By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
For the first time in his NASCAR Xfinity Series career, Jeb Burton earned a top five finish. Like his teammate Dakoda Armstrong, and fellow competitor David Starr, he scored his best career finish at Daytona International Speedway, finishing fourth in the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250.
All of this comes even though Burton is not running a full season, his last start coming at Bristol Motor Speedway back in April in the No. 24 Estes Express Lines Toyota Camry.
Burton squeezed through ‘The Big One’ with two laps to go while running mid-pack. Somehow, he navigated his way through the smoke and wreckage to pop out unscathed. Burton also had to avoid disaster seconds later as Ryan Reed’s Ford Mustang spun back up the track in front of him and his teammate. Armstrong made contact while Burton snuck through.
The final restart was the moment that ultimately ended Burton’s chance at victory. It looked as if he was going to be in position to score an upset victory, but unfortunately, it was not meant to be. Erik Jones’ Toyota Camry sputtered in front of Burton. Burton and those behind got stuck as Jones tried to pull up and out of the way.
Burton was disappointed with the end of the race,
“We had a good car. We were leaking oil and had a bad vibration that never got any worse. There at the end I was going to push Erik. I thought I had a chance to win this thing and he ran out of fuel. That was a little disappointing. We had a good run for State Water Heaters, Global Pump, and Estes. Got a top five and it’s been a tough, tough career of mine. We’re going to keep at it, keep working, and I have a feeling we’ll be in victory lane soon.”
After finishing Stage 1 in eighth, Burton had to overcome a severe vibration in Stage 2. The vibration was so bad that the he pitted so his JGL Racing could diagnose and fix the problem. Despite the efforts, the crew, lead by crew chief Clinton Cram, were never able to fix the vibration.
Now Burton, Cram, and the entire JGL Racing team will look to build on this momentum as Burton is scheduled to be back in the car for the Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway.