Jeb Burton is our guest on Fan4Racing Fan2Fan NASCAR & Race Talk on Monday, February 16, 2015 at 9 pm ET. During the LIVE broadcast, call 714-202-9918 or tweet @Fan4RacingSite or @Sal_Sigala with any questions or comments.
Camping World Truck Series driver Jeb Burton works along with,The 2002 Daytona 500 champion, Ward Burton at BK Racing
Roller Coasters are a lot of fun at the amusement park, and so is the roller coast of life, but only if you have the right perspective. Jeb and Ward Burton know what that means because they have the right perspective that is serving them well and inspiring the rest of us.
Successful people inspire us because they always find a way to make lemonade out of the lemons. They remind us that even in the worst of times, there is always a way to make it through the fog into the light. The rewards of that perspective are what keep successful people ready for the next hurdle in life. They don’t always enjoy every step of the journey, but they know it’s the good and the bad steps along the way that will get them to their destination.
Many drivers dream of racing the Daytona 500 in the Sprint Cup Series, and that journey has plenty of ups and downs – ask any driver and they’ll tell you it’s their top goal and the most difficult to reach. The moment of inspiration for Jeb Burton’s dream of racing the Daytona 500 was in victory lane with his dad Ward Burton – the 2002 Daytona 500 winner – a race he was not expected to win.
Jeb Burton’s dream is just barely there and within reach, and it’s been a roller coaster ride with more ups and downs than he ever imagined.
In 2012, Burton’s first step into the Camping World Truck Series, included his dad Ward stepping from behind the scenes to behind the wheel, at Daytona, because Jeb wasn’t old enough to race NASCAR’s bigger tracks. Jeb’s first series race was at Martinsville, where he finished 13th and on the lead lap. After the sixth race of the season, Burton was forced to skip races due to a lack of sponsorship, but Turner Scott Motorsports stepped up in November announcing a two-year deal with Burton for the 2013 and 2014 seasons in the Camping World Truck Series, and some Nationwide Series’ events. Ward was hired as a Driver Development coach.
Burton finished the 2013 season with a win at Texas, a pole at Martinsville, five top-fives and 11 top-tens in 22 races. He finished fifth in the point standings just 73 points from the leader and one point from fourth.
Just weeks before the start of the next season, Burton’s biggest sponsor left, forcing the closing of his team, and leaving him without a ride. In early February ThorSport Racing then stepped up signing Burton in time to race the season opener events at Daytona in the Camping World Truck and ARCA Racing Series. By the end of May, ThorSport expanded Burton’s ride to a full-season. Again Burton found success, finishing eighth in the point standings, with two top-five and seven top-ten finishes.
Amazingly once again, Burton’s sponsor pulled out in January 2015, leaving ThorSport closing down his team and without a ride. But Burton’s talent was rewarded with BK Racing stepping up this time signing him to a full year season with the Sprint Cup Series, where he will contend for Rookie of the Year honors. Ward is also part of the BK Racing team as spokesman and ambassador.
The next destination for Jeb Burton is Daytona International Speedway for the Great American Race, the Daytona 500 on February 22 at 1 pm ET, televised by FOX. But before that happens, he has one more hurdle to jump – the 500’s qualifying event, the Budweiser Duel at Daytona races on Thursday, February 19 at 7 pm ET, televised on Fox Sports 1.
Only a few drivers get a chance to jump from the Trucks to the Sprint Cup Series and even fewer continue to successful careers. It’s where 43 of the best drivers in racing challenge each other to their success. Jeb has shown he has the talent and now he finds himself within reach of his dream – the Great American Race. Jeb and Ward Burton have come a long way with the right perspective to deal with any hurdles along the way. Jeb’s journey is a work in progress with his family beside him every step of the way – They continue to inspire us!