their feelings hurt even more because they were supposed to having a buddy on the track to go with them no matter what. This year, the guy behind you will be acting in his best interests. You will see more teammates mad at each other, more friends mad at each other and more feelings hurt than in the past. It goes back to the way it used to be where you can't trust anybody. It's not that they are trying to do something wrong to you, they are doing what is right for them. This is sports and that is what you are supposed to do. You have to get last year out of your head and worry about this year."