By Reid Spencer
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
(July 25, 2011)
With driver Jeff Burton mired in a 96-race winless slump, Luke Lambert has replaced Todd Berrier as crew chief on Burton’s No. 31 Chevrolet, on an interim basis, in a move announced Monday by Richard Childress Racing.
Burton hasn’t won a NASCAR Sprint Cup race since Oct. 11, 2008, and currently is 25th in the series standings through 19 races. Burton qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup four of the past five years, including last year.
Team owner Richard Childress said Berrier would remain with RCR, where he has worked since 1994.
“Todd has been an important part of RCR’s success for many years,” Childress said. “He is still employed and under contract, and his role with RCR will be determined in the near future.”
Lambert will get his first experience as a Cup crew chief on the job. A 2005 graduate of North Carolina State, Lambert, 28, has been a team engineer with the No. 31 car since 2008.
“I'm honored that Richard and Jeff have the confidence in me to lead the team,” Lambert said. “This is a talented group of guys who know what it takes and have been successful, so there's no reason to think we can't be successful moving forward.”
Burton, 44, hasn’t had a top-10 finish since last October and is the only driver in the top 30 of the Cup standings without one. He has 21 career wins, tied for 30th on the all-time list.