Jeff Burton will race Chassis No. 367 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable this weekend. This No. 31 Chevrolet has been utilized four times this season at Kansas Speedway in April (started-12th, finished-22nd), Pocono Raceway in June (started-20th, finished-15th), Michigan International Speedway in August (started-32nd, finished-19th) and Chicagoland Speedway in September (started-32nd, finished-24th).
No Stranger to Victory Lane … Burton was Texas Motor Speedway’s first two-time Sprint Cup Series race winner after visiting Victory Lane in the inaugural Sprint Cup Series event in 1997 and again in 2007. Burton has also tallied three top-five and nine top-10 finishes while leading 180 laps at the 1.5-mile facility.
Loopy in the “Lone Star State” … Burton has garnered impressive NASCAR Loop Data statistics at Texas Motor Speedway since 2006. He has spent 2,596 Laps in the Top 15 and made 1,069 Green Flag Passes (seventh-most).
On Top of the Pit Box … Championship-winning RCR crew chief Shane Wilson will replace Drew Blickensderfer at the helm of the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team for the final three races of the Sprint Cup Series season starting this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
Race Rewind: Martinsville Speedway … A penalty on a lap-394 pit stop thwarted Burton’s solid run at Martinsville Speedway in the TUMS Fast Relief 500 after a solid top-five qualifying effort, resulting in a 22nd-place finish.
Points Racing … After the 32nd points-paying event of the 36-race Sprint Cup Series season, Burton has scored 802 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 six top-10 finishes, has spent 2,954 Laps in the Top 15 and made 3,233 Green Flag Passes thus far this season.
Do you go to Texas Motor Speedway to experiment with different setups for the future? “That’s a yes and no answer. In my opinion, every week is an experiment with different setups, especially at 1.5-mile race tracks like Texas Motor Speedway. We want to win races now for our sponsors, but it is very important to always be looking at the future so you don’t fall behind. We realize that we’re 19th in the point standings and have to be smart about how to spend our money and prepare for 2013. We aren’t going out and building new cars or anything like that. They aren’t science experiments either, but there are definitely different setups that we will try in this race.”
During the April race at Texas Motor Speedway, there were only two caution-flag periods, both for debris. What are your thoughts on that? “One interesting thing that I never thought about until this season; when you aren’t running well and there are no caution-flag periods, it really makes a difference. You go back a few years ago, a lot of teams would run poorly, but get cautions to save them. You would have more cars get “Lucky Dogs” and there were more opportunities for teams to make their cars better on pit road. When you don’t get those cautions, you can really see who isn’t running well. It is amazing to go to a track like Texas Motor Speedway that is narrow and fast and not see any wrecks. They just aren’t happening like they used to.”