November 6, 2006 | 1:00 A.M. EST
Now with two races to go, he's dangerously close to the bottom of the pile.
Burton's title hopes to another shot on Sunday when a trip into the wall during the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway knocked him out of the race and handed him a 38th place finish.
"It's pretty much the end for us," Burton said. "`We'll keep fighting and get all we can. I won't say it's impossible, but pretty close to it."
A blown tire was the cuprit for Burton's encounter with the wall and the veteran driver sensed something was wrong.
"I was getting ready to tell 'em I was coming in next lap," Burton said. "As soon as we put that set on, I knew it wasn't right."
Burton fell to seventh place in the "Chase" with only two races to go.
Only three weeks earlier, Burton had the lead heading into the Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway. A blown engine in that race gave him a 42nd place finish and subsequent disappointments in Atlanta and Texas dropped him down in the standings.
"We will keep fighting to get all we can," he said. "We won’t quit racing, I will assure you of that."