Name: Randall Burnett
Pit Crew Position: Crew Chief
Date of Birth: September 5, 1979
Hometown: Fenton, Missouri
Family: Madison 8. Riley 6
Hobbies: Former racer. Spending time with his girls
Burnett was hand selected by Allmendinger and JTG Daugherty Racing team officials to lead the team as they vie for a coveted spot in the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase for the championship.
“This came together quickly,” Burnett said. “When I met with AJ and Tad, we just hit it off and I’ve always wanted to help a team grow into something bigger. There are a lot of good people here and some of which I’ve worked with before. I know the quality of work they do and the level they hold themselves to bringing a lot of good things to the company. Also, working with AJ is going to be exciting for me. We kind of grew up with the same background. AJ obviously has a tremendous amount of talent and is very passionate and very vocal about his passion.”
Burnett has been a racer all his life whether it was building and racing his own cars on a local level or holding a leadership role as a team lead engineer in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He joins JTG Daugherty Racing after a 10-year stint at Chip Ganassi Racing.
During his early years at Chip Ganassi Racing, he was a 7-post analysis engineer, a lead test team engineer and a data acquisition engineer. In 2010, during his first year as team lead race engineer for the No. 1 car, Burnett visited Victory Lane three times with driver Jamie McMurray, with big wins in two “crown jewel” races - the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That same year McMurray won four pole awards, posted nine top-five and 12 top-10 finishes with Burnett as lead race engineer.
In 2013, the Fenton, Missouri-native moved to the No. 42 team to become the lead engineer for Juan Pablo Montoya, who posted four top-five and eight top-10s that season in the No. 42 car. Montoya came close to victory a few times that year producing his best result of second-place at Dover International Speedway.
2014 was a big year for Burnett as rookie Kyle Larson landed the No. 42 ride. With an inexperienced NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, Burnett helped the team earn eight top-five finishes and 17 top-10 finishes and came close to victory several times. Larson had runner-up finishes at both Auto Club Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway and also scored a pole award at both Richmond International Raceway (4/26/14) and Pocono Raceway (8/3/14) along the way. For their efforts, Larson earned the 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors. Burnett continued his work with Larson throughout 2015.
Burnett received a mechanical engineering degree from UNC Charlotte. His engineering skills, leadership abilities, knowledge and experience from inside a race car and atop the pit box make him a great fit at JTG Daugherty Racing as the team looks to achieve their performance goals moving into 2016 and beyond.
“The people that come to JTG Daugherty Racing stay here,” Burnett said. “That’s attributed to how Tad and Jodi (Geschickter) treat their people and run their operation. They will add a few more quality people in addition to the great people they have in place to help take this place to the next level and be successful for our brands.”