Rumor has it that Ryan Newman may be headed to Richard Childress Racing in 2014, according to Fox Sports 1’s Race Day program. But, instead of fielding four teams, RCR would only field three, with Jeff Burton leaving the team to join a satellite RCR team.
Wendy Venturini, of Fox Sports 1’s Race Day, said that Burton would move to Swan Racing in the No. 30
, with sponsorship from Caterpillar.
But, Swan Racing currently fields Toyotas and is not an RCR affiliate team. David Stremme, current driver of the No. 30 Toyota, is also part owner of the team, so that might complicate any Burton deal.
Furniture Row Racing, a current RCR affiliate team, will be looking for a driver in 2014, with Kurt Busch leaving that team to drive for Stewart Haas Racing in 2014 . This could be a potential spot for Burton.
Tommy Baldwin Racing is also an RCR affiliate team. JJ Yeley and Dave Blaney are the current drivers for that team, with Blaney’s contract ending at the season’s end. Burton could end up in one of these cars next season.
Update: Jeff Burton will not return to Richard Childress Racing in 2014, he announced.
I strongly believe in the No. 31 team as to what we can achieve this year, and for the team in seasons to follow. 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.
We have been working hard to try and get all the funding in place to have four Sprint Cup teams in 2014. 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 No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet after this season. … 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 No. 31 car.
Burton, who has won four Sprint Cup Series races with the team and 21 in his career, has driven for RCR since 2005.