- Last Updated on 10:53 AM 04/24/12
- BY Special to the Gazette
In just his second NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race, rookie Jeb Burton wheeled his State Water Heaters sponsored Chevrolet home in the 11th position in Sunday’s race at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway.
“I really wanted a top 10 (finish), but I know I’m not supposed to say that,” said Burton.
“I’m always trying to be my best, and this was definitely a challenging track for me during practice and qualifying. I’m the hardest on myself. Sometimes I have to remind myself that this is only my second time out here. It’s still a learning process.”
Burton said he was very proud and appreciative of his race team.
“I’m really proud of all my guys who worked hard on this truck, and Trip (crew chief Trip Bruce) and my dad (Ward Burton) for being great guides here,” he added.
After having had a successful race at the one-mile Rockingham Speedway oval, Burton will make his first superspeedway start Saturday when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series goes to the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway for the 2 p.m. running of the SFP 250.
“I’m looking forward to taking this momentum to Kansas,” Burton said.
“I need to focus now on the bigger, fast tracks, and it’s good to have a few good finishes under my belt on the short tracks going in.”
After some challenging practice sessions along with a 27th-place qualifying effort Burton’s race was one of hard-fought positions, quick reflexes and instinct, and a “racer’s intuition” that seemingly runs in the family with dad, Ward.
Starting in the back of the pack, Burton showed his patience and determination by pushing through six positions in just two laps before the race’s first caution flag.
Quiet on the radio as the green fell on lap nine, Burton went back to business, hammering through top-five lap speeds as he worked his way up to 13th position by lap 28, and 11th position by lap 43.
Quiet and strong on the radio, Burton’s only major communication was that he his truck was free. On lap 62 under the race’s second caution period, the team elected to pit for four tires and two cans of fuel. Burton, who had fallen a lap down, also received the Lucky Dog award and was able to get back on the lead lap.
Burton went on to run lap times as fast as the race leader for the remainder of the race, plus catch up to the lead 10 trucks in the field.
After holding the 10th spot for almost 30 laps, Burton eventually finished 11th.