Burton's Losing Prophecy

August 22nd, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Burton's Losing Prophecy

17 laps.

That’s how many circuits around the two-mile Michigan International Speedway it took Jeff Burton to prove how prophetic he is.

Prior to Sunday’s GFS Marketplace 400, Burton told the media and everybody who would listen that nobody was a lock for the upcoming "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup" – including him.

"In my opinion, there are people walking around making comments like they're going to be in the Chase, there's no doubt. I just don't think that's realistic, I think that's arrogance," said Burton, who held the pole for the race. "I've been around long enough to understand that things happen that you don't want to happen; there's good and bad. We're just going to take one race at a time like we've done all year long."

After just 34 miles on Sunday, the driver of the No. 31 Cingular Chevrolet showed that he had a clearer view of the future than Miss Cleo and her psychic friends.

Despite appearing to be a lock to make the “Chase” heading into the weekend, Burton went from fourth in the championship standings to ninth as a result of his 42nd place finish due to an engine problem on Sunday. With three races remaining before the stretch that will decide the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion, Burton has a small cushion of just 84 markers between himself and 11th place Kasey Kahne.

"This happens to everybody and right now we're in the heat of the point race, but stuff's happened to everybody all year long. It was just our turn today,” said Burton after his exit on Sunday. “We've had some great fortune and our engine program has been extremely reliable and today it wasn't. But that's no excuse for not getting our business done in the next three weeks."

It is no time to push the panic button, however, as the three races remaining still show promise.

With finishing averages of 19.6, 18 and 14.5 at Bristol Motor Speedway, California Speedway and Richmond International Raceway respectively, Burton is still in a strong position to qualify for the 10-race shootout.

Should he fail to make it though, he should consider taking up the profession of fortune teller as he will prove another one of his pre-race thoughts true.

"I understand that there's going to be teams that are in it right now that won't be in it after the next four races and there are some teams that aren't in it that will be."

Make sure to listen to what Burton says in the coming weeks, it could come true.


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