Is Jeb Burton the Next Big NASCAR Star?
Being the son of a Daytona 500 champion definitely has some benefits. For Jeb Burton, his father’s career has led to one of his own.
Burton, 20, is the son of 2002 Daytona 500 champion, Ward Burton, and nephew of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran, Jeff Burton. The Burton family is known for their unmistakable accents, especially Ward. During interviews, most joke around about how difficult it is to make out what the Virginia native is saying since he has such a thick accent. Even though Jeb has a heavy accent, he’s able to make a car go fast and have great interviews right afterwards.
Burton is racing for Turner-Scott Motorsports this year in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Last year, he ran in five of the first six races in NASCAR’s third tier division until his sponsorship from State Water Heaters ran out. Burton raced for Hillman Racing throughout those events and finished inside of the top-15 on three different occasions. Though he wasn’t able to run the full season, it was enough to show people he had talent to run upfront with some of racing’s best drivers.
This year, driving for a NASCAR powerhouse team, Burton is proving he has what it takes to be a champion. He’s outrunning his teammate, 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion, James Buescher, on a weekly basis.
When the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series last hit the track at the Texas Motor Speedway in April, Burton was able to lock up his first career NASCAR victory. He was able to hold off another young driver, Ty Dillon, for the win as he led 25 laps after starting third. The win was rather important one for the Burton family. Since Jeff’s career is likely coming to a close over the next few years, someone needs to carry the family name on. Now, thanks to Jeb’s early success, it appears the Burton legacy will continue sooner rather than later.
Burton has run well all year, even before his win. He has a series high three poles in seven races and has completed all but one lap in his first full-time NASCAR season. He’s finished in the top-ten five times this year which just shows that his consistency mixed with speed can take him to the front of the pack. Due to this, Burton has himself in position to win a NASCAR title in his rookie season. Burton is currently second in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points standings, just 23 markers behind Matt Crafton who’s seemingly unstoppable this season.
His early success has shown that he’s going to be successful in NASCAR as long as he has sponsorship to support him. As seen last year, his ride can easily be taken away from him. However, that would be quite difficult after his two-year deal is up with Turner-Scott Motorsports next season. He’ll be returning to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for another season and will likely move up the NASCAR rankings rather quickly after that. Burton is looking to run at least two NASCAR Nationwide Series races this year just to evaluate his talent and see if maybe running in that series will be better for him next year. However, it seems like he’ll do a partial schedule there as well until he moves up to NASCAR’s most elite division, the Sprint Cup Series.
Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.