For 13 years, brothers Jeff and Ward Burton raced against each other at NASCAR’s highest level. While the South Boston natives are no longer racing, they will still have their full attention on the Texas Roadhouse 200 presented by Alpha Energy Solutions NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Saturday at Martinsville Speedway.
There will once again be two Burtons in the field, as Ward’s son Jeb and Jeff’s son Harrison will be racing in the same race for the first time.
“It’s definitely special,” Harrison said. “Jeb is someone that’s always helped me a lot and I’ve tried to help him the best I can. Now that we are going to be going against each other it’s going to be a little bit strange. I’ve never race anyone from my family, even my dad. It’s going to be weird, I don’t know how I’m going to act when I see him in his truck and see Burton on the back glass. It’s going to be strange, but it’s going to be fun.
“I’m really excited to race him and hopefully we get to be door-to-door for some time and get to go at it. It should be a lot of fun.”
Jeb, who has a pole and a top-three finish at Martinsville, will offer any advice he can to his younger cousin.
“Harrison has been doing a good job, and maybe I can teach him a little something there,” Jeb said. “I don’t think he’s finished in the top-10 there yet so maybe I can help him a little bit.”
And Harrison will take all the advice he can get from the elder Burton.
“Jeb has been really good there,” Harrison said. “He is definitely a resource before you go to Martinsville. Before my first truck race there I actually got to drive his Late Model Stock Car around there in a test, and that helped me a lot for the track. So, yeah, he’s definitely a huge resource that I can use to get better. He has so much more experience than me.”
With the holiday season right around the corner, Jeb wants to make sure things stay civil at family gatherings.
“Harrison is a lot younger than me,” Jeb said. “I’ve never raced with him before, so I don’t know what to expect, but I don’t want to start any family drama there for sure.”
That’s something Harrison doesn’t think they need to worry about.
“I’m just going to race him like I would like to be raced and hopefully it will turn out good,” Harrison said.
That doesn’t mean Harrison won’t be afraid to use the bumper if he finds himself running second to Jeb on the final lap, but he would also expect the same from Jeb.
“I think I’d move him,” Harrison said. “You’re going there for one reason and that’s to win. I definitely would not wreck him. I’d definitely use the old bump-and-run tactic on him and I think he would do the same thing. That trophy means a lot to him as well.”
The Texas Roadhouse 200 presented by Alpha Energy Solutions is Saturday, October 28. The race is the first race in the Round of Six in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs. If a Playoff driver wins, he would be the first to lock himself into the Championship Race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Last year, Johnny Sauter won the race en route to the Series Championship.
Tickets to the race are $35 for adults. Kids 12-and-under are admitted free. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online atwww.martinsvillespeedway.com.
Martinsville Speedway PR