Missouri Native Randall Burnett Eager For NASCAR Homecoming at WWT Raceway

The Enjoy Illinois 300 at World Wide Technology Raceway is a special race for Richard Childress Racing’s Randall Burnett. Burnett, crew chief for Kyle Busch and the No. 8 3CHI Chevrolet atRCR, is a native of nearby Fenton, Mo., and would like nothing more than to score a victory at his hometown track.

“It’s really special anytime you get to go race in your hometown,” Burnett said. “I grew up there racing go-karts as a kid and I still have a ton of friends that live there that I grew up racing and going to school with. It’s great to be able to get back. We don’t get to get home very much with our schedule so to be able to get back to St. Louis and catch up with some people you know and race in front of a lot of my friends is a lot of fun.”

Early in his career, Burnett recalls racing on the grounds of what is now the 1.250-mile superspeedway and later raced on the big track.

“There used to be a road course there, and as a kid I got to race on that road course in that same exact location before they built the oval track,” Burnett said. “I was fortunate enough to race go-karts at the oval track, too. I’ve spent quite a bit of time at World Wide Technology Raceway so it’s really cool to go back and race there..”

Burnett’s racing career was launched in large part to Trackside Motorsports, a go-kart business in St. Louis owned by his parents. The Burnett family attended short track races at I-55 Speedway in Pevely or Tri-City Speedway in Granite City before racing go-karts on Sunday afternoons.

“My Dad worked road construction for Fred Webber Incorporated and then ran this go-kart business in the evening with my mom and that’s how I raced,” Burnett said. “My Dad and the St. Louis karting association and a bunch of people built an asphalt racetrack for us to race on off Telegraph Road. We’d go watch Pevely or Tri-City on Saturday nights and hang around and watch the dirt late models and modified guys race and then we’d race on Sunday at Telegraph Road at Whitman Park.”

Earlier this season Busch and Burnett won in just their second NASCAR Cup Series points race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., and will be one of the favorites when the green flag waves this weekend. Busch finished second in the first-ever NASCAR Cup Series race at the Madison, Ill., facility one year ago. The 2023 season is Burnett’s fourth leading the team for RCR.

Burnett built and raced his own late models near his hometown and later moved south to attend The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering.

“The racing family in St. Louis is a tight-knit bunch,” Burnett said.  “When I first moved to Charlotte, one of my good friends, Joey Walsh, who is Ken Schrader’s nephew, was the only person I knew. He worked over at Kenny’s shop. I started hanging out over there a lot and helping him work on the dirt cars for Kenny. Mike Wallace actually lived about a mile from where I grew up. My mom currently lives across the street from his old house in Fenton.”

Soon after graduation, Burnett started his NASCAR career with Chip Ganassi Racing. He spent 10 years with Ganassi, serving as data acquisition engineer, lead race engineer, 7-post analysis engineer and lead team engineer. He played a key role in the team’s victories in the 2010 Daytona 500 and later that season in the Brickyard 400. In 2014 Burnett worked closely with Kyle Larson during his rookie season and assisting the team in securing eight top-five and 17 top-10 finishes.

In 2016, Burnett got his first opportunity as crew chief in the Cup Series when he joined JTG Daugherty Racing and driver A.J. Allmendinger. He led the team to two top-five finishes and nine top-10 finishes, highlighted by second-place finish at Martinsville.

One year later Burnett joined Richard Childress Racing as crew chief in the NASCAR Xfinity Series working with a variety of drivers, including Austin Dillon, Paul Menard, Matt Tifft and Ben Kennedy. He and Tifft were teamed together in 2018 and made the series Playoffs, finishing the season sixth overall in the final driver standings.

Burnett remained in the Xfinity Series in 2019 and was paired with Tyler Reddick. The pair won the series championship, collecting six wins in the process. The team was also incredibly consistent, racking up 24 top-five finishes in