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NASCAR Winston Cup Series Dura-Lube 500 Report: #99, Jeff Burton

5 November 1997

 #99 Jeff Burton Exide Batteries Ford Thunderbird     
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 Dura-Lube 500 Presented by Kmart Race Report
 Phoenix International Raceway
 November 2, 1997
PHOENIX, AZ - The Exide Batteries Racing team got off to a slow start this 
weekend in Phoenix when it qualified its Ford Thunderbird in 37th position 
on the starting grid. Bad caution flag timing put them a lap down midway 
through the race, and the team could never fully recover. Driver Jeff 
Burton fought hard though, and brought the car home in the 15th spot. 

The team struggled in practice on Friday, and when it came time to qualify 
things just didn't get any better. Burton ran a speed of 128.663 mph which 
put him in the 36th position. "We've been off all day," Burton said. "We 
just haven't run good. That's the best we've run since we've been here, 
which is good, because we improved in qualifying. We just haven't found it 
yet. We will figure it out for the race." The team chose to stand on the 
time rather than requalify on Saturday, and dropped one spot to 37th.

Burton started the race on Sunday with a loose race car. The team brought 
him in during the first caution flag to make several adjustments to try to 
remedy the problem. The leaders did not pit and when the yellow came out 
again 20 laps later, Burton stayed out to gain track position as the 
leaders all went into the pits. On lap 43, he took the lead and gained his 
five valuable points for leading the race. Things were looking up until 
Burton came in for a routine pit stop under green. Several laps after he 
left pit toad, the caution came out which gave the leaders a chance to pit 
under yellow and put Burton on the tail end of the lead lap with the 
leaders lined up behind him for the restart. He held them off for quite a 
while but the car became tight and he finally went one lap down. The team 
ended the day in 15th spot, the first car one lap down.

Burton remains in fourth place in the Winston Cup point standings and will 
travel to Atlanta for the final race of the season after taking a well-
deserved break this weekend.

By Roush Racing Public Relations