Second Generation Burton Makes Martinsville Debut
SECOND GENERATION BURTON MAKES DEBUT:
Former Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton stepped back into the NASCAR racing circuit after a five-year hiatus at Daytona International Speedway last month where he took the checkered flag in a respectable eighth-place finish in the #27 State Water Heater NASCAR Camping World Truck race because his son Jeb was not yet cleared to race at Daytona. This was just one of the many sacrifices over the past five years not only Ward Burton but also his wife Tabitha has made to ensure that their son Jeb Burton would get to the point where he is today; ready to make his NASCAR debut at Martinsville this Saturday March 31st, 2012 for the Kroger 250.
Following in both his father Ward Burton and his Uncle Jeff Burton's footsteps in NASCAR, Jeb Burton will climb behind the wheel of his Hillman Racing #27 State Water Heater Chevy for the first time ever this weekend.
Sacrifices are a common understanding amongst guys that want to become NASCAR drivers as well as the sacrifices their family's make, and no one better to know how deep those sacrifices are more than Ward's wife and Jeb's Mom Tabitha.
Jeb's mom, Tabitha Burton, says that watching Ward race and watching Jeb race is like comparing apples to oranges. She says that she was much more comfortable watching Ward take the green flag at Daytona than Jeb last month. "At the drop of the green flag at Daytona, my first words were - 'thank God that's Ward,' only because I am not sure that I am ready to watch my son on that large of a track just yet, although I know he is ready for it. I supported Wards career quietly and was taking care of the kids, but with Jeb I am all in! When he won his first Late Model Race, he told me I couldn't sit near his spotter anymore because I was cheering so loud he couldn't hear the spotter. In his victory lane pictures I look happier than he does. It has been a long road to get him prepared for this debut, and I have no doubt he is ready for it. Trip Bruce, his crew chief, does a really good job with him and makes Jeb feel comfortable behind the wheel."
"State Water Heaters and Ward Burton have been partners since 2007," stated Jeff Storie, Senior Marketing Manager for State Water Heaters. "We realized early on that Ward has a natural connection with our wholesalers and contractors. Because of that connection, Ward is a great ambassador for the State brand. We're thrilled that our 2012 partnership is moving back on the track with both Ward & Jeb.
Crew chief Trip Bruce, who won the championship in the NCWTS in 2008 with driver Johnny Benson, will be atop the pit box as he was for Ward's Daytona debut in the trucks and for the remaining five races that Jeb has slated to run with his sponsor State Water Heaters.
THOUGHTS FROM THE DRIVER: JEB BURTON
"There has been a lot of preparation for this over the past few years with me racing my Late Model." Said Burton. "My Father has been the one to really give me the support I have needed and the knowledge and advice that he has provided for me from his own experiences has been instrumental in my development". When asked of Burton what other advice he has received from other drivers over the years, he just says, "Most other drivers have just told me to be patient and take my time, but my dad really has helped me more with the technical side of things."
FROM DAD, 2002 DAYTONA WINNER WARD BURTON:
"I am really excited for him and State Water Heater and feel like he is more than ready for the challenge. As long as he has a decent handling truck and a little luck he will be able to gain respect from fellow racers and fans. Jeb is a hard working, polite young man and his mom has done a great job with raising him. There have been a lot of sacrifices behind the scenes, many that people don't see."
Jeb Burton PR