Jeb Burton looking for strong sophomore season in trucks
Last year, Jeb Burton had a solid rookie season behind the wheel of his No. 4 Arrowhead Chevrolet with a win (Texas), five top fives, 11 top 10s and seven poles on his way to finishing fifth in points.
Though the young driver has already been thrown a curveball as NASCAR debuts a new truck this year to bring forth more manufacture identity.
"It seems like Turner Scott Motorsports is always ahead of the ballgame with new stuff. I'm excited," he commented. "I think it could be an advantage for us. I feel like our guys are working really hard with this new body style in the wind tunnel and testing a lot trying to make it better. I'm really excited to be back with these guys. My team is pumped up, we're ready to go. I feel like we've just got to be a little bit better this year and we can contend for the championship. We did all last year, we've just got to be a little bit better so we can go win some more races."
The 2014 kick-off for the season is next month with the biggest race of the year at Daytona International Speedway. Burton's dad Ward won the Daytona 500 in 2002 and now Burton is looking to add his name to Daytona winners with his truck.
"There's so much history behind Daytona and it would be really cool to get a trophy here," he said. "It's only my second time here, so pretty excited. Last year we finished fifth and we always have a lot of speed at restrictor plate, so I'm excited for 2014."
Burton was one of the drivers that took part in the pre-season test - hitting the high banks of the 2.5 mile oval first of all drivers.
"When I come to the racetrack I always want to be first on the racetrack," he commented. "It's something I like to do when I get here. I'm ready to go. That's kind of the reason we come here, to get things done and get to rolling. If we can be first on the racetrack it says that we're really prepared and we're ready to go."
The test helped as he learned some things, including that it's not easy to suck up when there's only a couple drivers on track. "These trucks, it seems like it's harder to break the air wall when it's just two of you out there," Burton commented. "We kind of ran into the same problem with the other style, too, when it's just two of you out there. I'm interested to see what it's going to be like in a pack. I think it'll be a lot different then.
I got to him a couple times right there. He dragged the brake, and I got into him, then we switched and he got into the back of me."
NASCAR made a change to the style of racing for the drivers - banning tandem style racing where you constantly push the truck in front of you. The change is something that Burton is glad to see.
"I'm not a fan of it. I like the pack racing," he commented. "The bump drafting is fun, but when you're hitting somebody in the corner, if you hit the guy and he gets loose and the back guy slides up and then he comes back down, it catches him and turns the guy right into the fence, and that's what happened to me at Talladega. Definitely not a fan of the tandem, but I like the pack racing like it used to be."