After two disappointing seasons and a slow start to the 2013 Sprint Cup season, veteran driver Jeff Burton is showing he can still compete at a high level. In a weekend that started out with news that Burton will compete for Richard Childress Racing once again in 2014 in the Sprint Cup Series, ending speculation that he’d be replaced, the 31 team put together easily its best performance of the season at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The Luke Lambert led team spent the majority of the race inside the top-ten with, at many times, the fastest car on track, and worked their way into the top-five where Burton would remain to score a third place finish. The finish was big because it was the first top-three finish at a non-restrictor plate event since 2010. However, the performance shouldn’t come as a huge surprise as the Burton-Lambert pairing has been successful in the past.
Going back to 2011, RCR opted to replace veteran crew chief Todd Berrier with the young engineer Lambert for the seasons’ last 17 races, a span that included five top-tens. Of those top-tens, Burton scored four of them in the seasons’ final five races and the team was able to work their way to 20th place in the final season standings. Despite the strong end to what had been a disappointing 2011 season, it was decided, that given the limited experience as a crew chief, Lambert would spend 2012 working as a Nationwide Series crew chief. In that move, Lambert worked with veteran Elliot Sadler on RCR’s No. 2 Nationwide team. The pair went on to win several races enroute to a runner-up finish in the point standings, and giving Lambert valuable experience working as a crew chief. Things were different for Burton. Continue reading →
Brian Scott, driver of the #2 White Tail Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway on March 23, 2013 Photo – Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Scott began driving early on for Braun Racing in 2009 and 2010 and then later the power house Joe Gibbs Racing in 2011 and 2012. While Scott did have limited success along the way, it was never consistent and Scott never seemed able to take advantage of the highly successful program that Gibbs has in place for the Nationwide Series. Crashes have marred many events along the way, which have eliminated potential for higher finishes throughout the course of a given season. Continue reading →
Richard Childress Racing teams were expected to be championship contenders during the 2012 season. Thus far, none of the RCR teams have shown the ability to be champions this season as only one team, the 29 of Kevin Harvick, even have a chance to be in the Chase. But that doesn’t mean the organization isn’t trying to fix its problems to be better as the season winds down and put themselves into contention for some wins and maybe even a championship with Harvick. Continue reading →
For race fans, the start of any new season provides optimism that their favorite driver can win races and put themselves into championship contention at seasons’ end. Jeff Burton fans, felt good about 2011 being a successful season. Jeff had just come off of a season that saw him make the chase and earn fifteen top-ten’s and six top-five’s to go along with a 12th place points finish. This team had several chances to win races along the way only to fall short, but their competitiveness was obvious. Despite a struggle at the 2010 seasons’ end, it seemed apparent the #31 team would be back stronger and ready to go in 2011. Continue reading →