Jeff Burton Looks to Build on Spring Success at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
With just 10 points currently separating the top-three Chase for the NEXTEL Cup contenders, the atmosphere at Atlanta Motor Speedway will be electric when the Cup Series visits NASCAR's fastest track October 27-29.
Leading the charge is Jeff Burton, driver of the No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet. Roush Racing teammates Matt Kenseth and Mark Martin trail Burton for the Series lead in a very close championship chase.
Burton knows, despite his success in the spring at Atlanta, fortunes can change with the seasons.
"I've been doing this long enough to know that just because we ran good at a track early in the year, doesn't mean we are a lock to run good there the next time," the Nicorette 300 Busch Series Atlanta race winner said. "At the same time, if we failed at a track the first time, we may not necessarily run badly when we go back."
While a track surface can change throughout the year, Burton understands he may still have a slight advantage when he returns to the 1.54-mile quad-oval for the October 29 Bass Pro Shops 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race.
"I feel good about going to Atlanta," Burton said. "We ran real well there in the Cup Series and won the Busch race in March. I really like racing at Atlanta and like our chances there."
With the exception of his most recent success at AMS, the fastest track in NASCAR hasn't always been the nicest to Burton. The South Boston, Va. native's best finish is fourth, three times and in his last 13 visits to AMS, Burton has only three top-10 finishes.
"Atlanta is how it ought to be. It's worn, it eats tires up. It's 190 mph to the corner when you need to slow down to 40 mph," Burton said. "It's a riot and it's what makes the racing so good."
Coming off his first win in nearly a half-decade, Burton is riding a tidal wave of momentum through the Chase, into Atlanta. His team's success in 2006 is particularly sweet considering Richard Childress Racing's lackluster performance the past few years.
"We've done a tremendous amount of things at RCR. We've pretty much restructured every program within RCR; engines, aerodynamics, chassis, and engineering programs. Scott Miller has come in as crew chief and done a heck of a job. This team is a really solid team," Burton said.
While 10 points is a narrow margin now for the current points leader, Burton would be ecstatic with a 10-point lead when the smoke clears after the last race of the season.
To see Jeff Burton try and tame NASCAR's fastest track, fans can purchase tickets to the October 27-29 Bass Pro Shops 500 race weekend by contacting the AMS ticket office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX, (770) 946-4211, or at an authorized Ticketmaster retail outlet.