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NASCAR Winston Cup Series MBNA 400 Report: #99, Jeff Burton

23 September 1997

 #99 Jeff Burton, Exide Batteries Ford Thunderbird
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 MBNA 400 Race Report
 Dover Downs International Speedway
 September 21, 1997

                     JEFF BURTON RACE RECAP: MBNA 400

DOVER, DE - He's back! After spending the majority of the day on
Friday as a spectator, Jeff Burton got behind the wheel of his Exide
Batteries Ford Thunderbird for practice on Saturday and never looked
back. He was able to run the entire race and finished in a comfortable
11th place after starting last.

Due to his menacing inner ear infection, Jeff took only a few laps of
practice on Friday before deciding that he was unable to continue. The
steep banking on the track was wreaking havoc on his condition. Todd
Bodine, relief driver for the second week in a row, was waiting in the
wings to practice the car and then qualified it in the afternoon.
Unfortunately, the team did not qualify as Bodine lost control of the
car, and then chose to stand on its time for Saturday's second round
qualifying.  For the second week in a row, the team took a provisional
to make the starting line-up. The good news for the day, however, was
that Burton ran all of Happy Hour and said that he felt much improved
over Friday. He and the team were hopeful that he would be able to run
the entire race.

Jeff showed up Sunday morning raring to go. Since Bodine qualified the
car and Jeff was going to race, he would have to fall to the very back
of the field and start 42nd on the grid. The green flag flew, and
slowly but surely he maneuvered his way up through the rear of the
field. An untimely caution flag thrown after he had made his first pit
stop (which put him one lap down, put the team two laps behind the
leaders. Burton drove his heart out, but lost several more laps during
the remainder of the race. He finished the race in 11th spot, four
laps down.

Burton remained in fourth place in the Winston Cup point standings,
353 points behind leader Jeff Gordon and 169 out of third. Terry
Labonte, who sits in fifth place had another lousy weekend, which
stretched out Burton's lead. The series moves to Martinsville next
weekend for the Hanes 500.

By Roush Racing Public Relations