Jeff Burton hopes to play a starring role in Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s victory lane immediately following the 2009 Shelby 427 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. In all honesty, you could say he’s hoping for a sequel.
Burton was leading the 2000 edition of the event – then known as the Carsdirect.com 400 – just as the skies opened up. Burton and his soggy crew celebrated in a makeshift victory lane in an infield garage after the race was called complete on lap 148 due to rain.
Just one year earlier, Burton waged a dramatic late-race battle with his brother, Ward, to win the 1999 Las Vegas 400 at LVMS.
But perhaps his biggest box office hit at LVMS took place during the 2007 Sam’s Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Burton chased down race leader Kyle Busch and the pair made contact as the checkered flag waved. Burton won the race and Busch slid backwards across the finish line to finish second after hitting the wall.
Burton dazzles his fans both on and off the track. His most recent performance found him under the bright lights Thursday at ABC-TV’s studios in Burbank, Calif., where he had a guest appearance – as himself – during a taping of the long-running General Hospital soap opera.
The 2009 season also necessitated a costume change for Burton as his Richard Childress Racing team is sponsored by Caterpillar this year. Caterpillar equipment was instrumental in the construction, deconstruction and rebuilding of Las Vegas Motor Speedway over the years.
“Our dealers and customers are very excited about our new partnership with Richard Childress Racing and Jeff Burton,” said Greg Towles, NASCAR program manager for Caterpillar. “Jeff is a proven winner and great competitor and Richard Childress is a true icon in the sport.”
It comes as no surprise that Burton enjoys racing on a track that’s carried him to victory lane. “Las Vegas always produces great racing and it’s a race that fans really enjoy watching,” said Burton. “It’s a track that is fun to drive on because there are different grooves around the track so you to find the groove that works best for you and your car.
“I enjoy coming to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. I typically run well there and it’s a type of track that I’m comfortable racing on. We tend to have good starting points every time we unload at Las Vegas so based on the data we gathered from last year’s event and off-season preparation, I know we’ll have a competitive No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet.”
Tickets for LVMS’s NASCAR Weekend, including zMAX Pole Day, the Feb. 28 NASCAR Nationwide Series Sam’s Town 300 and the March 1 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Shelby 427 may be purchased by calling the LVMS ticket office at (702) 644-4444 or online at www.LVMS.com.