Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 11/14/14

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 04: Jeff Burton, driver of the #31 CAT Chevrolet, is interviewed during NASCAR media day at Daytona International Speedway on February 4, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 16, 2008) — It may not be your daddy’s Bristol, but four new tires still trump four old ones. Jeff Burton proved that in Sunday’s Food City 500 Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway, as he took the lead from Denny Hamlin after a restart on a green-white-checkered finish that took the race six laps beyond its posted distance of 500 laps. Burton crossed the finish line .588 seconds ahead of Kevin Harvick. Clint Bowyer was third, followed by Greg Biffle and Dale Earnhardt Jr. When Hamlin’s fuel pickup burped in Turn 4 of the next-to-last lap, it set up a 1-2-3 finish for Richard Childress Racing teammates Burton, Harvick and Bowyer on the .533-mile concrete short track that was resurfaced before the August race last year. The Childress drivers also benefited when Harvick took out the race’s dominant car, Tony Stewart’s No. 20 Toyota, on Lap 498 to set up the two-lap run to the finish. After a restart on Lap 496, Hamlin passed Stewart for the lead. A lap later, in Turn 1, Harvick nosed inside Stewart, slid up into the No. 20 and sent Stewart spinning into the Turn 2 wall. Stewart had led 267 laps to that point but had to settle for a 14th-place finish. It was the third straight spring race at Bristol where Stewart led the most laps, yet failed to win. “I thought I left him plenty of room,” a crestfallen Stewart said. “I was far enough ahead of him that I didn’t see where he hit me or when he hit me. But I’m sure, somehow, it’s my fault.” Harvick said the mistake was his. “I just freakin’ lost it,” Harvick said on his radio after the accident. “I got up on the inside and I just lost it,” he added later. “I was trying to win the race. I made a mistake, and they can take it for what it’s worth and go on.” The wreck set the table for Burton, who took over second place behind Hamlin after the contact between Stewart and Harvick. Burton had the distinct advantage of four new tires, as Hamlin, Stewart and Earnhardt had stayed on the track while other contenders came to the pits on Lap 491, under caution for Brian Vickers’ brush with the Turn 2 wall on Lap 489. After taking the green flag on the final restart, Burton rocketed past Hamlin, who slowed dramatically in Turn 4. “I don’t know what happened,” said Burton, who claimed the 20th Cup victory of his career and his first at Bristol. “He stopped, and we nearly ran into him. “We had some breaks, and we put ourselves in position to take advantage of those breaks, and that’s what we did today.” Biffle remained second in the Cup standings but closed his deficit to leader Kyle Busch to 30 points, with Harvick and Burton 33 and 37 back, respectively. Busch, who started 22nd, was leading on Lap 291 when a sudden power steering failure sent him spinning off Turn 2 into the inside wall on the backstretch. Busch finished 17th, two laps down. To Burton the victory was a kind of cosmic payback for finishing second last year, when he raced Busch to the wire like a gentleman in the first event featuring NASCAR’s new racecar, resisting the urge to use his bumper to win the race. “That’s who I am, and I’m not going to change who I am,” Burton said. “I could have had a trophy in my case last year by knocking Kyle Busch out of the way, but I chose not to do that. And (crew chief) Scott (Miller) and Richard (Childress) had to live with that choice.” Notes: The combination of the new surface and NASCAR’s new racecar produced a record — 42 cars were running at the end of the race, eclipsing the previous mark at Bristol of 40 in 1999. … Harvick posted his fourth straight top 10 in the series and his 10th in 15 starts at Bristol. … The sweep of the top three positions was a first for Richard Childress Racing. … Defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson ran consistently in the top 10 until his right front tire began to go flat on Lap 475. He pitted six laps later and finished 18th, two laps down. … Burton’s victory was the first of the year for Chevrolet. … Dale Jarrett finished 37th, 10 laps down, in his final Sprint Cup points race.  