- Last Updated on 08:10 AM 11/28/12
- BY Joe Chandler
Jeb Burton has long dreamed of having an opportunity to drive for an upper-tier team in one of NASCAR’s three top national touring divisions. The dream has turned into reality.
Burton signed a contract last week with Turner Motorsports to drive the full NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule next season. The opportunity comes with an added bonus – an opportunity to drive three or four races for Turner Motorsports in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
“I couldn’t be any more excited and more thankful than I am right now,” Burton said yesterday of the one-year deal he signed with the team.
“This is a tremendous opportunity. I’m joining the best Truck team out there. Turner Motorsports won the Truck Series championship this year, and it’s a blessing to have the opportunity to join the team and drive for them.
“It’s been a long road to get to this point,” Burton added.
“My hopes have finally come true. I can’t thank the people at Turner Motorsports enough for giving me this opportunity.”
Burton will be driving Turner Motorsports’ Chevrolet trucks and Nationwide Series cars next season. He said no decisions have been made regarding what number he will be using or who will serve as his crew chief.
“We will figure all of that out next week after we get done with our first test.”
Burton said he has a sponsor in place but is not at liberty to announce the sponsor at this time.
“I can’t say who it is yet,” Burton said, “but I can tell you it’s a real cool sponsor, a sponsor that has helped me a lot in my racing career.”
Burton said no decision has been made with regard to which Nationwide Series races he will compete in next season.
“I haven’t picked them yet,” Burton explained.
“I’ve just got to sit down, look at the schedule, talk to everyone and pick out which races I want to do.”
Burton spent Monday at the Turner Motorsports facility meeting with team members and getting his seat fitted for the Truck he plans to drive. He said he is leaving Thursday to go to Yuma, Ariz. where he will meet the team at a facility that has a three-mile oval. Burton said that is where the team will test to help prepare for the 2013 season-opener at Daytona International Speedway.
The Halifax resident said he and the team plan to test again in mid-December at Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway and hold another test sometime in January at a site to be determined.
Burton said he has set some goals for next season.
“My goals are to win the Rookie of the Year title in the Truck Series, win a race and finish in the top 10 in the series points,” Burton said.
“I feel those are very realistic goals. I really feel we can do all of that. Anything over and above that would be really great.”
Burton made his debut in the Truck Series in March of this year at Martinsville Speedway. He drove five races for Hillman Racing and recorded one top-ten finish. His team was 12th in the Truck Series owners points when Burton started his final race for the team in the spring race at Dover, Del.
He says the experience he gained in his limited schedule this season will help him next season.
“I feel like I have proven I can do this, that I can be competitive at this level,” Burton said.
“Now, I feel like I’ve got a team and the resources behind me to be competitive every week and win races. I appreciate the opportunity I had last year. Now, I’m with a better team, a team with which I feel like I have an opportunity to contend for wins.
“Now, it’s up to me to prove my ability,” Burton added.
“I want to continue to learn and improve as a racecar driver. With the people and resources at Turner Motorsports I know I can do that. I’m really looking forward to working with everybody at Turner Motorsports and I think we can have a successful season.