BUSCH: Phoenix: Ward Burton race notes

Burton 20th in Caution-Filled Bashas' Supermarkets 200 Veteran earns second top-twenty finish of season Avondale, AZ (April 20, 2007) . Ward Burton, piloting the Scott Shop Towels Ford Fusion, survived 11 caution periods to earn a ...

Burton 20th in Caution-Filled Bashas' Supermarkets 200
Veteran earns second top-twenty finish of season

Avondale, AZ (April 20, 2007) . Ward Burton, piloting the Scott Shop Towels Ford Fusion, survived 11 caution periods to earn a 20th-place finish in the Bashas' Supermarkets 200 at the Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday evening. It was the second top-twenty finish (15th Las Vegas) of the 2007 NASCAR Busch Series for Burton in the #27 Brewco Motorsports entry.

After two practice sessions on Thursday, qualifying was held on Saturday afternoon. Burton was the 38th driver to make his qualifying attempt and responded with a fast lap of 27.618 seconds / 130.350 mph to earn the 21st starting position for the 200-lap event.

With the race starting in the late afternoon and ending under the lights, every team knew that handling would be a major factor during this race. Plus, the Bashas' 200 was an impound race and drivers had to start the race with the setup they qualified.

In the early stages, Burton reported to Crew Chief Stewart Cooper that his Scott Shop Towels Ford was "tight and plowing the nose". By lap 40, Burton was running 27th. He made his first pit stop of the race during caution on lap 60 for four tires, fuel, and chassis adjustments. Burton would restart 24th on lap 62, the first car one lap down. However, when caution waved again on lap 70, Burton received the "lucky dog award" and restarted on the lead lap in 23rd position.

On lap 95, Burton and the car of Bobby Hamilton Jr. were racing side-by- side entering turn three. With Hamilton on the outside, the cars made contact creating the fourth caution of the race. Burton brought his Ford to pit road for repairs to the right front and new tires. He would restart 23rd on lap 98, and move into the top twenty just past the half way point of the race.

Burton would maintain his track position for the next fifty laps, and actually ran his fastest laps of the event on laps 153 and 154. On lap 164, Burton had to drive through the grass on the lower side of turn two to avoid a multi-car wreck, but maintained his position in the top twenty. Through several late-race cautions, Burton was able to battle his way to a 20th-place finish in his first career Busch Series race at Phoenix.

"I don't know what happened in the incident with the #35 car," Burton stated. "I gave him room, but he just didn't give me room entering the turn. I certainly didn't wreck him on purpose, I don't drive like that. Our car tonight just didn't get down into the race track. We've got some handling issues, but we'll keep working to figure them out. It's very frustrating because I want to race better for the entire Scott Shop Towels Team and Brewco Motorsports."

The next action for the Busch Series will be at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, April 28th. Qualifying for the Aaron's 312 will be at 5:05 PM ET on Friday, April 27th with the 117-lap, 311.2-mile race set for a 3:00 PM ET start next Saturday. Burton will drive the #27 Cottonelle Aloe & E Ford Fusion in the Aaron's 312.

-credit: br

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Ward Burton , Bobby Hamilton