SPRINT Bank of America 500Final
Burton captures Bank of America 500Oct 12, 2008 - 4:08 AM CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Jeff Burton rolled to victory in the Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Saturday.
Burton put his Chevrolet on the lead with 57 laps remaining and took only fuel on the final pit stop, holding off Kasey Kahne's Dodge to score the victory.
"We were our best on old tires," Burton said when asked about the strategy on the final pit stop. "We were good enough when it counted. It's an incredible feeling."
Burton moved from fourth place to second, behind Jimmie Johnson, in the "Chase for the Championship" standings. He said there is still a lot of work to be done.
"There is a long way to go," said Burton, who took the lead on lap 277. "Everyone else has a lot to lose. We have nothing to lose. Nobody gives us a chance, except for us."
Kahne's car came to life on the final run, but he didn't have enough to reel in the victor.
"We just had some clean air," Kahne said. "I tried catching him, but we came up a little short. It was a fun race."
Kurt Busch finished third in a Toyota, Kyle Busch was fourth in a Dodge and Jamie McMurray was fifth in a Ford.
"I'm really surprised by it," Kurt Busch said. "It feels real good to bring this together. It was a big rebound."
Kurt Busch's brother, Kyle also had a strong run, which has been the exception rather than the rule in the Chase for the No. 18 team, which came into the final 10 races atop the points race but struggled since.
"It was respectable," Kyle Busch said. "It was my mistake on pit road that proved costly at the end of the race."
Johnson was sixth in a Chevrolet.
"We were good on the short run and things would come apart," the two-time defending series champion said. "A sixth isn't too bad. A good day for the points."
The first half of the race was marred by a number of cautions. Carl Edwards didn't cause a yellow flag when he pitted because of a loose wheel.
But that was the start of problems for Edwards, whose Ford went dead shortly thereafter. His pit crew was unable to get it to refire.
Both ignition boxes were replaced and the car came to life. However, 16 laps were lost and immeasurable damage was done to Edwards' championship chances. He finished 33rd and dropped to fourth in the standings, 168 points back.
"It is bad for our prospects of a championship," car owner Jack Roush said. "I don't wish anyone bad luck, but we're going to need some other teams to have bad luck to help the 99."
Jeff Gordon had a wild ride, falling back to 43rd after cracking the wall twice in the first three laps before surging to the front. He ultimately ran eighth in a Chevy.
"We had some good racing. Clean air was so important," Gordon said. "I'm so bummed out that I got the wall early, not once but twice. It is amazing how good our car was up front and how terrible when you get six cars back."
Johnson's lead over Burton is 69 points. Greg Biffle is 86 points back of the lead with five races remaining.