Veteran driver Jeff Burton said Wednesday he won't return to Richard Childress Racing after this year to keep driving the No. 31 Chevrolet in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series.
Burton, 46, said he previously told RCR that he planned to stop driving a full schedule after next year.
But now the car does not have enough sponsorship for all of next season so "we're just accelerating [his departure] a year earlier," he told reporters on a teleconference call.
"To ask Richard to run a year underfunded, you can't do that," Burton said. "The timing is right to make a change."
Burton said his leaving also would enable RCR to hire a driver, and attendant sponsorship, for the long-term.
RCR already was in transition. Its drivers currently are Burton, Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard, but Harvick already has announced plans to move to Stewart-Haas Racing next year.