By Reid Spencer | NASCAR Wire Services Fin St # Driver Sponsor Car Laps Money Status Led Pts 1 8 31 Jeff Burton AT&T Mobility Chevrolet 506 $209,558 Running 2 190 2 10 29 Kevin Harvick Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet 506 $167,011 Running 32 175 3 3 07 Clint Bowyer Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet 506 $139,125 Running 81 170 4 14 16 Greg Biffle Jackson Hewitt Ford 506 $123,525 Running 0 160 5 15 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr National Guard/Amp Energy Chevrolet 506 $106,475 Running 0 155 6 12 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota 506 $128,591 Running 98 155 7 20 9 Kasey Kahne Budweiser Dodge 506 $122,916 Running 0 146 8 16 8 Aric Almirola U.S. Army Chevrolet 506 $126,483 Running 0 142 9 32 38 David Gilliland FreeCreditReport.com Ford 506 $116,083 Running 0 138 10 4 17 Matt Kenseth Dish Network Ford 506 $139,016 Running 0 134 11 2 24 Jeff Gordon DuPont Chevrolet 506 $135,636 Running 0 130 12 36 2 Kurt Busch Miller Lite Dodge 506 $91,825 Running 0 127 13 11 1 Martin Truex Jr Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Chevrolet 506 $122,133 Running 0 124 14 6 20 Tony Stewart The Home Depot Toyota 506 $139,911 Running 267 131 15 21 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Texaco/Havoline Dodge 505 $118,633 Running 0 118 16 9 99 Carl Edwards Office Depot Ford 504 $133,125 Running 0 115 17 22 18 Kyle Busch M&M’s Toyota 504 $103,200 Running 7 117 18 1 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe’s Chevrolet 504 $139,186 Running 14 114 19 27 19 Elliott Sadler Stanley Dodge 504 $115,070 Running 0 106 20 39 00 David Reutimann Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota 504 $106,408 Running 0 103 21 24 6 David Ragan AAA Insurance Ford 504 $97,000 Running 0 100 22 31 66 Scott Riggs Haas Automation Chevrolet 503 $102,058 Running 0 97 23 40 55 Michael Waltrip NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 503 $96,833 Running 5 99 24 28 7 Robby Gordon TBA Dodge 503 $104,997 Running 0 91 25 25 96 J.J. Yeley DLP HDTV Toyota 503 $95,675 Running 0 88 26 17 01 Regan Smith Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Chevrolet 503 $96,450 Running 0 85 27 30 28 Travis Kvapil Yates Racing Ford 503 $113,914 Running 0 82 28 35 45 Kyle Petty Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil Dodge 501 $86,450 Running 0 79 29 7 77 Sam Hornish Jr Mobil 1 Dodge 501 $128,925 Running 0 76 30 33 70 Jeremy Mayfield Haas Automation Chevrolet 500 $86,500 Running 0 73 31 23 41 Reed Sorenson Target Dodge 500 $111,914 Running 0 70 32 29 15 Paul Menard Menards / Peak Chevrolet 499 $90,125 Running 0 67 33 13 12 Ryan Newman Alltel Dodge 499 $124,150 Running 0 64 34 34 22 Dave Blaney Caterpillar Toyota 498 $82,975 Running 0 61 35 42 78 Joe Nemechek Furniture Row Chevrolet 498 $81,975 Running 0 58 36 26 40 Dario Franchitti The Hartford Dodge 497 $89,925 Running 0 55 37 37 44 Dale Jarrett UPS Toyota 496 $81,875 Running 0 52 38 19 43 Bobby Labonte Cheerios / Betty Crocker Dodge 489 $118,761 Running 0 49 39 38 83 Brian Vickers Red Bull Toyota 486 $81,775 Accident 0 46 40 43 84 Mike Skinner Red Bull Toyota 441 $81,700 Running 0 43 41 41 49 Ken Schrader QTrax.com Dodge 420 $81,625 Running 0 40 42 5 5 Casey Mears CARQUEST/Kellogg’s Chevrolet 417 $99,540 Running 0 37 43 18 26 Jamie McMurray Crown Royal Ford 373 $89,000 Running 0 34
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