Richard Childress Racing
April 23, 2012
Burton and Caterpillar Crew Finish 22nd at Kansas Speedway
"Towards the end of the event, we gained a few spots and ran stronger lap times after working hard on the car all day."
Start - 12
Finish - 22
Laps Led - 0
Points Position - 17
Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team battled to find the right handling and finished 22nd in the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway. After a strong qualifying effort, the South Boston, Va. native rolled off the starting grid in the 12th position. Immediately providing feedback to crew chief Drew Blickensderfer that the No. 31 Chevrolet was tight in the 15-degree banked corners of the 1.5-mile Kansas City, Kan.-based facility, Burton continued to run in the top 20 for the first 100 laps until the second caution-flag period of the afternoon on lap 133. The Cat Racing pit crew took extended time to make major chassis adjustments on pit road under caution to improve the car's handling. Burton returned to the track in the 23rd position and searched for the necessary balance on the car to combat the tight condition in the center of the corners. During the final caution of the 267-lap event, Blickensderfer called the 44-year-old driver back to pit road for additional chassis adjustments. Upon returning to the track for the final 75-lap green-flag run, the Richard Childress Racing driver maintained his 24th-place running position then, with assistance of a few additional adjustments under final pit stops, went on to gain two positions on the track in the closing laps to bring home a 22nd-place finish for the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team. Burton now sits 17th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 48 points out of the final Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup spot.
JEFF BURTON QUOTE:
"Though it isn't the type of finish we were hoping for with the Caterpillar team, our goal this weekend was to make advancements to our 1.5-mile speedway program and despite finishing 22nd, I thought we were able to do that to some degree. Towards the end of the event, we gained a few spots and ran stronger lap times after working hard on the car all day. It will be interesting to see what happens to this track when they repave it for the October race. We're looking forward to getting back to some short track racing at Richmond (International Raceway) next Saturday night under the lights."