Burton Back In Victory Lane

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Jeff Burton picked a good time to end his 175 NEXTEL Cup race winless drought.

Burton passed Matt Kenseth with six laps to go and went on to win the Dover 400 at Dover International Speedway.

The victory, which was the 18th of Burton's career, put him in the championship points lead.

“We’ve got eight to go, this still isn’t over,” said Burton."

Burton and Kenseth put on an exciting battle for the lead in the final twenty laps of the 400-lap grind before the No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet was finally able to move into the top spot on lap 194.

"Matt is such a great driver and a good friend," said Burton, who scored his last NEXTEL Cup win at Phoenix International Raceway in October of 2001. "I knew he'd race me clean and he knows that's how I race."

"This is just the end result of a lot of hard work by this Richard Childress Racing team. We've made great strides this year but there's still a lot of work left to do and we want to win this championship."

Kenseth then ran out of fuel two laps after giving the lead up to Burton, letting teammate Carl Edwards race by to finish second with Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch and Greg Biffle rounding out the Top 5.

Kenseth, who rebounded from a pit road miscue early in the race when he stopped outside of his pit box, rallied back in a big way, only to come up short in his bid for a Dover sweep.

"We had a good car," Kenseth said. "We had older tires than everybody for some reason and that last set didn’t like my car as much. We had a couple problems with the car. I messed up in the pit box and I was pretty pumped up that we were able to come back and pass the whole field for the lead."

"I just don’t understand what we did there at the end. We gambled for fuel, but there was really no reason to gamble because we had the best car. Even if we would have lost two or three spots, we had the car to beat so I don’t understand how we can run out of fuel on the last lap."

Edwards was the beneficiary of his teammate's misfortune.

"It was a lot of fun," said Edwards. "The first pit stop I was driving to a pit that was not mine. I don’t know which one I was going for and then we got a little behind on pit road on that last stop, but I’ve got to say congratulations to Jeff Burton. He helped me a lot early in my career and it’s cool to see him win."

Martin Truex, Jr., Bobby Labonte, Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin and finally Kenseth completed the first ten finishers.

Kevin Harvick's hot streak ended when he lost an engine late in the race, ending his bid for a third straight NEXTEL Cup win and sending him from first to fifth in the point standings.

Burton is on top of the leaderboard with Gordon's third place finish moving him within six of the lead.

Kenseth and Hamlin are tied 18 points behind with Harvick now 54 out.

Two drivers in the championship hunt had bad days on Sunday and their title hopes took severe hits.

Tony Stewart spun in front of Kasey Kahne on lap 11, with Kahne's Dodge receiving significant damage.

"No more championship," Kahne said.

Kyle Busch, who started off the "Chase" with trouble early last week in New Hampshire, had an engine expire near the halfway point of Sunday's Dover race.

"We're done," Busch said.

The NEXTEL Cup Series now heads to Kansas Speedway for next Sunday's Banquet 400.

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