NASCAR »

Jeff Burton announces plans for 2014 and beyond

Jeff Burton will compete part-time with Michael Waltrip Racing next year, before moving out of the race seat to work as a media pundit with NBC from 2015.
Jeff Burton had revealed his plans for the future, after having decided to exit his full-time race seat with Richard Childress Racing at the end of this season.

Burton had told team owner Richard Childress that he was looking to scale back to a part-time presence in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and came to a mutual decision to end his time at RCR earlier than expected in order to make way for Ryan Newman to join the team. At the time of that decision Burton said that he had no idea what he would end up doing next year, but this week he was able to announce that we would be moving to Michael Waltrip Racing for 2014 as a part-time and test driver.

"I've heard all good things from the drivers who raced at MWR over the last couple of years and I certainly have seen how fast their cars have been," said Burton, a veteran of 691 starts at NASCAR's top level.

"We were extremely fortunate to have a driver as experienced and respected as Jeff Burton come available," said Rob Kauffman, who along with Michael Waltrip is a co-owner of the team. "He will be able to have an immediate impact as we continue to strive for that last one percent that separates champions from contenders."

It isn't immediately known which races Burton would compete in the #66 Toyota or even how many, although he later said that he hoped it would be between six and 14 races and that the first would be at Las Vegas, the second race of the season after Daytona.

Burton's bigger role is to apply his considerable experience as a test driver for the team to help the team's full time line-up of Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers, in a similar way that Mark Martin had been an 'elder statesman' assisting the team for the last two seasons. In particular, Burton will be handling the pre-season testing on behalf of the #55 while Vickers recuperates from issues with blood clots that sidelined him at the end of the 2013 season.

"That really gets me back to what I'm good at," said Burton. "I think my strengths are in trying to help a team move forward and trying to do more than just be a driver. Being able to go do a lot of testing, being involved real heavily in the test team and trying to help the move the teams forward in just speed issues, those are things, historically, when I've been able to focus on those I've had good success."

"Michael Waltrip Racing has two teams and drivers racing for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship in 2014 and our third team will play a very important role in that pursuit," added Kauffman.

Burton's deal with MWR is for one year only, with the driver announcing on Tuesday that he would then be moving into a full-time media pundit role with NBC. The network is taking over the broadcasting rights for the final 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, as well as the final 19 NASCAR Nationwide Series events and select NASCAR Regional and Touring Series events in 2015. Burton is the first big-name signing to be announced as part of the on-air team NBC is putting together, with both parties describing it as a "long term" deal.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 AdvoCare Chevrolet, leads Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips/Shark Week Chevrolet, and Parker Kligerman, driver of the #77 TOYOTA Toyota, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Indiana 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, and Kurt Busch, driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 17, 2013 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 53rd Annual IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 24, 2013 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Jeff Burton, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS for Richard Childress Racing, in the garage at Vegas - March 7 2013. (Photo Credit: Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
Jeff Burton, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS for Richard Childress Racing, during the pre-season media tour at Charlotte Motor Speedway - January 18, 2013. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Brian Scott. (Picture Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, holds his daughter, Lydia Sunday, November 22, 2015 before final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Johnson and other Jeff Gordon teammates at Hendrick Motorsports wore tribute hats to honor the retiring Chevy driver prior to the start of the race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to a sixth place finish Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Gordon finishes third in the Chase for the Cup Championship. This was Gordon`s last race as a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver. He has made 796 consecutive Cup Series starts, earned 93 wins, and 81 poles - all behind the wheel of Chevrolets. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Harvick finishes as the runner-up in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place, and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision finishes in twelfth place Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. This Chevrolet drivers finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th (respectively) in the Chase of the Cup Championship. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing Team battled back from a bad re-start after the first caution of the race to finish 17th in the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. (Photo Credit: Campbell Marketing)
Series championship contenders Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Former racing driver Mario Andretti, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton pose during pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
A general view as cars pit during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with a burnout after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


dapusher

February 19, 2014 4:08 PM

Good for you Jeff! It's nice to be able to go out on your terms and the writing was on the wall wit RCR and a little nepotism starting to form. MWR for a year is doable and I don't know what the other poster is whining about, Chevy & Toyotas both turn left and have the steering wheel on the same side. I met you in person way back in Rousch days with the 99 Exide car at Sonoma and thought you were a great representative for the sport and it's not easy to stay interested to the same level nowadays! Good luck!

jim1752

February 17, 2014 5:23 PM

come on ,jeff! really,mwr?toyota?i'm sure you know what your old boss would say.moving to "the dark side".i am very disappointed.anybody want to buy an authgraphed jeff burton hat?cheap? jim sheetz



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.