The Washington Times - October 12, 2008, 12:51AM

By Reid Spencer Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service (October 11, 2008) CONCORD, N.C. - Despite Jimmie Johnson’s fast start to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Jeff Burton hasn’t been willing to concede the trophy to the two-time defending champion. On Saturday night, Burton gave more than lip service to that notion, holding off Kasey Kahne to win the Bank of America 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The victory, Burton’s second of the season and the 21st of his career, vaulted the driver of the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet into second place in the standings, 69 points behind Johnson with five races left in the Chase. “He (Burton) has always been on my radar,” said Johnson, who fought late-race handling problems and faded to sixth at the finish after battling Burton for the lead early in the final 33-lap green-flag run. Johnson finished one spot ahead of Greg Biffle, who remained third in the standings. Ignition problems cost Carl Edwards 16 laps early in the race and dropped him to 33rd at the finish. Edwards fell from second to fourth in points, 168 behind Johnson. “We’re halfway (to the end of the Chase),”Burton said after climbing from his car. “It’s way too early to be handing anyone the trophy. It’s our job to put ourselves in position to go to Homestead (the season’s final race) with a chance to win.” Burton kept the lead with a gas-and-go on his final pit stop on Lap 298, a call made by crew chief Scott Miller. “That’s what won the race for us,” said Burton, who held the lead for the final 57 of 334 laps after passing Biffle for the top spot on Lap 278.