Cope filling in as Burton’s crew chief

Ernie Cope will substitute for crew chief Luke Lambert on the No. 31 pit box for Jeff Burton at Phoenix International Raceway today.

Lambert flew home to join his wife Jamie, who is expecting their second child.

“Ernie Cope is going to call the race,” said Richard Childress Racing’s Director of Racing Operations Mark McArdle. “Eric Warren (RCR Competition Director) is going to stay close as well.”

Cope is currently crew chief for RCR’s No. 33 Nationwide Series team.

Burton starts 20th in Sunday’s Subway 500.