Burton undergoes wrist surgery
Jeff Burton will need help carving the turkey today.
Richard Childress Racing announced Wednesday that Burton underwent minor surgery Tuesday on one of his wrists to correct carpal tunnel syndrome. The team said Burton returned home soon after the outpatient procedure.
“After feeling some reoccurring symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, my physician and I decided routine surgery would be best for this situation,” Burton said in a statement. “There is no such thing as an offseason in this sport so I wanted to get it done as soon as possible to be ready for my Caterpillar Visitors Center appearance with Richard (Childress) early next month. Plus, we have many test sessions planned in December with the No. 31 Chevrolet team in preparation for the 2013 season with my new crew chief Luke Lambert. I will be ready to go.”
This year, Burton endured one of the worst seasons in his 19-year career as he finished 19th in points and posted just two finishes in the top five.
As far as television ratings numbers go, the Triad market traditionally ranks near the top in Cup Series race viewership.
So it came as no surprise that the Triad ranked first for 11 of the 17 races televised by ESPN or ABC. The 11 included five in a row at the end of the season. The run was capped by Sunday’s season-finale at Homestead which pulled a 9.6 rating that was almost two full points ahead of second-best Charlotte.
Ironically, the Triad’s biggest number came on a day that it didn’t lead the nation. That was a 10.8 for the race at Talladega, which pulled a 12.6 in Birmingham, Ala., which is close to Talladega. The smallest rating was a 6.5 for the raced at Dover.
Another oddity: the Triad did not rank first in viewership for any of the three Saturday night races shown on ABC. The others were Indianapolis and New Hampshire.
SEASON IS NOT OVER
Caraway Speedway will bring down the curtain on its 2013 season Sunday. The “Turkey Special” will include 50 lap races for Sportsman, Street Stock, Mini-Stock and U Car divisions plus a 30-lap Legends Car race.
THIS AND THAT
Turner Motorsports said Wednesday that it has signed Jeb Burton (son of Ward and nephew of Jeff) to a two-year contract to drive full-time in the NASCAR Truck Series and part-time in the Nationwide Series. ... Greg Irwin, who was crew chief for Greg Biffle in the Cup Series at one point, has joined Penske Racing as crew chief for Sam Hornish in the Nationwide series. ... Greg Ives, the engineer for all of Jimmie Johnson’s Cup championships, is getting a chance to be crew chief for Regan Smith at JR Motorsports. The team also announced that Smith will likely be its only full-time driver and that its only part-time team will be fielded for owner Dale Earnhardt Jr., indicating that Cole Whitt is out of a ride. ... Elliott Sadler is taking sponsor One Main Financial with him in a move from Richard Childress Racing to Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series.