Jeff Burton, current driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, has announced he will not be back at Richard Childress Racing in 2014. Burton, who has been with the organization since the 2005 season, has 21 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories, four with RCR, and has made 680 career starts in his 20-year career.
"I strongly believe in the #31 team as to what we can achieve this year, and for the team in seasons to follow," Burton said. "However, the financial realities for next year were obvious to both Richard (Childress) and me. So, we talked about it and both made the decision to make this move for the team's future. I would like to thank the dealers, customers and employees of Caterpillar for all we've achieved together. You can't ask for a better and more supportive sponsor than those people, and it's been an honor to wear their black and yellow colors on my uniform."
Caterpillar will continue to sponsor the #31 car for 2014 and beyond. Car owner Richard Childress also commented on the situation.
"We have been working hard to try and get all the funding in place to have four Sprint Cup teams in 2014," said Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "With the date on the calendar getting closer to 2014, we just couldn't run partially funded teams next year. Knowing what Jeff's plans were in 2015, he and I worked out an agreement for him to step out of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet after this season. Jeff has been nothing but a professional driver, an asset to RCR and a great person for our organization since coming on board in 2005. Jeff has also been a great ambassador for Caterpillar and the other partners we've had on the car throughout the years. I can't thank him and Caterpillar enough for how great they've been as we work through this transition. We intend to finish out 2013 in a strong way and I look forward to the possibility of Jeff still being part of RCR in the near future, just not driving the #31 car. I have been watching his son, Harrison, and the success he's having. Hopefully, we can have another Burton in one of our cars someday."
The move now leaves a seat open at Richard Childress Racing. Ryan Newman has been rumored to be headed to the organization and seems like the prime candidate to replace Burton. The organization signed Paul Menard to a multi-year extension earlier in the season. Other rumors have Austin Dillon making the jump from the Nationwide Series to the Cup Series in 2014, although nothing official has been announced. Driver Kevin Harvick has announced he will make the move from Richard Childress Racing over to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014.
There is no immediate word on the future of Jeff Burton. Burton had been rumored this past week to be driving for Swan Racing, although Burton has said he hasn't had discussions with that organization. The 46-year-old South Boston, Virginia native hasn't missed a cup race since March of 1996. His last win was at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October 2008.
Your man cave is your home field advantage for every game. When the game is on the line, you should be able to look around and be reminded of the great moments you've watched unfold in that very room! MJR Sports Integrity offers a wide range or team and player-specific memorabilia that can do just that and take your game day room to the next level. Find your inspiration at MJR Sports Integrity and will your team to victory!
- Mark Martin to Stewart-Haas Racing for 12 Races in 2013, Vickers in #55 for 12 Races
- Are Signs Pointing Towards Jeff Gordon Retiring After 2015 Season?
Short URL: http://sport-ne.ws/1088