Richard Childress Racing
April 29, 2012
Late-race Incident Spoils Top-15 Run for Jeff Burton at Richmond International Raceway
"We had a top-15 run going and I am confident we would've made it into the top 10 had the incident not happened."
Start - 30
Finish - 31
Laps Led - 0
Points Position - 20
An on-track incident on lap 310 knocked Jeff 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. Burton started the race from the 30th position and had a fast race car from the drop of the green flag. The 21-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner worked his way into the top 25 by lap 30 and into the top 20 before the mandatory competition caution on lap 50. By lap 100, Burton found himself knocking on the door of the top 15 and maintained a top 20 running position before moving into 14th-place on lap 118. After being shuffled back to 22nd on the lap-237 restart, the 44-year-old veteran quietly picked off one car at a time during a long green-flag run and worked his way back in the top 15 right before a routine green-flag pit stop on lap 309. Returning to the race track with four fresh Goodyear tires and a full tank of Sunoco E15 Green fuel, Burton radioed to crew chief Drew Blickensderfer that something went wrong with the No. 31 Chevrolet and he had made hard contact with the turn three outside retaining wall. The car had significant damage from the incident, forcing the RCR veteran was to make multiple pit stops so the pit crew could apply necessary repairs. The South Boston, Va., native returned to the race track and was able to finish the remainder of the event, posting a 31st-place finish. Burton is now 20th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
JEFF BURTON QUOTE:
"I still don't know what happened to the car after that pit stop, if something broke on the car or we had a cut tire, but I'm upset that it spoiled our strong run. The green-flag run we had going before the wreck was easily the best my BB&T Chevrolet had handled all night. We had a top-15 run going and I am confident we would've made it into the top 10 had the incident not happened. The team worked hard to make the needed repairs and we were able to finish the race. We'll turn our attention to Talladega Speedway now where we almost won win in the fall."