Burton heads to Martinsville with momentum
April 01, 2013, Kenny Bruce, NASCAR.com
Daytona was all about survival, Jeb Burton said. The NASCAR Camping World Series driver will have a much more personal attachment to the series’ next stop, the Kroger 250 scheduled for April 6 at Martinsville Speedway.
“I was going to be happy just to survive Daytona, so coming out of there with a top-five was great,” Burton, son of former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ward Burton, said during a recent test at the 0.526-mile Martinsville track. “When we come here we have big expectations; (it’s my) hometown track, a bunch of family and friends will be here and short track racing is what I was brought up on.
“I would rather come to a short track every week than go to a mile-and-a-half because that’s what I know. But that’s not the way it is. But I feel pretty comfortable out there.”
The Turner Scott Motorsports driver will make just his seventh career start in the series; however, the Martinsville layout is one of the few on the 2013 schedule that is familiar.
“I raced here a couple of times in late model and did pretty well,” Burton said. “Ran the truck race here last year and did pretty good.”
There will be pressure because of his name, and because of the location of the track, he said, “but it’s just another race track, and the best drivers, those I look up to, they’ve got that pressure and they block it out.”
Burton finished 13th in this race a year ago, one of three top-15 finishes in 2012 for the 20-year-old Burton. He was fifth in his debut with TSM earlier this year at Daytona.
With a lengthy break between races –- a span of 43 days –- Burton said he has tried to stay busy, testing when possible and occasionally jumping back into the seat of his late model entry to knock the rust off.
He also said he visits the team shop, located in Mooresville, N.C., “about four times a week.”
His father made 22 starts at Martinsville in the Cup Series, with two top-five finishes. In the Nationwide Series, Ward Burton earned one win (1993) in eight career starts on the tiny, flat track.
The elder Burton, who retired from full-time competition at the end of the 2007 season, has offered advice, although the son said, “sometimes it’s a battle between us.
“But he wants the best for me,” he said.
Burton said a Martinsville win would have special meaning, but admitted “we need to get out of here with another top-five, I think, and keep that momentum building.
“We’ve set some goals this year to win some races, win rookie of the year, finish top 10 in points. I think we can do that; we just have to remember what our goals are and take (small) steps.”
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