Burtons Turn To Stumble

MARTINSVILLE, Va. - Jeff Burton's relatively clean record, and stay on top of the "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup" point standings, came to an end in Sunday's Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

Burton suffered engine problems on lap 217, ending his day with a 42nd-place finish and his run on top of the standings.

"Everybody has had an issue in this Chase, and we had ours today," Burton said. "This thing is not over for us by any means."

He came into Martinsville with a 45-point lead and left in fifth place, trailing new leader Matt Kenseth by 48.

"We're a team," he said. "We fight together, we die together. We do everything together, and that's what it's all about. We'll go to Atlanta next week, and I feel like we have as good a chance as anybody to win this thing."

Burton was the latest "Chase" driver to have trouble in the first six races of the championship season, which so far has been a wild run with the standings jumbled every week.

That uncertainty has Burton thinking positive that he can bounce back quickly from Sunday's disappointment.

"By no means do I think we are out of this thing," Burton said. "We won't lay down. We'll go to Atlanta feeling like we have as good a shot as anybody."

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