Burton’s day plagued by electrical problems
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
Jeff Burton addresses the media Friday. Burton finished 37th, 24 laps down.
Jeff Burton, the driver pegged to drive the No. 14 car in Tony Stewart’s absence, had his hopes of a strong finish at Michigan cut short due to an electrical problem.
The semi-retired Burton, who made his third start of 2014 Sunday, came down pit road on lap 82, eight laps after his scheduled pit stop.
Burton complained of a burning smell, and after examination by his team, was pushed behind the wall.
“It started smoking real bad, and we pitted, [the team] could see all the smoke coming out of it,” Burton said to ESPN. “Something’s on fire.
“It’s a shame, I’m terrible in traffic. Once we got in clear racetrack, we made an adjustment; we were maybe a tenth [of a second] off the leader.”
According to TV reports, the car Burton raced was a brand new car and had never been raced before.
Photo by Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Jeff Burton made contact with Danica Patrick early in Sunday's race, setting off a multi-car wreck.
The team reported to ESPN’s Dr. Jerry Punch the No. 14 car either had a wiring harness issue or a problem with a fire under the dash.
“It’s a hard week for everyone, not the way we wanted it to end, but really proud of everybody’s effort here,” Burton said. “Everybody gave it 100 percent.”
Burton would later return to the track and finished the race 24 laps down in 37th place.
At time of publication, no official announcement has been made if Burton will continue to be the interim driver for the No. 14 team, or the timetable for Stewart’s return.
Stewart’s location this weekend was not disclosed, but the team has been in contact with him, according to Stewart-Haas Racing executive vice-president Brett Frood.
“Tony is surrounded right now by his closest friends and family, we're obviously in contact with him,” he said Friday. “His location is of a private nature right now.”