- Last Updated on 04:33 PM 04/04/13
- BY Joe Chandler
Last spring Jeb Burton qualified seventh and finished 13th when he made his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at Martinsville Speedway.
He is looking for bigger and better things in Saturday’s Kroger 250 as he makes his second start of the season for Turner Scott Motorsports.
The 20-year-old Halifax resident finished an impressive fifth in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway, and was the top finishing Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate.
With his familiarity of the tight half-mile Martinsville Speedway oval from having raced there in the NASCAR Late Model Stock Car Division and competing there in last spring’s Truck race, Burton is expecting big things this weekend.
“My expectation is to qualify in the top five and finish in the top-five,” Burton said.
“I’ve got a great team and I’m going to give it my all. There will be some Cup drivers in the race, so you’re going to have to be on the top of your game to win it. We can do it.”
One of the big things Burton feels is in his favor this weekend is his experience on short tracks.
“Short tracks is what I was brought up on,” Burton explained, “and I’ve got more seat time on short tracks than some of the other guys. I’ve stayed busy over the downtime since Daytona by testing both the No. 4 Arrowhead Chevy and my No. 4 Arrowhead Late Model.
“After a strong finish like we had at Daytona, I’m determined to keep the momentum alive, and winning at Martinsville Speedway would be a dream come true for me.
“After all the hard work I’ve witnessed at Turner Scott Motorsports in the past few weeks, bringing home the grandfather clock would feel amazing.”
Burton said the key to success in Saturday’s 250-lap race will be getting the truck to handle well and turn well in the corners.
“It’s all about getting the truck to turn,” he pointed out.
“I’ve got a good feel for that place. You also need to qualify well and get a good pit stall, especially there at Martinsville. It’s possible to come from the back if you’re good and have a good truck. Denny Hamlin did it last year, but it’s tough to do.”
Burton is confident not only about this weekend’s race at Martinsville Speedway, but for the series of the next five races as he has raced at the tracks before.
“I’m really pumped about the next five races starting with Martinsville,” Burton said.
“Dover, Martinsville, Rockingham Kansas and Charlotte are places that I think we will be really good. If we can finish each of these next five races in the top ten with no DNFs we should be in the top five in the points.
“It’s nice when you win races,” Burton added, “and we’re going to do our best to try to win, but consistency is what it is all about. If you’re consistent every week and lead some laps the wins will come.
“I’ve just got to remember what the goal is for this year – to win Rookie of the Year and to win a race.”
Burton will be joining his Turner Scott Motorsports teammates for an appearance at the Chevy display today at 2:45 p.m. and fans are invited to stop by and visit.