Burton proving to be a force on track
April 18, 2013, NASCAR Wire Service, NASCAR.com
He's only appeared in eight NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races, but the fact that he comes from a family laden with racing talent -- his father Ward Burton is a former NASCAR driver and his uncle Jeff Burton currently drives in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series -- might shed some light on why and how Jeb Burton finds himself in the middle of the 2013 championship battle after only three races.
Or, it could just be that the newest member of the Burton racing family can flat-out race.
His performance in the first three races of the season suggests the latter.
When the trucks roll onto the track at Kansas Speedway this Saturday for the SFP 250 (2 p.m. ET, SPEED), drivers throughout the garage are going to being paying more attention to the younger Burton and his driving, especially when it comes to qualifying.
Burton, the current Sunoco Rookie of the Year leader (he leads Ryan Blaney by 16 points), ended qualifying for the last two races (Martinsville and Rockingham) on the pole, setting track qualifying records in the truck series for both.
When it's come to race time, the 20-year-old driver of the No. 4 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet hasn't been too shabby either. In three starts, his lowest finish was a seventh in last Sunday's race at Rockingham. He also has a third-place (Martinsville) and fifth-place finish (Daytona).
Burton is quick to praise his crew chief, Mike Hillman Jr., and credit their working relationship as the reason for their success.
"Mike's great, probably the best crew chief I've ever had. He keeps me calm," said Burton. "I believe in him; what he does I've got full faith in him. It's not because of what he's done, it's just the relationship me and him have now; we get along. We play basketball at lunch every day. We're good buddies. We got a good relationship going and, you know, we're just paying off on the race track."
Regardless of how he performs this weekend at Kansas, where an accident on the second lap of last year's race relegated him to a last-place finish, the most recent Burton to enter NASCAR's national touring series is sure to continue impressing his fans, friends and family, including his dad and uncle.
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