This Weekend's Rain-X Chevrolet at Indianapolis Motor Speedway ... Jeff Burton will race chassis No. 359 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Burton drove this No. 31 Chevrolet to a top-10 finish (sixth) earlier this season at Bristol Motor Speedway after starting 33rd. The chassis was utilized three times last season including the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (started-fifth, finished-21st), Pocono Raceway (started-eighth, finished 17th) and Dover International Speedway (started-13th, finished 11th).
Career Indianapolis Stats ... Burton has started every Sprint Cup Series event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (18) and this weekend's Brickyard 400 will mark his 639th-career Sprint Cup Series entry. He has amassed one top-five and five top-10 finishes at the 2.5-mile facility, starting from the pole position in the 2006 event.
Getting Loopy at the "The Brickyard" ... Burton has garnered some impressive NASCAR Loop Data statistics at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Of all drivers entering the annual event, he has the eighth-best Average Running Position (16.9), 313 Green Flag Passes, spent 695 Laps in the Top 15 (10th-most) and a 90.9 Driver Rating that ranks him 11th amongst his competitors.
Race for Riley ... Burton and NASCAR/IndyCar driver John Andretti are scheduled to sign autographs and take part in a Supermarket Sweep-type competition at the Kroger grocery store located at 8150 Rockville Road in Indianapolis on Thursday, July 26 from 5-7 p.m. The drivers will guide shopping carts for two winners (selected via a random on-site drawing) in a shopping spree collecting General Mills products which the winners will be able to take home. Kroger will donate the value of the groceries collected to the Riley Hospital while General Mills will match the dollar amount and make a donation as part of the Kroger Race for Riley presented by Cheerios. Wristbands will be handed out at 4 p.m. local time to the first 300 fans.
Team Chevy ... Burton will join all Team Chevy drivers on Friday, July 27 for Chevy Day at the Brickyard in an autograph session beginning at 11 a.m. ET, followed by a Q&A session at 12:50 p.m. ET at the Team Chevy Stage located on the infield of IMS. Burton is also scheduled to participate in a Q&A session with fellow Sprint Cup Series driver Juan Pablo Montoya at the Team Chevy stage on Sunday, July 29 at 9:45 a.m. ET.
Like Father, Like Son ... Burton and his 11-year-old son Harrison will both be racing during the Brickyard 400 weekend in Indianapolis. While the elder Burton is over at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Harrison will compete with his USAC quarter midget in the Battle for the Brickyard at "Little Indy" about 20 minutes from IMS on July 24 - 28. With five race weekends left in the season, Harrison is atop the point standings in the three different divisions he competes in the 2012 USAC Generation Next Series (Lite 160, Senior Animal and Lite World Formula). So far this season, Harrison has 10 victories, nine second-place results and six third-place finishes across the three divisions.
Race Rewind ... An early pit road incident, untimely cautions and long green-flag runs relegated Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team to a 21st-place finish in the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Points Racing ... After 19 points-paying events of the 36-race Sprint Cup Series season, Burton has scored 493 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 four top-10 finishes and has spent 1,853 laps running in the top 15, made 1,993 green-flag passes and led 35 laps.
JEFF BURTON QUOTES:
In the last five years at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, you have good finishes, but also a couple rough days.
"Most of it is circumstantial. I enjoy going to Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The cool thing about that track is that if you built it today, you would be ridiculed. People would say you are the dumbest person in the world (laughter). It's not conducive to racing we do today and what everyone wants to see, but it is so cool to go there and the history of the place makes it special. The special part is we (NASCAR) didn't make the history. At Daytona International Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway, we made the history. We are racing someone else's history. To me, that is cool. It is neat to go and experience a different atmosphere. It is just a really neat weekend."
Last season, you had engine issues at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after putting together a solid run.
"Richard Childress Racing and ECR Engines pride themselves on power and reliability. We've had a few reliability issues lately, which we are unaccustomed to having. The guys work so hard and put a lot of effort into it. It breaks their heart when something goes wrong. It's frustrating for me as a driver, but it's even more frustrating for them as engine builders because they put their heart and soul into it. The most frustrating part about last season's Brickyard 400 is that we were running really well and played the same strategy that Paul Menard was running and he ended up winning the race. We thought we positioned ourselves well and it just didn't work out for us."
Next year will be the 20th anniversary of NASCAR racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"That is hard to imagine. I can remember the first time we tested there. I wasn't a part of that specific test, but I remember it. I remember all of the media around it and running the first race there. I can remember seeing highlights of all the cars coming down that front straightaway. It's really cool to go there without a doubt."
What did you think of the Indianapolis 500 this year? Can we ever see a finish like that in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series?
"One thing about Indianapolis Motor Speedway is that the most bizarre things happen in both IndyCar and NASCAR races. You never know what it going to happen. It is a long track where people can pit and not go a lap down. It opens the window for strange things to happen. The Indianapolis 500 this year was the best one I've ever seen from start to finish. I don't think they could've asked for anything better than that. It was a great race. We've got our work cut out for us to put on a great race, too."
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