- Last Updated on 03:39 PM 02/21/13
- BY Joe Chandler
Jeb Burton begins a new chapter in his racing career tonight as he makes his first start at Daytona International Speedway and his debut with Turner Scott Motorsports in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.
“It’s hard to put the way I’m feeling about my first start at Daytona International Speedway into words,” Burton said.
“It’s a very meaningful place to my entire family, and I feel blessed to have this opportunity. Watching my dad (2002 Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton) win at Daytona was one of the best memories from my childhood, so to be able to possibly recreate that is a dream come true.”
Burton will be driving the No. 4 Arrowhead Chevrolet Silverado in tonight’s race. Arrowhead is a brand of disposable electronic cigarette marketed by parent company Sequoyah Brands of South Boston. The company will sponsor Burton for the entire NCWTS season.
“I really appreciate Arrowhead coming on board with us and helping make this opportunity possible,” Burton said.
“Kathy Farley has a good organization and everybody there is excited about the season. It’s a really good company we are with, and I’m looking forward to working with them this season and in the future.”
Burton will have three Turner Scott Motorsports teammates racing with him in tonight’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season opener. They include 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion James Buescher in the No. 31 Rheem Chevrolet, Miguel Paludo in the No. 32 Duroline Brakes and Components Chevrolet and Ryan Truex in the No. Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet.
The 20-year-old Halifax resident said he will be leaning on his teammates for help as he gets his first taste of racing on the high banks on the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway, Buescher in particular.
“I’ve got a ton of experienced people around me,” Burton noted.
“James and I have a good relationship going, He’s going to be the guy I will lean on a lot.”
Burton said he is excited about the start of the season and is ready to go with a successful off-season under his belt.
“Everything has been going great,” Burton said.
“I don’t see where it (the off-season work and testing) could have gone any better. We did well and the guys are pumped up and are excited about getting the season started and us working together.”
Racing on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway entails a different style of racing – a style of racing where drafting with other trucks in large tightly-knit packs comes into play.
For that reason, races at Daytona International Speedway are unpredictable.
“I’m excited about racing at Daytona,” Burton said.
“But, there are so many things there that are out of your control with wrecks and staying away from other people’s mess. If you have the fastest truck, it doesn’t mean you’re going to win the race. We’ve just got to go into it with an open mind and take the attitude that no matter what happens we’re going to have a good year.”
A top-ten finish in tonight’s race is Burton’s goal.
“I think if we can qualify in the top ten and finish in the top ten that would be really good,” Burton pointed out.
“I have a really good race team. Everybody on the team works really hard. The truck I will have is going to be a really good truck. I think we can be really good in the race if we can stay away from the wrecks.”
Burton is miles ahead of where he was at this time last season in both confidence and experience. He competed in five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races driving for team owner Mike Hillman.
The Halifax resident qualified seventh and finished 13th in his NCWTS debut last April at Martinsville Speedway. His best effort was an eighth-place finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway last May.
In his five races last season, Burton qualified seventh twice and had one top-ten finish with his eighth-place finish at Charlotte.
Burton says he is expecting much more success this season with Turner Scott Motorsports.
“Last year at this time I was really nervous,” Burton said.
“Last year I was facing a bunch of unknowns racing in the Truck Series. It was a new thing for me moving up from Late Models. The big thing with me was making sure I could do it. We went to Martinsville, and once we ran well there it gave me a lot of confidence.
“I’m a little nervous now,” Burton continued, “but I have a really good opportunity with a really good race team. I know now I can do it. This Turner Scott Motorsports team is really, really good. They have the people, the equipment and resources to put you in a position to succeed. Everybody on the team is working hard, all of the guys believe in me and I want to run well for them. Everybody is really confident about having a good year.”