Burton Back for Charlotte Test

Jeff Burton

The No. 31 team is looking to improve their 1.5-mile program in 2013. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)


Entry List | Audio: Burton on "NASCAR Live"

CONCORD, N.C. - NASCAR teams will continue their busy testing schedule for the sixth-generation Sprint Cup cars with a return trip to Charlotte Motor Speedway starting on Thursday.

The two-day test will mark the second time in the off-season that the new Chevrolet SS, Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry have been on the 1.5-mile track. The first session was held in early December.

Jeff Burton, driver of the No. 31 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, was among those who tested last month. Along with leading a portion of that first session at Charlotte, Burton was also among the fastest in single-car runs during last weekend's three-day test at Daytona International Speedway.

"I'm looking forward to going to Charlotte and getting a chance to drive that car again," Burton said. "I've gotten quite a bit of time in the 2013 car.”

Burton will be one of 33 drivers - including RCR teammates Paul Menard and Kevin Harvick - that will be working with their respective teams over the two days to try and learn more about the new car on the intermediate tracks.

Jeff Burton"We're looking for driveability and what makes this car do what," Burton said. “We know all that stuff in the wind tunnel, but what the drivers feel sometimes is vastly different from what the wind tunnel tells us. We're looking for sensitivities - what does this car like and not like? Sometimes when you have a new piece, you actually do a lot of things wrong but it teaches you. We're looking to learn and increase our understanding of the new body ... increase our understanding of what we're going to have to do to make this car drive well."

The Charlotte tests are the first steps for the No. 31 team reaching its main goal in 2013.

"We have to be better on the mile-and-a-halfs - end of story," said Burton, who failed to record a top 10 on intermediate-sized ovals in 2012. "We have to look at things differently, a different approach, a different mindset, a different philosophy and rebuild our company. That's honestly what we have done. This company looks a lot different today than it did a few months ago. I'm excited about what’s been done."

One of the changes was former No. 31 team engineer Luke Lambert being named crew chief. In 2011, Lambert served as Burton's interim crew chief for the final 17 races of the season before moving to the Nationwide Series with driver Elliott Sadler.

The December Charlotte test produced lightning-fast speeds with Kasey Kahne leading the way with a lap of 193.771 mph.

Testing is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. (ET) Thursday and Friday. Fans can watch from the grandstands free of charge by entering Gate 5A. Rain is in the forecast for Thursday.

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