Jeb Burton savors family connections

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. –If there’s an extra edge to be had at Rockingham, Jeb Burton feels his advantage may be hereditary.

His father, Ward Burton, scored the first of his five victories in NASCAR’s premier series at Rockingham. He also posted his first NASCAR Nationwide Series win here on Feb. 29, 1992, when his wife, Tabitha, was in the early stages of pregnancy with Jeb. Jeff Burton, Jeb’s uncle, also has one victory in each series at the mile oval.

The family pedigree isn’t lost on the 19-year-old Burton. “My father’s won here twice — once in Nationwide and once in the Sprint Cup Series — and my uncle’s won here a couple of times, so it’s been a good track for the Burtons.”

The first appearance at Rockingham represents a major step up for Jeb Burton, who will be making just his second start in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He finished 13th in his truck debut at .526-mile Martinsville Speedway, but had never been on a track as large as Rockingham until it opened for practice Friday.

Burton seems undaunted by the size of the historic layout, but instead has been buoyed by his truck debut and a measure of early season success in Late Model competition.

“It has bumped my ego up. I know I can run with these guys just like at Martinsville,” Burton said. “. . . I’m blessed with the opportunity to have, I just have to make the best of my opportunities and go out there and do what I know I can do. Like right now, I know I can go fast but I’m just struggling with the handling of the vehicle.”

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.