(Las Vegas, NV) March 4, 2001 --- If the CITGO SUPERGARD race team were being graded today, they would be getting high marks for effort, determination and teamwork after today's running of the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at the Las Vegas Motor ...
(Las Vegas, NV) March 4, 2001 --- If the CITGO SUPERGARD race team were being graded today, they would be getting high marks for effort, determination and teamwork after today's running of the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Starting 28th, Jeff Burton was the odds on favorite to win after scoring victories in the last two Winston Cup races, but his hopes for three in a row were dashed two laps into the race. "Nothing broke, nothing went wrong. I wasn't driving very hard. It's the first couple of laps and I was going real easy", commented Burton. "I got toward the middle of the corner and I wasn't on the gas or anything and it started coming around. I never could pull it back."
While most teams would pack up and go home after a crashing, the 2000 World Championship Pit Crew guided by crew chief, Frank Stoddard entered a race of their own a race to get back into the race.
During the next 60 minutes, the crew worked efficiently by fixing the car's frame, and hanging rear quarter panels as well as a new rear deck lid to the damaged CITGO SUPERGARD Taurus.
Burton drove his CITGO SUPERGARD machine back onto the track at lap 79 in 43rd position. Regardless of the track standings, every lap on the track meant more points towards the team's Winston Cup championship bid.
The caution came out on lap 97 after John Andretti and Joe Nemechek wrecked. Frank Stoddard called for a pit stop to make sure the car was running properly. After inspection, the team replaced a left rear shock to improve handling.
The adjustments worked, and by lap 100, the CITGO SUPERGARD Ford Taurus moved into the 41st position. Burton soon radioed in to say the car's handling was getting better.
On lap 159, Burton thought he ran over something because the car was sounding bad. As luck would have it, the caution came out and the CITGO SUPERGARD Ford was able to make a pit stop without losing a lap. While in for service, it was discovered that a lug nut was caught in a brake caliber. The problem was fixed and the CITGO SUPERGARD Ford went green flag racing on lap 165.
Another opportunity to adjust the car came at lap 176 after the #7 car spun. The team turned in a solid pit stop and afterwards was encouraged by Burton not to give up on the CITGO SUPERGARD team's bid for a championship. After the race Burton added, " It does matter that they all stuck in and kept working and nobody quit. They (NASCAR) award you points on where you finish".
The CITGO SUPERGARD Ford Taurus finished the race in 39th position.
The CITGO SUPERGARD race team continues their bid to capture the 2001 Winston Cup Points Championship by visiting the Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 11th.
<pre> NEXT EVENT INFORMATION
Atlanta Motor Speedway Hampton, GA Cracker Barrel 500 Date: March 11, 2001 Distance: 1.54-mile oval Laps: 325 TV/Radio: FOX MRN Race Record: Dale Earnhardt Speed: 161.298 Date: 3/10/1996 Qualifying Record: Bobby Labonte Speed: 194.957 mph Time: 28.437 seconds Date: 3/12/99
NOTE: Jeff Burton raced six times in the Cracker Barrel 500 scoring three Top 5's and four Top 10 finishes.