Season Review: Jeff Burton

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NASCAR doesn't officially award a "Comeback Driver of the Year," but if it did, Jeff Burton would be the 2006 winner, hands down.

Burton helped revive Richard Childress Racing in a big way last season, keeping the Cingular Wireless No. 31 Chevrolet in the front of the field - and the point standings - all year.

After replacing Robby Gordon late in the 2005 season, Burton and the No. 31 team clicked this year.

Burton scored seven top-fives and twenty top-10s this year including a victory in September at Dover.

He won four poles as well and not only qualified for the "Chase," but led the points for much of the first half.

Burton eventually faded in the second half of the championship season, but was able to finish seventh and give car owner Childress two teams to be recognized at the NEXTEL Cup Awards Banquet in New York.

"Jeff has been a remarkable addition to our team," said Childress. "What he has done since joining our team is incredible, but I knew we were making the right decision when we got him to come over and join Kevin (Harvick) and Clint (Bowyer)."

Burton thinks this year will only help the No. 31 team in the future.

"I look at this year as kind of a character-building year," he said. "It has been a year that we have put ourselves in a position. It has been a year that we have proven to ourselves, which is really what counts, that we can do this, and we do deserve to be here, and we have to go take advantage of it."



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