Returning to his short-track roots, Jeb Burton and the No. 4 Arrowhead team made their NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) debut at Iowa Speedway over the weekend. After ranking among the fastest in practice sessions, the No. 4 Arrowhead Chevy had a disappointing qualifying run, starting Saturday night's American Ethanol 200 from the 17th position. Burton managed to quickly fight his way into the top-10 and remained there until a tight restart forced the No. 4 truck to lose control, resulting in a 22nd-place finish at Iowa Speedway.
The Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) team arrived in the Midwest with hopes that chassis TSM-229 would bring them luck similar to that it had at Martinsville Speedway and Dover International Speedway earlier this year. Although not happy with the truck's qualifying speed, the No. 4 crew knew what it was capable of when in the hands of a good driver. When the green flag dropped, Burton was quick to report that the truck felt fast, and before long the Arrowhead Chevy was running the fastest lap times on the track.
Only 56 laps into the start of the American Ethanol 200, the No. 4 team pitted under caution, receiving four tires and fuel and climbing the leaderboard to the ninth position. At the halfway mark, Burton was getting very comfortable with the track and hitting all of his marks. As the second caution came out, the TSM team had an impressive pit stop and the No. 4 truck climbed to sixth. "You're doing a heck of a job in the pits, boys," said Burton to his crew. During the restart, however, Burton got loose and spun out, resulting in another caution on lap 120.
A disappointed Burton made his way to pit road with a damaged rear. The No. 4 team quickly worked to repair the issues and gave the truck four new tires. "We're all in this together and we're going to work with what we've got," said crew chief Mike Hillman Jr., "Take it easy, keep your head up and let's give it all we've got to finish this race to the best of our capabilities." The 20-year-old Burton quickly responded, "I always do."
Two cautions came out before the conclusion of the race, with the No. 4 taking the wave around each time. Completing 199 out of the 200 laps, Burton crossed the finish line in 22nd position. Over the radio, Hillman told the No. 4 team, "We've learned two things out of this. We got a truck that we weren't really happy with in qualifying, made it right and fought back, and we've got to be extra careful on restarts."
"It happens," said a disappointed Burton as he climbed out of his truck. "We were one of the fastest trucks out there tonight. I'm glad I learned this track because I'll be ready in September. I'm not going to get discouraged. I'm learning as I go. My focus now: Eldora," Handling it like a professional, the 20-year-old Rookie of the Year candidate held his head high, thanking his crew guys for their hard work and effort.
Despite a 22nd-place finish, Burton continues to maintain second in the NCWTS Driver Point Standings. The NCWTS heads to Eldora Speedway for some action-packed dirt track racing on July 24. The inaugural Mudsummer Classic will air live on SPEED at 8:00 p.m. EDT.