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Burton to make first start of season

South Boston native Jeff Burton will be making his first start of the season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Burton, who late last year signed a contract with Michael Waltrip Racing to serve as a test driver and run a partial schedule of races, will drive the No. 66 Let’s Go Places Toyota Camry.

A newly formed partnership between MWR and Jay Robinson Racing will allow the No. 66 to compete in all NASCAR Sprint Cup races, with Joe Nemechek as the primary driver. 

“I am really looking forward to getting back in a race car this weekend,” Burton said.

“We spent a lot of time testing this winter. I really like the direction that Michael Waltrip Racing is heading. I really like my team and I am excited to see how our off-season testing worked for us.

“I am excited to work with everyone at MWR,” added Burton, “and I am really excited to see what we have for them in Vegas.”

Burton has 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He has two wins (1999 and 2000), five top-five and eight top-10 finishes. He has led 280 laps and has a finishing average of 11.9.

The South Boston native said he is facing a tough schedule of races this season.

“We have a hard schedule – Vegas being very hard,” Burton pointed out, “and there are other ones we feel pretty sure about that we’re going to run, but we haven’t really talked about it yet so we might change our mind.

“We’re going to run where it makes sense,” he continued. 

“Having more teams doesn’t make us better, right? So, what we have to do is run when it’s smart. We got to run where it make sense to run and not just run because we want to run. It’s got to be part of a plan and if it’s not, we’re making a mistake.”