Phoenix Burton Not Hurtin'

Burton not hurtin' after Phoenix By Brett Borden NASCAR Online PHOENIX, Ariz. (Nov. 8, 1999) You can't win everything, says Jeff Burton, who finished fourth in Phoenix. It has been a topsy-turvy season for Jeff Burton. And Sunday's ...

Burton not hurtin' after Phoenix By Brett Borden NASCAR Online

PHOENIX, Ariz. (Nov. 8, 1999) You can't win everything, says Jeff Burton, who finished fourth in Phoenix.

It has been a topsy-turvy season for Jeff Burton. And Sunday's DuraLube 500K at Phoenix International Raceway would be no different for the driver of the No. 99 Exide Batteries Ford Taurus.

Burton's 1999 season started, as usual, with disappointment in his sport's biggest race - the Daytona 500 in February. A 35th-place effort was soon forgotten, however, with two victories in the next four races, and an average finish of 4.1 in his next nine starts. After 10 races, Burton found himself atop the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings.

Since then, it has been a season with plenty of ups, but too many downs to contend for the NASCAR Winston Cup championship. In 32 starts, Burton has a career-high six wins to go with 16 top-5 finishes (including Sunday's fourth-place effort at Phoenix). But he also has six finishes of 35th or worse, including two 36ths at Pocono Raceway.

Thus Sunday could serve as a microcosm for the season Burton has had.

"It was a good day," said the South Boston, Va. native. "We weren't good enough to win this thing, we fought all day. We went from being too tight to too loose to being too tight and too loose. We just never quite got the balance we needed, but not a bad day for us."

It was a typical Burton weekend in more ways than one. He qualified 18th, which happens to be his average start this season. And he also finished fourth at Phoenix for the second consecutive year. His average finish at the Desert Mile before 1998 was 23.5, so he can be excused if fourth is OK by him.

"You can't win every one of these things," said Burton. "I'd like to have led some laps and had a little better chance, but at the same time that's what we had to give ' em and that's what we gave 'em."

And Burton is giving 'em a run for their money for fourth in the standings. He gained some ground on Jeff Gordon, who now sits in fifth, 29 points ahead of Burton. But Burton lost ground to race winner Tony Stewart, who now leads Burton by 68 points.

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon