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September 18, 2012

Jeff Burton Event Preview: SYLVANIA 300

"New Hampshire Motor Speedway is a very challenging track. It's one of those places where if you are off a little bit, it shows a lot on the leaderboard. There is a fine line between being really good and not very good. It’s definitely a tough race track."

RCR/HHP Photo RCR/HHP Photo

Jeff Burton
No. 31 Wheaties Chevrolet
Event Preview Fact Sheet

Event/Date:
    
SYLVANIA 300 – September 23, 2012

Venue:        
New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Loudon, N.H.

Race Notes and Quotes:
This Weekend’s Wheaties Chevrolet at New Hampshire Motor Speedway …
Jeff Burton will race Chassis No. 382 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable this weekend. This No. 31 Chevrolet was utilized in February at Phoenix International Raceway where engine issues thwarted Burton’s top-five run and relegated him to a 33rd-place finish. This was car also raced at Richmond International Raceway in May where an on-track incident knocked Burton and the No. 31 team out of contention, forcing them to settle for a 31st-place finish. Most recently, Burton piloted this machine to a 21st-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July and he notched a top-10 finish at RIR two weeks ago, finishing sixth.

Breakfast of Champions … The iconic Wheaties franchise returns to Sprint Cup Series action this weekend as primary sponsor of the No. 31 Chevrolet. Wheaties also serves as an associate partner of the No. 31 team for the remainder of the races during the 2012 Sprint Cup Series season. For more information, please visit www.wheaties.com or follow Wheaties on Twitter @Wheaties_FUEL and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Wheaties.

Career New Hampshire Stats … This race marks Burton’s 36th start in “The Granite State” and 647th-career Sprint Cup Series entry. He has amassed four wins, eight top-five and 13 top-10 finishes at the 1.058-mile facility.

Getting Loopy at the “The Magic Mile” … Burton has garnered some impressive NASCAR Loop Data statistics at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Of all drivers entering the summer event, he has the seventh-best Average Running Position (12.665) the sixth-most Green Flag Passes (793), spent 2,914 Laps in the Top 15 (seventh-most), and a 92.4 Driver Rating that ranks him ninth amongst his competitors.

Mr. New Hampshire … Burton is no stranger to Victory Lane at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, bringing home the race-winning trophies in four-consecutive seasons (1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000). During his memorable victory in the 2000 event, the South Boston, Va. native paced the field for all 300 circuits, marking the last time a Sprint Cup Series driver led 100 percent of the laps completed.

Race Rewind: Chicagoland Speedway … Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team finished 24th in the Sprint Cup Series GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway after losing laps while on pit road under an ill-timed caution flag.

Points Racing …
After 27 points-paying events of the 36-race Sprint Cup Series season, Burton has scored 667 points and sits in the 19th position in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings. The veteran RCR driver has two top-five and five top-10 finishes, has spent 2,528 laps running in the top 15 and made 2,464 green-flag passes.

JEFF BURTON QUOTES:
What does the No. 31 Wheaties team need to do to be fast at New Hampshire Motor Speedway?

“New Hampshire Motor Speedway is a very challenging track. It’s one of those places where if you are off a little bit, it shows a lot on the leaderboard. There is a fine line between being really good and not very good. It’s definitely a tough race track. The car must turn in the middle of the corners at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Rear grip has become less of an issue since we first started racing there. When we first started going there, rear grip was everything. If you could accelerate off the corner before your competitor, you were in good shape. Throughout the years, that has really changed. You must rotate in the middle of the corners. If it doesn’t rotate, your lap times will suffer. To me, rotation in the middle of the corners is the most important key to being strong.”

You are a four-time race winner at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Are you surprised that you haven’t got the finishes you’ve expected there recently?
“We’ve run really well in most of the races at New Hampshire (Motor Speedway). Recently, we haven’t performed well there at all though. Two or three years ago, I thought we had the race won. We were leading the race and pitted and no one else did. So we ended up losing it. We just played the wrong strategy. We’ve run well there, just not on a consistent basis lately.”

How do you try to win races on a weekly basis while helping your Richard Childress Racing teammate, Kevin Harvick, win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship?
“The best way we can help Kevin (Harvick) win a championship is to run well. If we run well, we can provide valuable feedback and information for his team to use. If we aren’t running well, we aren’t going to be able to help much on Sundays. The help will come Monday through Saturday by providing information to make all RCR teams better.”

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