No. 8 Budweiser Team 25th in Coca-Cola 600 Jeff Burton Grabs His First Win of Season in NASCAR's Longest Race Jeff Burton won Sunday night's Coca-Cola 600, a rare bright spot in a poor season for Burton and his team. Kevin Harvick was second...
No. 8 Budweiser Team 25th in Coca-Cola 600 Jeff Burton Grabs His First Win of Season in NASCAR's Longest Race
Jeff Burton won Sunday night's Coca-Cola 600, a rare bright spot in a poor season for Burton and his team. Kevin Harvick was second while Tony Stewart completed an amazing double by finishing third. Stewart also finished 6th in the Indianapolis 500 earlier in the day. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the Budweiser No. 8 team struggled for much of the first half of the 600-mile endurance challenge, dropped two laps behind the leaders and finished 25th. It is the first time the team has finished worse than 11th since late March.
The Key Moment: Someone please call the Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI) dentist, because the driver and the Budweiser crew spent much of the evening grinding their teeth in frustration as they attempted to solve the handling problems of the red Chevy. With clenched jaws, they finally were able to make the car competitive slightly past the halfway point, but had already dropped two laps behind the leaders. For much of the night, the car was very very loose (a condition where the rear end of the car slides out), but Dale Jr. was able to keep the evil-handling beast from sliding into the outside wall all evening.
Dale Jr: "That was rough. The car didn't drive too good, but I had some fun. We just didn't hit it tonight. We thought we had found something in the Winston (last week's all-star race), but it seemed like every change we made just made it worse. We finally got it close about Â¾ of the way through, and we were able to keep pace with the leaders, but I think we went backwards again at the end of the race."
Best Team Radio Chatter of the Day
Prior to the start of the race: Dale Jr : "Wassup, guys?! You guys have fun tonight, alright? Whoa! Somebody just threw a beer bottle at the car." Ty Norris (team spotter): "Yeah, NASCAR is talking about it too." Dale Jr: "It musta been Sterling Marlin that threw it cuz it was a damn Coors Light."
During the first yellow flag period that began on lap two: Dale Jr: "I am just chillin'- chillin' - just waiting for the chance to pounce and just take thisdamn race over. I want 'em all to think we're just dead and gone back here,but then we'll spring to life and show 'em all that we're far from dead!" (Unfortunately, when they did spring to life, they were already two laps behind and they were unable to pounce for more than a few positions.)
Following lap three, after nearly 170,000 fans stood in tribute to his late father by holding up three fingers: Dale Jr: "That lap three deal is pretty cool, huh?!"
The sound of a young driver getting increasingly frustrated with an ill-handling car: Dale Jr: "I can't drive the car like this all night now!" Tony Eury (crew chief): "Babe, we're doin' all we can do.." Dale Jr: "Look, I'm coming in and y'all are gonna fix this race car."
After a re-start was delayed to search for fluid on the track: Ty Norris (spotter): "Hang on Junior, we're not gonna go green this lap. A few of the driver's have complained about some black streaks in turn three." Tony Eury Jr. (car chief):"Yeah, it's called ASPHALT!"
Race Notes / Coca-Cola 600
Points Points Points Despite the long struggle, the team was able to maintain their spot in 10th place in the Winston Cup
Started: 19th Finished: 25th CurrentPoints Position: 10th Money Won: $85,778 Laps Led: -- Best Pit Stop: Lap 320 / 4 Tires and Fuel / 14.65 seconds