By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
For just the second time in his NASCAR career, Jeb Burton will be pulling double duty. The Virginia-native will drive the No. 51 JACOB Companies Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Rick Ware Racing at Martinsville Speedway. Earlier this week, it was announced that he would compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race for On Point Motorsports.
The First Data 500 will mark the first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start for Burton since Pocono in 2016. The 26-year-old has 30 starts in NASCAR’s Premier Series. His best finish, 27th, came at his Virginia hometrack.
“I am really thankful for the opportunity to work with the Rick Ware Racing team this weekend at Martinsville,” Burton said. “Being a native of Virginia, I love Martinsville and I have had success there in Late Model, Truck Series and have been fortunate enough to compete in two prior Cup races there.
“Hopefully, we can keep our nose clean and have a good run for the team. It means to lot to me that Rick (Ware, team owner) is giving me this chance and thinks enough of my ability to be in his race car this weekend.”
Rick Ware Racing is in its’ first full-time season at NASCAR’s top level. In 67 starts since the organization’s Cup Series debut in 2012, the team has two top-20 finishes, both coming at Daytona International Speedway. Justin Marks earned the teams’ best finish, 12th, in the season opening Daytona 500 earlier this year.
RWR has competed sporadically across NASCAR’s National Series since its’ Xfinity Series debut in 1995.
“Realistically, I think we can have a top-25 run on Sunday,” added Burton. “The fall race at Martinsville is usually a tough and physical race because of the Playoffs. But I think if we keep working on our No. 51 JACOB Companies Chevrolet, we can leave Martinsville with a lot to be proud of.”
Burton made his NASCAR debut at the 0.526-mile ‘Paperclip’ in 2012. His father Ward Burton never made it to victory lane at Martinsville in NASCAR competition. However, Jeb’s uncle, former Cup Series driver and current NASCAR on NBC Driver Analyst, Jeff Burton scored two victories at the racing families’ home track, one in the Xfinity Series and one in the Premier Series.
“We are thrilled to have Jeb Burton in our car this weekend at Martinsville,” sounded team owner Rick Ware. “I am excited to see what he can do, and I know our team is equally excited. We are planning on putting a good car on the track at Martinsville and seeing what Jeb can do.
“Not only is he a good short track racer, but he also comes from a racing family and that falls into place with our family philosophy here at RWR.”