Richard Childress Racing
February 15, 2012
Jeff Burton Event Preview: Budweiser Shootout
"We don't know what is going to happen with the new rules package. The Bud Shootout event gives us a practice right off the bat that we otherwise wouldn't have."
Event Preview Fact Sheet
No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet
February 18, 2012
Daytona International Speedway
Race Notes and Quotes:
This Week's Caterpillar Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway ... 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 first the Daytona 500 where Harvick finished 42nd after retiring early due to engine failure. Harvick also guided this machine to a top-five finish at Talladega Superspeedway in April (started-38th, finished-fifth) and a top-10 finish in July in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway (started-31st, finished-seventh).
Career Budweiser Shootout Stats ... This marks Burton's seventh start in the annual preseason, non-points event.In six starts in the 75-lap shootout, Burton owns one top-five and three top-10 finishes and has led a total of nine times for 32 laps.His best effort in the Budweiser Shootout was a fifth-place finish in the 2001 event.
No Stranger to Victory Lane ... Although he has yet to capture a victory in the season opening, no-holds barred race, the South Boston, Va., native has two Daytona race trophies on his mantle. The first is from the 2000 Coke Zero 400 and most recently from last season's Duel 150 qualifying race.
Welcome Drew Blick ... During the off season, RCR named Drew Blickensderfer as the crew chief on the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet for the 2012 Sprint Cup Series season. Blickensderfer spent the 2011 Sprint Cup Series season as crew chief of Roush Fenway Racing's flagship No. 6 team with driver David Ragan, winning two pole awards and bringing home the checkered flag in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway in July. The 35-year-old Decatur, Ill.-native is best known for kicking off his Sprint Cup Series crew chief career in grand fashion in 2009 winning his first outing in the Daytona 500 with Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 team. The duo also won the following weekend at Auto Cub Speedway making Blickensderfer one of the only crew chiefs in history to win his first two races in NASCAR's elite division. Blickensderfer also enjoyed success in Roush Fenway's NASCAR Nationwide Series program with such drivers as: Carl Edwards, Danny O'Quinn and Kenseth.
Featured Cat Dealers ... Ring Power and Louisiana Cat will be featured on the deck lid of the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet for all Sprint Cup Series events throughout the next two weeks at Daytona International Speedway.
Ring Power ... Ring Power is the Central and Northeast Florida Caterpillar dealer, headquartered in St. Augustine, Fla. Ring Power is comprised of eight divisions and has 50 years of experience selling, servicing and supporting Caterpillar and allied equipment. Additional information about the Ring Power organization, its products, services and employment opportunities can be found on the internet at www.ringpower.com.
Louisiana Cat ... For nearly 80 years, Louisiana Cat has served the area with sales and service of Cat equipment. With 21 locations across the "Pelican State," Louisiana Cat provides an extensive line of equipment, engines and power systems, work tools, vocational trucks and more. In addition, they carry a large stock of used Caterpillar equipment, and with Caterpillar's extensive dealer network, Louisiana Cat has access to used equipment on a global scale. Louisiana Cat's parts and service departments provide the reliability and availability you have come to expect from your Caterpillar dealership. Louisiana Rents is your single resource for high quality, low-hour Cat and top brands construction equipment and attachment rentals. Louisiana Rents locations also sell new equipment from Caterpillar's brand allied vendors. Daily, weekly, monthly or longer rentals are available. To ensure that the equipment is ready to work when you are, all machines are serviced and maintained by factory trained technicians. Big or small, Louisiana Rents rents it all."
Last Time Around ... Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar team led the most laps and gained valuable information despite finishing eighth in the 2011 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. Burton was pushed to the lead by RCR teammate Kevin Harvick, completing the initial 25-lap segment of the 75-lap event running 1-2. After a routine four-tire pit stop during the event's 10-minute break, the 21-time Sprint Cup Series race winner returned to competition for the final 50 laps. Despite being separated from Harvick at the restart, he hooked up with then RCR stablemate Clint Bowyer. The new duo drafted to the lead before competitor tandems would join them, moving Burton to eighth in the closing laps where he remained when the checkered flag fell.
JEFF BURTON QUOTES:
How important is it to be able to run in the Budweiser Shootout and knock some of the winter rust off?
"I think it is really important. Anytime you can race, it is a good thing. Running the Bud Shootout is a good educational experience and we'll learn a tremendous amount about what we can and can't do with the new rules package. I think the Bud Shootout can be very valuable."
What do you plan to learn during the Budweiser Shootout as far as two-car tandem drafting is concerned?
"We don't know what is going to happen with the new rules package. The Bud Shootout event gives us a practice right off the bat that we otherwise wouldn't have. We will race that Saturday night and help build an idea of what is going to happen. We'll be that much smarter at the end of the race. I think it is a great way to learn."
Do you feel like the Budweiser Shootout will give you a good idea of what you can do or not do in the Daytona 500?
"The only difference is that track and air temperatures at the Bud Shootout will be cooler than the Daytona 500. Temperature matters so much with running in the pack or the two-car tandem racing. The ambient temperature makes a big difference on what you can and can't do so it's not a complete indicator of what to expect, but it does give you a hint of what could happen."