The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Auto Racing

October 4, 2006

Burton maintains lead in NASCAR Chase for the Nextel Cup



DRIVER: Jeff Gordon

TEAM: Hendrick Motorsports

CAR: No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet

CHASE POINTS: Sixth, -120


WHAT HAPPENED: Gordon was on his way to a terrific finish in Kansas until his fuel pump broke late in the race and dropped him to a 39th-place finish. At Talladega he’ll try to tie the late Dale Earnhardt’s mark of 11 restrictor plate wins. But he’ll have to be better than he was in the spring, when he made a tactical error on the final lap and went from first to 15th.

SPEAKING: “I learned a very valuable lesson earlier this year, and that’s not to try to pass my teammate while he’s leading with one lap to go and put myself in position to finish 15th,” Gordon said.


DRIVER: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

TEAM: Dale Earnhardt Inc.

CAR: No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet

CHASE POINTS: Seventh, -123


WHAT HAPPENED: Earnhardt ran over a spring rubber and damaged his car, falling back as far as 20th at Kansas. But he wound up 10th and is looking forward to Talladega, where he has five wins.

SPEAKING: “Talladega is always a track that shakes things up in the Chase. We can make some serious gains in the points this week with a good run. Talladega is obviously a race I look forward to, and I know our chances of winning are as good as anybody’s,” Earnhardt said.


DRIVER: Jimmie Johnson

TEAM: Hendrick Motorsports

CAR: No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet

CHASE POINTS: Eighth, -165


WHAT HAPPENED: Johnson was headed toward a strong finish when bad luck struck at the worst time. He was heading to pit road when Kasey Kahne’s spin made him change his mind out of fear of the caution coming out. So he had to make his stop later, was flagged for speeding on pit road, and finished 14th. He’ll try to reverse his fortune at Talladega, where he won in the spring.

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