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Jeff Burton Puts Win in Context of Season

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DAYTONA, FL — He finished fourth in the points last year, and at Daytona during February all the talk was about the growing rivalry between Jeff Burton and that Chevrolet driving Jeff. However, Jeff Burton's 1998 did not begin as planned.

"Mechanical problems, bad pit stops, wrecks - we were in too many wrecks," Burton said. "I mean we weren't in that many, but if you want to do well in the points you've got to be in the top five every week."

Burton's season has turned upward since June when he beat Jeff Gordon to the finish line in front of thousands of cheering fans inRichmond. Burton though will not let that victory get blown out of proportion.

"We've won two races, they've won eleven," Burton said. "They're first in points, we're back in tenth. We were excited by the win at Richmond, but we were disappointed by the loss atDarlington."

If 1997 was a breakthrough season for team Burton, 1998 could be considered a small step backward. Thoughts of next year are not far away - maybe it will be #99 in '99.