Jeb Burton amped for Martinsville Speedway Truck Series return
Even though Christmas is still less than two months away, Jeb Burton (@JebBurtonRacing) will receive an early Holiday gift when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) fires their engines for Saturday afternoon’s Texas Roadhouse 200 presented by Alpha Energy Solutions at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
Burton, a native of nearby Halifax, Va. will return to the Truck Series for the first since in nearly two years aboard Young’s Motorsports’ No. 20 State Water Heaters Chevrolet Silverado.
The Mooresville, N.C.-based team’s second entry will be led by veteran crew chief Chad Kendrick.
Young’s Motorsports is hunting their second consecutive top-10 finish after team principal and driver Tyler Young delivered a 10th place finish two weeks ago at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
On Saturday, however, Burton, a second-generation driver eyes his second-career Truck Series triumph or his 20th top-10 finish as a nice consolation prize.
“The wait is (nearly) over, I’m ready to get back in a truck,” said Burton. “I’ve been at the shop a lot over the past couple of weeks and the Young’s Motorsports guys have been busting their tails to make sure our No. 20 State Water Heaters Chevrolet is in tip-top shape.
“Can’t wait for practice to get going on Friday.”
The tight 0.526-mile Martinsville paperclip is considered Burton’s hometown track and where the son of former Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton honed his short track skills competing in several Late Model events at the historic short track during the early days of his Motorsports career.
This weekend, he’s set to make his sixth Truck Series start at Martinsville and his first in three years. In his previous five starts, the 25-year-old has earned one pole, two top-five, top-10 and four top-13 finishes.
“Martinsville has historically always been one of my better tracks,” Burton added. “That’s to be expected. It’s a place I grew up at. I have a lot of memories. It’s not an easy track to driver, but once you find your rhythm – it’s smooth sailing.
“Young’s Motorsports has always had a solid reputation when it comes to their short track program and I’m eager to put their truck front and center this weekend.”
With nothing on the line except to win Saturday’s 200-lap anticipated slugfest, Burton realizes that other drivers have a lot on the line too. He doesn’t plan to interfere with those plans, but does expect to be find himself mixing it up with today’s finest.
“I realize the Playoffs are happening right now and I’ll be respectful, but I have a job to do for my team and sponsors,” Burton added. “If we can find ourselves able to contend for the win, we’ll do what we can to protect our turf cleanly and race those as I wished to be raced.
“One thing is for sure; Saturday’s race has the anticipation to be one of the best of the season!”
Two longtime partners will allow Burton to make his 51st career NCWTS start.
State Water Heaters and the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation will serve as partners for the 20th race of the season.
“Without the support of State Water Heaters, I wouldn’t have a chance to return to Martinsville in hopes of putting on a show in front of my hometown family, friends and fans,” added Burton.
“I can’t thank them enough for standing beside me throughout my NASCAR career and giving me another shot to show my potential.”
Saturday afternoon’s Texas Roadhouse 200 will also mark a family-affair against the younger Burton clan.
Burton will race against his cousin, Harrison Burton, the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion and son of Jeb’s uncle, Jeff Burton. The race will also mark the first time the two-family members have competed against each other in one of NASCAR’s top-three national divisions.
“It’s going to be a blast racing against Harrison,” sounded Jeb Burton. “I’m really proud of Harrison’s accomplishments this season. “He is going to be in a good truck this weekend and I’m hoping that we’ll have the opportunity to battle for a position throughout the race.
“At the end of the day though, may the best Burton win,” he chuckled.
For Young, he believes the addition of Burton to their lineup this season will offer the potential to elevate their program further.
“We’ve been very blessed to have a good array of drivers this season at Young’s Motorsports,” offered Young. “Jeb is another driver to fit that lineup. He isn’t afraid to give more than 110 percent behind the wheel and make some daring moves that pay off in a big way.
“We’ve been blessed to have a good truck every time we go to Martinsville and I feel like with Jeb’s guidance and breakdown of the track, we have the potential to do a lot of good things in a few weeks. I’m excited and hope to tally another top-10 to our season total.”
In 50 career NCWTS starts, Burton has earned seven poles, one win (Texas Motor Speedway), seven top-five and 19 top-10 finishes in a span of four years of competition.
Burton made his Truck Series debut at Martinsville in 2012 driving for Hillman Racing qualifying seventh and finishing a respectable 13th in a race backed by State Water Heaters.
Veteran short track racer Austin Hill will serve as Burton’s teammate for the final short track race of the season. Hill will drive the team’s flagship No. 02 truck for the annual fall event.
The Texas Roadhouse 200 presented by Alpha Energy Solutions (200 laps / 105.2 miles) is the 20th of 23 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races on the 2017 schedule. Practice begins on Fri., Oct. 27 from 1:00 p.m. – 1:55 p.m., with a final practice session is set for 3:00 p.m. – 3:55 p.m. Qualifying is set for race day, Oct. 28 beginning at 10:00 a.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 1:00 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). All times are Eastern (ET).
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