Ward Burton's son, Jeb, set to make historic debut in Limited Sportsman action Saturday night at SoBo
SOUTH BOSTON, VA. — South Boston Speedway is steeped in history in its 51 years of racing action and the name Burton is one of the many reasons America's Hometown Track has garnered so much success over the years.
Saturday night, a new generation of Burton competitors will make his debut at South Boston Speedway in the Italian Delight 150 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series race program. The five-race program will get underway at 7 p.m.
Ward Burton's son, Jeb, who turned 16-years-old on Aug. 6, will make his debut in racing action on the four-tenths mile when he competes in a pair of 50-lap Limited Sportsman Division events.
"I am a little nervous and there will be some pressure on me, but hopefully we will have a good outcome," Burton said Wednesday night prior to a practice session at the track on Thursday. "All my family will be there and I'm sure I will have quite a few friends there as well."
When Jeb Burton straps into his number 27 Limited Sportsman Division ride Saturday, he will be able to look toward the grandstands and see sections named in honor of his father and also his uncle, Jeff, who is still competing on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. And, that is something young Jeb hopes to be able to duplicate someday in the future.
"That would be real nice," Burton said. "There is a lot of history at South Boston. If I can do well there, I think I can do pretty good just about anywhere I race."
Before garnering success on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, both Ward and Jeff Burton cut their racing teeth at South Boston Speedway, much the same way Jeb hopes to do. Jeff Burton won eight Late Model Stock Car events at America's Hometown Track, while Ward Burton collected four Late Model triumphs on the famed track.
Jeb Burton's plans in 2008 are to finish out the remaining Limited Sportsman Division races at South Boston Speedway and then set his sites on a Limited Sportsman Division championship in 2009 before hopefully continuing his climb up the NASCAR ladder.
"I want to do well in Limited and hopefully by the end of the next year be winning some Late Model races as well," Burton said, adding that he hopes his upcoming experiences at South Boston Speedway will serve as a springboard to racing in the NASCAR Camping World East Series, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and eventually the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
"That's my goal, to move on up and have success," Burton said.
He can certainly look at his father's success as something to shoot for. Ward Burton owns five career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins, including the 2002 Daytona 500 and the 2001 Southern 500 in Darlington, S.C.
On Saturday night, however, Burton will be pleased with "finishing the [twin 50-lap] races and not tearing the car up.
"Of course, I'd love to win, but if I could get a good finish, maybe in the top eight or even the top five, I think we would all walk away feeling pretty satisfied," Burton added.
While Burton will be making his debut in the Limited Sportsman Division ranks Saturday night, Bruce Anderson and Lee Pulliam will be continuing their torrid race for the division's points championship.
In the tight race for the championship in the division, two-time defending champion Bruce Anderson owns a slim eight-point edge over Lee Pulliam with four races left in 2008. Both drivers have four wins at America's Hometown Track this season and both have owned the top spot in the point standings during the current campaign.
Also on tap Saturday night will be a 150-lap race for the drivers in the Barkhouser Late Model Stock Car Division.
With a trio of Late Model events left to decide the 2008 champion, three-time winner Wayne Ramsey sits atop the point standings with a slim 15-point lead over Justin Johnson, who has tallied four victories this season.
Deac McCaskill, who has been making his move late in the season now owns a pair of victories at South Boston Speedway, is seeking to move up to third place in the standings. He is currently fourth, but trails third-place Dude Gibbs, a one-time winner, by only three points.
Other races scheduled Saturday night include events for the Budweiser Pure Stock Division and the Legendary Ford Flathead Series.
The rain date for the Italian Delight 150 will be Sunday, Aug. 17.
Pit gates will open Saturday at 1 p.m. with practice for all divisions beginning at 2:15 p.m. and continuing through 3:45 p.m. Grandstand gates will open at 5 p.m. and qualifying time trials will get cranked up at 5:15 p.m.
Tickets are priced at $10 for adults. Youth, ages 7-12, will be admitted for $5 and children, ages 6 and under, will be admitted free. All youth must be accompanied by a paying adult to receive discounted admission.
For more information, phone the track at (434) 572-4947 or toll free at 1-877-440-1540.
South Boston Speedway
Director of Media Operations
Office Phone: (336) 599-0162, extension 111
Speedway Office Phone: (434) 572-4947