Jeb Burton will compete in the NASCAR XFINITY series fulltime for Richard Petty Motorsports for the 2016 season. The team made the announcement via an emailed press release Monday afternoon. The team said Burton will make his debut this Saturday in the No. 43 RPM Ford XFINITY Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
The 23-year old Virginia native has a long family heritage in NASCAR. His father Ward is a Daytona 500 champion and race in the NASCAR Cup series from 1994 to 2077 amassing a record of five wins in 375 starts. The younger Burton’s uncle, Jeff raced in the Cup series from 1993 to 2014 and ended his racing career with 21 wins in 695 starts. Jeff Burton is currently a racing analyst for NBC Sports. Jeb Burton competed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series for BK Racing in 2015 with 28 starts. He competed full time in the Camping World Truck Series in 2013 and 2014, earning one win, seven Top-Five finishes and 20 Top-10 finishes in 50 starts.
“I’m really excited to be competing full time in the XFINITY Series for Richard Petty Motorsports this season,” Burton said. “When you think NASCAR, you think Richard Petty, and I’m really looking forward to continuing their winning tradition and contributing to the legacy that is Richard Petty.”
The team said Drew Blickensderfer a veteran Sprint Cup Series crew chief, will be atop the pit box for Burton in the 2016 season. Blickensderfer joined Richard Petty Motorsports in 2013, serving as the crew chief for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Marcos Ambrose and Sam Hornish Jr. Blickensderfer also worked with Richard Childress Racing and Roush Fenway Racing, scoring two wins with Matt Kenseth including the Daytona 500 and once with David Ragan.
“We have worked with Jeb on a few opportunities over the past couple of years, and they just didn’t fall into place,” commented Brian Moffitt, Chief Executive Officer at Richard Petty Motorsports. “We feel Jeb is an extremely talented young driver, and I’m happy we have him in our organization. He’s proven he can win races and compete at a high level in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and we believe he can do the same in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.”
As far as a sponsor, the team said a sponsorship announcement is expected to be made prior to Friday’s first practice session for the XFINITY series. The NASCAR XFINITY Series Powershares QQQ 300 at Daytona will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET.