Jeff Burton 2012 NSCS Pure Michigan 400 Race PreviewPress Release
Event Preview Fact Sheet
This Weekend’s No. 31 Wheaties Chevrolet at Michigan International Speedway … Jeff Burton will race chassis No. 367 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable this weekend. This No. 31 Chevrolet, built new for the 2012 season, has been utilized twice this year at Kansas Speedway in April (started-12th, finished-22nd) and Pocono Raceway in June (started-20th, finished-15th).
Career Michigan Stats … This weekend’s 400-mile event marks Burton’s 38th start at the two-mile facility and 642nd-career Sprint Cup Series entry. Burton has garnered four top-five and nine top-10 finishes at the track along with two pole awards in 1996 and 2006. He has also led 76 laps at the Brooklyn, Mich.-based race track.
Getting Loopy in the Irish Hills … Burton has accrued impressive NASCAR Loop Data Statistics at Michigan International Speedway since its inception in 2006. Of all drivers entering the event, he has the third-most Green Flag Passes (1,168) with 401 coming while running in the top 15. Burton has also spent 1,061 laps running in the top 15.
Breakfast of Champions … The iconic Wheaties franchise returns to Sprint Cup Series action this weekend. This is the fifth of six scheduled races during the 2012 season that Wheaties will be the primary partner of the No. 31 Chevrolet team. Wheaties also serves as an associate partner of the No. 31 team for the remainder of the races during the 2012 Sprint Cup Series season. For more information, please visit www.wheaties.com or follow Wheaties on Twitter@Wheaties_FUEL and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/
Vote for Burton … In the spirit of the campaign season, the four-time New Hampshire Motor Speedway winner Burton will be making pit stops in Massachusetts and New Hampshire on Wednesday, August 15. He’ll be campaigning in the Bay and Granite states in hopes of championing the support of NASCAR fans in his quest to get back to Victory Lane at “The Magic Mile” on September 23 in the SYLVANIA 300. The only driver in history to lead a race from start to finish at NHMS and dubbed the “Mayor of NASCAR,” Burton is urging all his fans to follow him in his “Turn Left with Jeff” campaign as he drives for a fifth-career victory at the Loudon, N.H.-based facility. Pit stops will include Faneuil Hall in Boston, Mass. at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time, City Hall in Manchester, N.H. at 12:30 p.m. ET. and a stop in downtown Portsmouth N.H. at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Like Father, Like Son … Burton’s son Harrison has shown he is quite the race car driver. Competing in USAC’s .25 “Generation Next” National Touring Series, the younger Burton, driving three different divisions (Light 160, Senior Animal, & Light World Formula), has raced in 36 events during the 2012 season, accumulating 15 wins, nine runner-up, six third-place and two fourth-place finishes. The 10th race of the 12-state, 15-race schedule is slated to take place this weekend in Kalamazoo, Mich. The 11-year-old driver is the 2011 National Series Champion in the Light 160 division and was runner up in the 2011 Senior Animal division. For additional information on the USAC Touring Series, please visit http://www.usacracing.com/.
Race Rewind: Watkins Glen International … After climbing into the top 20 just past the halfway point of the Finger Lakes 355 at The Glen, Burton’s No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team experienced a fuel pump issue, forcing the Richard Childress Racing driver to the garage area for a short time, relegating him to a 30th-place finish.
Points Racing … Burton sits 19th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings. After 22 points-paying events of the 36-race Sprint Cup Series season, Burton has two top-five and four top-10 finishes. The veteran RCR driver has spent 1,868 laps running in the top 15 and has made 2,144 green-flag passes.
JEFF BURTON QUOTES:
What was it like running those high speeds at Michigan International Speedway after the surface was repaved?
“It was a lot of fun. The speed was really cool. It felt like a brand new track with the new pavement. After going to certain race tracks for so long, it is cool when they change them because it brings something new. The speed was fast, but until you looked at the speed charts, you didn’t know you were going that fast because the pavement allows you to run that speed.”
How much did the tire situation alter your game plan for the first race at Michigan International Speedway?
“It was pretty big. It affected some teams more than others. It affected us quite a bit. We had a game plan in place and our Thursday test went really well. By the time we got a new tire, the changes just got away from us. We were struggling a little bit and I think when changes like that are made last-minute, the teams that aren’t quite on top of their game struggle a little bit.”
Do you think Goodyear has come up with a good tire combination for Michigan International Speedway?
“I really do. I think what we saw when we tested at Michigan (International Speedway) a few weeks ago had a lot of speed, but also a lot of durability. No one saw any tire issues up there. No blisters or anything on the tires. I feel pretty confident going back.”
What do you expect the second time around at Michigan International Speedway and for the rest of the season?
“I think we’ve started to move in the right direction. We went to Indianapolis Motor Speedway and didn’t get the finish we deserved because we had a mechanical failure. We ran much better at Pocono Raceway earlier this month also, but still didn’t get the finish we deserved. We made a lot of changes in the way we are doing stuff and things certainly seem to be picking up.”
Source: Richard Childress Racing, Press Release
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