Burton on hot streak heading to Martinsville

Ward Burton may be making his return to the NASCAR Nextel Cup series this weekend but it is his brother Jeff that continues to garner all the attention. Burton has led the Nextel Cup point standings since the third race of the Chase at Kansas. A...

Ward Burton may be making his return to the NASCAR Nextel Cup series this weekend but it is his brother Jeff that continues to garner all the attention.

Burton has led the Nextel Cup point standings since the third race of the Chase at Kansas. A 27th place finish at Talladega tightened his lead but he rebounded with a third place result at Charlotte last weekend.

He enters Martinsville in the lead by 45 points. With five races to go to settle the 2006 title Burton may be the odds-on favorite but he's not counting on his first championship just yet.

"In this sport, five races is a long time," said Burton. "You can go from having all your stuff together and really feeling good about yourself to really figuring you can't run a lick. So I've been through it, I've seen it, and I'm not going to, actually we're not going to take ourselves too seriously just yet. We still have a lot of work to do. And you know anything can happen.

"We put a good effort together and hopefully we can just continue to put a good effort together. I just hope that we can keep yielding results."

Martinsville is more than likely the last wildcard in the Chase - it is the last short track race, where tempers generally flare and there tends to be a fair amount of crinkled sheet metal. But for Burton, it is one of his best tracks.

He has one victory; nine top-five and 12 top-10 finishes in 24 starts at Martinsville. He finished fifth in this race last season and 33rd in the spring event this year. He hasn't had a DNF at Martinsville in 21 starts.

While Burton vies for his first Cup series title his older brother Ward will be attempting to make his first Cup race in nearly two years. After a seven year run with Bill Davis Racing, Burton was released and took a ride in the No. 0 NetZero car for Gene Haas. He finished the 2003 season 21rst in standings, he had three top-10's in 2004 but the team still released him with two races left in the season.

He hasn't raced in any NASCAR series since. He will attempt to qualify the No. 4 Lucas Oil Chevrolet Friday for the Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ward Burton
Teams Bill Davis Racing