Jeb Burton returns to Cup Series at Martinsville

by Justin Nguyen

Jeb Burton is back in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Two years after his latest start in the series, he will return to NASCAR’s top league in Sunday’s First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway, driving the #51 for Rick Ware Racing.

Burton first teased the news on his Instagram story before NASCAR released the entry lists for the weekend. In response to the news, Burton tweeted two emojis: “👊🏻😃“.

Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images

After two seasons in the Camping World Truck Series in which he recorded a win and top-ten points finishes in both, Burton moved up to the Cup Series full-time in 2015 with BK Racing. However, he struggled as he failed to qualify for nine races and finished higher than thirtieth on just three occasions. Two of such finishes came at Martinsville, where he finished twenty-ninth in the spring race and a career-best twenty-seventh in the fall event. He ended the season thirty-eighth in points and did not return to BKR in 2016.

In 2016, Burton joined Richard Petty Motorsports in the Xfinity Series, recording a top ten at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Following the eleventh race, he was released as the team struggled with sponsorship issues. During the year, he made two Cup starts at Pocono Raceway with Go Fas Racing, finishing twenty-ninth and thirty-sixth.

Burton continued to make sporadic starts across the Xfinity Series for the remainder of 2016 and 2017 with Biagi-DenBeste Racing and JGL Racing, respectively. At the 2017 July Daytona International Speedway race, he scored his best Xfinity finish of fourth. He also made a Truck start at the second Martinsville race in 2017 with Young’s Motorsports, where he finished twenty-sixth.

Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

For the 2018 season, he has competed part-time in NASCAR’s second-tier series with Richard Childress Racing. In the spring and summer, he ran the Richmond RacewayDover International Speedway, and Chicagoland Speedway, finishing twelfth twice and thirty-fourth, respectively.

For the upcoming race weekend, Burton will be running both the Cup Series’ First Data 500 and the Truck Series’ Texas Roadhouse 200. The latter will be with On Point Motorsports in the #30.

Burton is not the only driver making his first Cup start of the year on Sunday. Hermie Sadler has partnered with Premium Motorsports once again to run the race; he did the same in 2017, where he finished thirty-fourth.

He is the son of NASCAR veteran and 2002 Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton and the nephew of longtime driver and NBC analyst Jeff Burton.

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