June 26, 2013

Motorsports Insider: Jeb Burton taking advantage of winning advice

The truck series driver, second in the points standings, turns to the best for help.

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.”

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