By Kelly Crandall – ThorSport Racing and Jeb Burton announced on Thursday morning that he’d again drive for the team when the CWTS returns to action later this month.
Burton will pilot the No. 13 Toyota Tundra at Martinsville in the Kroger 250, the second stop of the CWTS season. Last season, while driving for Turner Scott Motorsports, Burton won his first of what would be seven poles during the 2013 season at Martinsville. That same race saw ThorSport in Victory Lane with Johnny Sauter as Matt Crafton followed him across the line in second.
Burton had competed in the season opening event last month at Daytona for ThorSport and earned a top 10 finish. He was left without a ride in January when his sponsor at Turner Scott, Arrowhead, defaulted on their payments and all but pulled out of the team’s agreement. ThorSport snatched Burton up and is working on finding sponsorship in hopes of being able to run the full season.
“We were really impressed with Jeb, his ability to mesh with the team and the way he worked his way through that first race and had a respectable finish, which isn’t easy at Daytona,” said ThorSport team manager David Pepper. “We hope we can continue to build on the excitement Jeb and our team created at Daytona because we really need to get more support to continue racing this Tundra.
“At this point, we know Jeb will be driving our No. 13 Toyota and crew chief Dennis Connor will be leading his team. We’re working extra-hard to get something to put on the side of that truck.”
Burton has a rich history at the Virginia paperclip, through more than just his family. The Burton family’s home track never rewarded father Ward with a victory, his best career finish being third in 2001. He did however, earn one career pole at the speedway.
Uncle Jeff Burton did capture a win, in 1997, yet never had a home track pole. Jeb on the other hand, not only already knocked a pole at Martinsville off hit list, but his very first CWTS start came at the facility.
In his three Martinsville starts, Burton has finished third in the last two. He also led 154 laps in last season’s Kroger 250.
“Martinsville is a special place to me, whether it was racing a Late Model Stock Car, making my first start in the Truck Series and for sure, winning that first pole last year,” Burton said.
“That racetrack has meant a lot to my career and the fan support my entire family has gotten there has been really special to not only myself, but also my dad (Ward Burton) and uncle (Jeff Burton), too.”
EMAIL KELLY AT email@example.com
FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @KellyCrandall