One day on the set of the hit soap opera General Hospital and Jeff Burton is thinking like an actor, and already talking about motivation.

Burton didn't understand why he was asked to make a cameo appearance at a bar in Port Charles, the city in which General Hospital is staged, but
found plenty of people who wanted to talk about NASCAR racing on the set at ABC-TV's studios in Burbank, California.

"I don't know why I was there," Burton admitted, "That wasn't part of the script, but I was there. I wandered into a bar. I don't know why, but I was there.

"There was a lot of race fans there, a lot of guys that had die-casts that they wanted signed and pictures they wanted signed. A lot of people had kids and cousins and nephews and stuff like that who wanted autographs.

"There was actually a lot of interest. A lot of questions - 'How does this work? How does that work?'. Some people were coming out to the races - a lot of guys on the set told me they had tickets every year and they were coming out to the race. There were a lot of race fans."

Burton is also hoping to play a starring role in victory lane at round three at Las Vegas Motor Speedway following the 2009 Shelby 427 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. In all honesty, you could say he's hoping for a sequel.

Burton was leading the 2000 edition of the event - then known as the Carsdirect.com 400 - just as the skies opened up. Burton and his soggy crew celebrated in a makeshift victory lane in an infield garage after the race was called complete on lap 148 due to rain.

Just one year earlier, Burton waged a dramatic late-race battle with his brother, Ward, to win the 1999 Las Vegas 400 at LVMS, but perhaps his biggest box office hit at LVMS took place during the 2007 Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race.

Burton chased down race leader Kyle Busch and the pair made contact as the chequered flag waved. Burton won the race and Busch slid backwards across the finish line to finish second after hitting the wall.

The 2009 season has necessitated a costume change for Burton as his Richard Childress Racing team is now sponsored by Caterpillar - whose equipment was instrumental in the construction, deconstruction and rebuilding of Las Vegas Motor Speedway over the years.

"Our dealers and customers are very excited about our new partnership with Richard Childress Racing and Jeff Burton," said NASCAR programme manager Greg Towles, "Jeff is a proven winner and great competitor and Richard Childress is a true icon in the sport."

It comes as no surprise that Burton enjoys racing on a track that's carried him to victory lane.

"Las Vegas always produces great racing and it's a race that fans really enjoy watching," he said, "It's a track that is fun to drive on because there are different grooves around the track so you to find the groove that works best for you and your car.

"I enjoy coming to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. I typically run well there and it's a type of track that I'm comfortable racing on. We tend to have good starting points every time we unload at Las Vegas so, based on the data we gathered from last year's event and off-season preparation, I know we'll have a competitive #31 Caterpillar
Chevrolet."