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Last pit stop, restart help key Burton win

Pit work is key in the outcome of a race. 

The final pit stop of Friday night’s WinStar World Casino 400 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway was pivotal in Jeb Burton’s win.

Burton had moved from fourth place to third place just before the race’s final caution flag gave the competing teams an opportunity to take on fresh tires and fuel for a final sprint to the finish.

The Turner Scott Motorsports team pulled out a quick stop and got Burton off of pit road in the second place, allowing him to pick up two positions and have the opportunity to be on the inside of the front row next to race leader Ty Dillon for the double-file restart with 24 laps to go in the race.

Burton grabbed the lead on the restart and held off Dillon to score his first career win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in what was his 12th career start in the series.

“We definitely had the best truck all night,” Burton pointed out.

“We just didn’t have the track position. We finally got the track position we needed on the last pit stop.”

Burton praised the efforts of his crew.

“My pit crew has been doing a great job all year,” Burton pointed out.

“I was really aggressive on the entry to my pit box and gained some time for the guys. They did a helluva job with a four-tire stop. They got me two positions, and I got out second. 

“I told them on the radio that they had dug that hard for me and I was going to do it for them and that I was going to do everything I could to get this win without wrecking,” Burton added.

The great night on pit road for Burton’s crew at Texas Motor Speedway was another great rebound from a miscue during the recent race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The team had solid stops during the previous race at Dover and nailed the pit stops right on target again Friday night at Texas.

“I’m so proud of these guys, and am so grateful to them for the great job they do and for everything they do for this team,” Burton remarked.

“We had a little problem at Charlotte, but they’ve really made up for it the last two races. I’m very proud of them and I’m proud to be a part of this team with them.” 

Burton said another key to his success is the work of crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. and the calls Hillman makes on pit road.

“I feel like we should be doing well like we are because Mike and I work so well together,” Burton explained.

“He understands what I’m saying, and he doesn’t get frustrated with me and I don’t get frustrated with him. He believes in what I’m doing behind the wheel, and I believe the changes he makes. We’ve got the chemistry, and we’re clicking every week. It’s fun to be at the racetrack with him.”

Not only did Burton’s team get the job done on pit road, the 20-year-old Halifax resident got the job done behind the wheel. A big move on the last restart got him past Dillon quickly.

“I timed the restart really well, and that helped me a whole lot,” Burton noted.

“I got a little loose going into turn one and slid up a little bit and Ty had to get out of it (the throttle) because we were going to make contact. I got the clean air then and set sail.”

Burton opened up a gap of several car lengths on Dillon, only to see Dillon try to mount a big charge over the last two laps.

“I think the reason he (Dillon) starting closing on me a little bit was that I was starting to look in my mirror a little too much and not focusing on what was going on,” Burton explained.

“I won’t make that mistake again. I clipped the apron (of the track) with five (laps) to go and that really hurt me. He (Dillon) gained on me big time. If there had been another lap left, I would have moved up to the third groove to block his line and take the air off of the nose of his truck and pull back away from him.”

Earning this first win, Burton says, makes him and his team hungry for more.

“We’re not satisfied at all,” Burton pointed out. 

“We want to keep winning. We’ve already blown out the goals we set in January before the season started. We’ve got three poles and a win in the first seven races. We’re rocking and rolling. We want to get a couple more wins and try to get the championship this year.”