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NASCAR Winston Cup Jiffy Lube 300 Race Report -- #99, Jeff Burton

16 July 1997

 #99 Jeff Burton, Exide Batteries Ford Thunderbird  
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 Jiffy Lube 300 Race Report
 New Hampshire International Speedway

LOUDON, NH - Jeff Burton and the Exide Batteries Team were hoping for a good 
finish in the Jiffy Lube 300 in Loudon, New Hampshire, last weekend to help 
break the Winston Cup points tie they were in with Dale Earnhardt. The team 
needed to finish ahead of Earnhardt to have sole possession of fifth place. 
The feat was accomplished in grand fashion, as Jeff and the team beat Dale 
for the win.

Burton had a disappointing qualifying run on Friday after practicing well all 
day, and wound up in the 15th spot, with a lap of 128.247 mph. "That'll get 
me in the first round for sure, but I don't know how far back I'm going to 
be," Burton said. "It wasn't a good lap. The car was real loose and I think 
the track will get better as it goes." The crew worked hard to figure out the 
problem, and made many different changes to the car on Saturday. They were 
fast again in happy hour and felt good about their race setup.

Sunday was a bit hotter than the two previous days which eventually worked to 
the team's advantage. The car was tight in the beginning of the race and the 
crew made adjustments to the tire pressure to remedy the problem. Burton 
hovered around the top five for the majority of the first 190 laps of the 
race. A two tire pit stop under yellow on lap 194, when several of the top 
cars took on four tires, put the Exide Ford out in the lead. Jeff held on to 
the lead until lap 283 when he shot into the pits for a gas-and-go. He 
regained the lead after leader Terry Labonte finally did the same. "It's 
special, it means a lot, to win a Winston Cup race is the highlight of 
anybody's career," Burton said. "To win a Winston Cup race, in today's 
environment, is a very big accomplishment."

Unfortunately, Dale Earnhardt pulled off a second place finish keeping the 
team from gaining a lot of ground on him in the points battle. The team 
remains in fifth place, 199 points behind leader Terry Labonte, and just 34 
points out of fourth.

Jeff is not the proud owner of the track record at Loudon with an average 
speed of 117.194 mph. The record was previously set by Jeff Gordon in 1995. 
Burton can add this win to the list of "fond memories" he has for the track 
at Loudon. He started his first Winston Cup race there in 1993, and won a 
Busch Grand National race at the track in 1992.

Next weekend, the Winston Cup Series moves to Pocono for the second time this 
season. The team finished the June race in the second position.

By Roush Racing Public Relations