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Race Name - Track Name

One year ago:
Jeff Burton won this one too, while Jeff Gordon brought the #24 car home in seventh.

By Kelly Morris
Jeff Gordon started this race in the 14th place next to Stacy Compton. Although he started 14th, Gordon moved up quickly into the top ten and showed that he had a pretty good car early on. After a few pitstops Jeff had climbed into third place behind pole sitter Casey Atwood and Rusty Wallace. On lap 133, things went downhill for Gordon as he had a problem with the air hose during a pit stop which forced him back to 13th place. This problem unfortunatly affected the rest of the race. Track position proved to be crucial at this hot and slick racetrack. The whole race, there were lots of talk about the tires Goodyear had brought. Starting with Bobby Hamilton and Sterling Marlin, a bunch of cars had tires blow out and cause problems. This eventually took out race leader Rusty Wallace on lap 185. He was able to keep racing but was relegated to a 15th place finish. On lap 194 Casey Atwood had the same problem while leading the race. This was the young rookie's best showing of the year and ended in bitter disappointment.

After a few more pitstops Jeff had made his way back up to the 7th position fighting a loose handling race car all day. Lapped traffic was also a problem and hindered Gordon from passing other lead lap cars. Jeff Burton had a good car all day and when Wallace and Atwood went out, was sitting pretty until another Wallace, Mike Wallace gambeled on a two tire stop to beat him out of the pits on lap 242. Mike Wallace proved to be tough competition but with nine laps to go Burton used his Phoenix experience to pass Wallace and win the race. Title contender Ricky Rudd finished third, gaining 15 points on Jeff Gordon but Gordon finished an amazing 6th, with passing Ricky Craven and Robby Gordon in the closing laps giving us Gordon fans a heart attack with the hard racing that was going on between the two Gordons!

This was Jeff Burton's second straight Phoenix win and was his second win this season. "I'm real proud of our team, because a lot of teams wouldnt have held up through what we've been through," said an excited and jubulient Burton.

Jeff Gordon now leads the points by 380 points and his lucky number is 24th ironically. If he can finish 24th in the remaining races, he will win his fourth title. "We did what we had to do for the championship but I'm certainly not happy with it," Gordon said. "We had real good track position early on in the race and that's what it took. We had a good car and we just need to keep fine tuning on it and keep up with the race track. Unfortunately we got behind and just couldn't make up enough. But we came back to sixth. So we'll take that."

Next week they head home to North Carolina for the Pop Secret 400 at The Rockingham Speedway. Jeff finished 4th in the spring race and is looking to pick up his 7th win of the season there.

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