BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) — Jeff Burton is not necessarily glad his nine-year run with Roush Racing is over.
But he's excited about making his debut with Richard Childress Racing on Sunday in the GFS Marketplace 400.
"I feel like this is a new beginning," Burton said Friday.
The lack of money ended Burton's stay with Roush.
"We were really struggling to sell sponsorships this year, and we didn't have a big one for next year," he said. "I wouldn't have left to just go anywhere, but Childress Racing gave me a great opportunity, so I jumped at it."
Burton, who got into his new car for the first time while testing Wednesday at Kentucky, was 16th in practice Friday morning before rain canceled qualifying. He will start 28th Sunday at Michigan International Speedway.
"I'm just glad we got some practice in before it rained," Burton said. "I'm not totally bummed out about the rain because that's just part of our deal. I don't really think it hurts us much."
Burton agreed to a multiyear deal last week with Childress, beginning here. He becomes the third driver this season in the No. 30 Chevrolet, taking over for Dave Blaney, who replaced rookie Johnny Sauter in June.
Burton has 17 career victories, but hasn't won since 2001 and his best finish this year was fourth at Dover. He was the 1994 rookie of the year.
Roush Racing replaced Burton with Carl Edwards, who will make his Nextel Cup debut Sunday. Edwards also will continue to drive for Roush in the truck series.
FATBACK IS BACK: Ricky Rudd hopes the hiring of crew chief Michael "Fatback" McSwain will bring back the success the two shared in the past.
McSwain, recently released as Bobby Labonte's crew chief, was hired to replace Ben Leslie, who accepted a position as NASCAR field manager for Ford Racing.
Rudd and McSwain contended for the championship in 2000 and 2001 when they worked together with defunct Rudd Motorsports and Robert Yates Racing.
"We're real excited about the opportunity to work again with Fatback," Rudd said. "We had a lot of good things happen together. The car was always competitive and we made a pretty good run at the championship."
Rudd's only top-10 finish this year came last week in Watkins Glen, N.Y., where he was eighth.
BALDWIN TRAGEDY: When Tommy Baldwin died after crash during a NASCAR Featherlite series modified race Thursday night at Thompson International Speedway, Tommy Baldwin Jr. lost his father, friend and mentor.
Baldwin Jr. is the crew chief for Nextel Cup rookie star Kasey Kahne. When qualifying was canceled Friday afternoon, he had not decided whether to leave or to stay for the race before joining his family.
"We're leaving that up to him," car owner Ray Evernham said. "I've got my airplane standing by to take him wherever he needs to go. He's trying to do as many arrangements as he can from here."
The funeral will be Wednesday in Patchogue, N.Y.
HUNGRY DRIVERS: Unilever Food Division and Evernham Motorsports announced a sponsorship agreement Friday that will give up-and-coming drivers a chance to compete in the Busch Series again next year.
Unilever's Hungry Drivers program has allowed four inexperienced drivers — Paul Wolfe, Tracy Hines, Mark McFarland and Scott Lynch — to drive three races each this season.
Next year, one of those drivers will be the primary driver for the entire season on Evernham's first Busch series team.
"Every successful sports franchise has a farm-team network to develop and evaluate talent," Evernham said.
NASCAR NEXTEL-GFS Marketplace 400 Lineup
Eds: Qualifying was canceled and the field set according to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup rule book.
By The Associated Press
At Michigan International Speedway
Lap length: 2 miles
1. (48) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet
2. (24) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet
3. (8) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet
4. (20) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet
5. (17) Matt Kenseth, Ford
6. (38) Elliott Sadler, Ford
7. (97) Kurt Busch, Ford
8. (29) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet
9. (18) Bobby Labonte, Chevrolet
10. (19) Jeremy Mayfield, Dodge
11. (9) Kasey Kahne, Dodge
12. (12) Ryan Newman, Dodge
13. (6) Mark Martin, Ford
14. (88) Dale Jarrett, Ford
15. (42) Jamie McMurray, Dodge
16. (41) Casey Mears, Dodge
17. (15) Michael Waltrip, Chevrolet
18. (2) Rusty Wallace, Dodge
19. (31) Robby Gordon, Chevrolet
20. (40) Sterling Marlin, Dodge
21. (5) Terry Labonte, Chevrolet
22. (25) Brian Vickers, Chevrolet
23. (99) Carl Edwards, Ford
24. (16) Greg Biffle, Ford
25. (01) Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet
26. (22) Scott Wimmer, Dodge
27. (21) Ricky Rudd, Ford
28. (30) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet
29. (0) Ward Burton, Chevrolet
30. (77) Brendan Gaughan, Dodge
31. (10) Scott Riggs, Chevrolet
32. (45) Kyle Petty, Dodge
33. (49) Ken Schrader, Dodge
34. (43) Jeff Green, Dodge
35. (32) Ricky Craven, Chevrolet
36. (50) Todd Bodine, Dodge
37. (72) Kirk Shelmerdine, Ford
38. (4) Jimmy Spencer, Chevrolet
39. (98) Derrike Cope, Ford
40. (89) Morgan Shepherd, Dodge
41. (09) Bobby Hamilton Jr., Dodge
42. (02) Hermie Sadler, Chevrolet
43. (80) Carl Long, Ford
Failed to Qualify
44. (51) Kevin Lepage, Chevrolet.
45. (33) Kerry Earnhardt, Chevrolet.
46. (84) Kyle Busch, Chevrolet.
47. (00) Kenny Wallace, Chevrolet.
48. (11) J.J. Yeley, Chevrolet,
49. (35) Mike Wallace, Chevrolet,
50. (79) Stan Boyd, Chevrolet,
51. (37) Stanton Barrett, Dodge,
— Arizona Daily Sun