By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Correspondent
JR Motorsports driver Jeb Burton had a career day in the Indiana 250 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
On the final restart, the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver pushed Kyle Busch out front. However, Burton had his JRM teammates Justin Allgaier and Noah Gragson on his outside. As Busch and Allgaier left him behind, the No. 8 State Water Heaters Chevrolet Camaro SS battled Gragson.
With the draft being key, Gragson moved by his teammate with some help from Allgaier, Justin Haley, and Brandon Jones. The JRM teammate returned the favor, giving Burton his draft to hold off Haley and Jones. The Halifax, VA native crossed the line in fourth.
“It just means a lot,” an emotional Burton explained. “I just want to be in this sport for a long time. I know I can do it. It just takes a lot of funding to do it. And I’m, with a great organization at JR Motorsports now.”
The top-five finish has been a long-time in the making. Although Burton finished fifth at Texas Motor Speedway for JRM earlier this year, it’s just the third top-five in his career, which has had its’ obstacles. In 2016, a sponsor defaulting on payments left Burton without a ride.
“It just has been in a tough road where you been through, you’ve seen everything that happened over the last couple of years from sponsors defaulting on contracts and then losing rides, just things out of my control.”
Since 2016, Burton has made sporadic starts in all three of NASCAR’s National Series for Go Fas Racing, JGL Racing, Niece Motorsports, On Point Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing, Rick Ware Racing, and currently JRM. At each organization he brought his own sponsorship deals.
With sponsorship from LS Tractor, Muzzy Bowfishing, Mtel-One, and State Water Heaters, Burton has made the most of each opportunity, never knowing which could be his last.
“I’ve been working hard to get all the sponsors that I have,” Burton explained. “I do it all and I’ll be like good team around me that helps make it happen. But I’m the one in the trenches calling and getting deals done.
“I’ve been working hard at it for the last couple of years and this year, State Water Heaters took a chance on me to run these races. And then L&S Tractors came on board and Alsco pitched in and Oakman Headers did too. I’m really excited about things that are happening.”
Burton has two more starts scheduled with JRM at Texas and Homestead-Miami Speedway.