The 23-year-old Jeb Burton hopes to be sitting pretty for Petty this season after signing to drive the RPM No. 43 Ford in the Xfinity series this season.
Jeb ( John EdwardBurton IV) is the son of 2002 Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton and the nephew of Jeff Burton. He competed for several seasons as a regular driver at South Boston Speedway, where both his father and uncle made a name for themselves in their early racing careers, although he admits to struggling there. He also competed regularly at Ace Speedway, Orange County Speedway, and other racing circuits in the southern Virginia and central North Carolina areas, including at the “Daytona of Late Models”, Martinsville Speedway. Burton’s first Late Model win came at Ace Speedway in June 2011. He won a total of 5-races in Late Model competition over the course of the season at various tracks in the region.
Although he was considered to be a rising star in the world of stock car racing that year, he failed to find a sponsor to compete in the full ARCA Racing Series. As a result he only drove one race piloting the No. 6 Toyota Camry for Eddie Sharp Racing in the ARCA Racing Series’ Hantz Group 200 at Berlin Raceway. Burton started 9th and finished 21st in the 200-lap, 100-mile event; and despite being caught up in a multi-car crash on the opening lap of the race, he rallied to complete 120 of the race’s 200 laps before being forced out of competition with suspension failure. Later in the 2011 racing season, during competition in the Whelen All-American Series, Burton was briefly suspended by NASCAR, and was fined $250 after throwing a traffic cone at a competitor’s vehicle following an accident in a heat race at South Boston Speedway.
In January 2012, it was announced that Burton would be competing for Hillman Racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series during the 2012-racing season, sharing a ride in the No. 27 Chevy truck with his dad. In September Burton debuted in the Rev-Oil Pro Cup Series, winning his first start in the series at Motor Mile Speedway, and on November 21, 2012, Turner Motorsports announced the signing of Burton to a two-year contract to run a full-time Camping World Truck Series schedule and a limited Nationwide Series schedule in 2013 and 2014.
Jeb won his first Truck Series pole at Martinsville Speedway in April, and followed it with his first NASCAR win June 7, 2013 at the WinStar World Casino 400K at Texas Motor Speedway. Later in the season he made his first career start in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in September, and his Nationwide Series debut at Kentucky Speedway later in the month.
The 2013 season was a success for Burton, as he finished 5th in the overall Camping World Truck Series standings. He totaled 731 points to finish 73 points behind winner Matt Crafton and just one point out of fourth place. In 22 starts, he totaled one win, captured seven pole positions, and had five top 5’s and 11 top 10’s with only one DNF.
Unfortunately Turner Scott Motorsports announced that Burton’s sponsor, Arrowhead Cigarettes, had defaulted on its payments, and that they had been forced to close the No. 4 team, leaving Burton without a ride before the season even started, He was eventually picked up by ThorSport Racing to compete in the Truck Series and ARCA Racing Series events, finishing 8th in the overall standings, with a pair of top-5 and 7 top-10s.
The following January ThorSport Racing and sponsor Estes Express Lines announced that they were unable to come up with an extension to continue and the team shut down the No. 13 truck, leaving Burton without a ride once again, until being picked up by BK Racing to compete in the Sprint Cup Series to replace Cole Whitt, who had just left the team, in the No. 26 Toyota. However, he struggled with the team, and despite initial reports that his contract was “multi-year”, he and the team have parted ways.