Gander Outdoor Truck Series

NCWTS: Jeb Burton and the Season that Almost Never Happened


EASTON, Pa. — At the conclusion of the 2013 Camping World Truck Series season, Jeb Burton — the son of Daytona 500 champion Ward Burton — had many reasons to be pumped for 2014. Most of which were fueled by impressive success in qualifying, winning 7 pole positions, a victory at Texas Motor Speedway, 11 top-10 finishes and placing fifth in the final points standings. One thing that was missing in the equation, however; was sponsorship.

The future was up in the air for Burton just weeks before the 2014 NCWTS season was set to roll at Daytona International Speedway. After an announcement was made by Turner Scott Motorsports saying that they would not be running the No.4 truck  – which he piloted in 2013, Burton was set for a tough journey ahead.

It was an ugly reminder of the harsh reality of not just NASCAR, but motorsports as a whole, as sponsorship and money are the initial factors in becoming a successful driver — regardless of talent or drive.

“Really hard time for my team and my family,” Burton said in a Twitter post shortly after the announcement was made. “My future is unclear right now, but we’re doing everything we can to be on the track in 2014.”

On February 6 — just over two weeks before the season opener at Daytona — Thorsport Racing threw the last hand and offered Burton a ride for the Daytona race and the ARCA race also held at Daytona.

Running strong and placing seventh in the NCWTS race, Burton’s sponsorship soon fell through and he has been given the opportunity to take part in each race since then in 2014. With a best finish of fifth at Chicagoland Speedway, Burton has compiled six top-10’s, including an eighth last week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and sits ninth in the championship standings.

Now with just five races remaining, Burton is looking for a bright end to 2014, starting with the high banks of Talladega Superspeedway on October 18.

“I’m looking forward to racing at Talladega for the plain reason that it’s Dega’ he explained. “As excited as I am to get back on a racetrack and compete, this weekend will really be all about luck. We’ll either have it on our side or we won’t.”

In last year’s event at Talladega, Burton won the pole but was involved in the frightening last-lap crash that saw Brazilian driver Miguel Paludo roll on his roof, and a pack of 15 trucks slide and crash across the checkered flag. Finishing 18th that day, Burton has had two promising finishes of fifth and seventh in his two career starts at the sister track, Daytona.

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About Zach Catanzareti

Zach Catanzareti serves as a Contributing Writer in the NASCAR department for Rubbings Racing and can be followed on Twitter (@zachracing) for the latest NASCAR updates. A native of Easton, Pennsylvania, he also follows IndyCar and Formula 1.

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