Motorsports Insider: Jeb Burton taking advantage of winning advice

Posted Wednesday, Jun. 26, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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More information Series updates Sprint Cup Champion watch: Brad Keselowski remains winless, sitting only nine points ahead of 11th place. Only one Chase champion has failed to qualify for the next Chase: Tony Stewart in 2006. Six weeks: In the past six races, Jeff Gordon has finished in the top 3 three times and out of the top 10 three times. He sits 13th, 12 points out of 10th. Wild-carding: Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart hold the two wild-card spots right now. Nationwide Cut in half: Regan Smith’s points lead went from 58 to 28 after he finished 32nd last week at the road course in Wisconsin. Point separation: The top 10 drivers are separated by 86 points after 15 races. Last year, it was 180 points. Two years ago, it was 142. Debut race: Truck points leader Matt Crafton is making his first Nationwide start Friday night. Camping World Trucks Gale in: Cale Gale is driving for Turner Motorsports on Thursday. He last drove in the series when he won the season finale last year. Papas in: Max Papis will drive for NTS Motorsports at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Sept. 1, the series’ only road stop. NHRA Massey win: Fort Worth’s Spencer Massey picked up his second win of the season in Top Fuel last week at New England. It was his second straight final-round appearance. Father-daughter: John and Courtney Force met in the final last week in Funny Car for the first time, and Courtney won. It was her second win this year and third of her career. 40 Percent of the total laps this season in Sprint Cup led by Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth. They said it “Going into Kentucky, I feel like we have everything we need to win. We performed really well there last year, we’ve led practice sessions, qualified well and run up front, and I believe that the No. 32 team is a lot stronger than we were last year. There is nothing stopping us from winning our first race this weekend.” — Camping World Truck Series driver Miguel Paludo

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Jeb Burton, the winner of the truck race at TMS three weeks ago, is just getting started in his NASCAR career.

He has some advantages.

His dad is Ward Burton, a former Daytona winner, and his uncle is veteran Sprint Cup driver Jeff Burton.

So he has plenty of resources for NASCAR knowledge.

Who is he getting the most advice from?

“I would have to say Jimmie Johnson,” he said this week in a conference call with reporters. “He’s talked to me a whole lot. He helped me a whole at a lot of different race tracks. So definitely, give the credit to him and my dad. … Jimmie’s done a really good job of taking time and talking with me, and it really means a whole lot.”

Well, there are worse places a driver can turn to for help. Johnson is the five-time Sprint Cup champion, and the current leader in the series.

It looks as though the advice might be sticking.

Jeb has three poles in seven starts in Turner Motorsports’ No. 4 Chevy truck, and he’s started no worse than seventh this year. So he’s had speed, and he’s been second in driver points all season.

But until three weeks ago at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t won.

“We had the speed every week. It was just having a little bit of luck and being at the right place at the right time,” he said. “We finally got that off our shoulders, and now we’ve got some momentum, and the pressure’s off of us to win now.”

Burton is making a move to become Turner’s top driver, ahead of defending series champion James Buescher. But Burton brushes off the idea. He seeks consistency, which is what wins championships.

Which is what Jimmie Johnson has done.

“Jimmie is obviously one of the best there ever was, and I’ve talked to him about a lot of stuff off the race track about how to be better and just working out and trying to be the best you can be,” Burton said. “I think that’s why he’s so good. He’s so focused.

“That’s my role model, and that’s who I want to be like. So for him to take the time and talk to me, it really means a lot.”

Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407 Twitter: @calexmendez

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