Cole's Corner

Jeb Burton returns to Richmond with redemption (and the playoffs) in mind

By Cole Cusumano

This season has been one to remember for Jeb Burton, who added to his family’s winning lineage in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. In becoming the fourth of his kin to emerge victorious at the secondary developmental level, the Virginia born driver returns home with a newfound confidence and redemption on his mind.

Burton called his first full-time bid “up-and-down,” predominantly in terms of getting acclimated to a new organization. However, this transition couldn’t have gone more smoothly, as he’s competing for one of the hottest teams in the sport currently.

“It’s been a lot of  fun to race for Kaulig Racing and it’s been a dream come true to be at an organization like this,” Burton told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “It’s a dream opportunity and I’m just trying to take advantage of it.”

At 29 years old, Burton is living up to his namesake. He’s already put together the best season of his nine-year NASCAR tenure, notching career-bests in laps led (70), doubling his top-10 record in the Xfinity Series (14), with the pinnacle being his first win at Talladega Superspeedway.

Although one win was enough to lock Burton into his first Xfinity Series playoff appearance, the driver of the No. 10 would like to secure at least another in the final two regular-season races to increase his odds, something he’s very capable of.

“Getting that monkey off our back and getting our first win was big,” Burton said. “We were close at Daytona (International Speedway) a couple weeks ago and I was hoping we could get it done there to have two wins, but we’re building some momentum.”

Riding a two-race top-five streak, the only driver hotter than Burton is his teammate, Justin Haley. The Virginia native is hoping weeks of consistency translate to victory at his home track of Richmond Raceway.

Burton will be racing with a chip on his shoulder in the Go Bowling 250 on Saturday. After leading laps late in the final stage at Richmond last year, he fell short to Justin Allgaier and finished runner-up in a race he believes he should have won.

“Richmond’s been a good track for the Burtons and I think I can be pretty dadgum good there,” Burton said. “To go to [there] and have a shot to win is the goal, and to win on a short track — my hometown track — would be even more special. 

“That’s what we’re going to try and do.”

While a win at his home track would cross off many boxes, Burton isn’t getting ahead of himself. He’s proven he can get results, but the point of emphasis for him and the team resides in remaining up front consistently throughout the day.

“The playoffs are definitely here,” Burton said. “We need to be doing all we can to get good runs now, because if we don’t figure something out to get more stage points, we’re not going to get very far.”

Although it’s only Burton’s first postseason appearance in the Xfinity Series, he is approaching it with great ambition — as he should at 29 years old and competing for Kaulig Racing.

“My expectation is to make it to the final four in Phoenix,” Burton said. “That’s the goal [now], and that was the goal when I came here to Kaulig Racing. That is what I came here to do, and what I’m hoping we can get done.”

Burton returns home to Virginia in hopes to improve upon last year’s results at Richmond. This time is different, as he enters with more composure and a win under his belt. The No. 10 Camaro rolls off sixth on September 11 in the Go Bowling 250 at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN,

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