Jeff Burton will not be returning to pilot the No. 31 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing in 2014, the organization announced in a press release on Wednesday.
The decision to not return next season was Burton’s, according to the release. Burton, who has been with RCR since 2005, won 4 of his 21 career wins with the team.
Burton said during an afternoon teleconference that he had no plans to run a full schedule in 2015, so they are just accelerating it a year early due to financial concerns.
Burton says he still has a passion for racing, and doesn’t know what he is going to do in 2014, ” We’ll just have to muddle our way through it a little bit.”
He continues, “I love NASCAR” and says there is a place for him somewhere in it. He says that place could even be on TV, “I enjoy it. It’s fun to do. It’s a way I could stay involved in the sport and hopefully contribute to the sport.”
“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.”
Burton is the second driver to be leaving RCR at the end of this season, as Kevin Harvick joins Stewart Haas Racing in 2014.
Caterpillar will be back next season to sponsor the 31 Chevy – for whomever that driver will be.
“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. … Hopefully, we can have another Burton in one of our cars someday.” Richard Childress, team owner of Richard Childress Racing said.