Jeb Burton to make second career Nationwide Series start

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Since the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, second-year driver Jeb Burton has next weekend off.

Make that he HAD it off, but bot anymore.

Jeb, son of former Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton and nephew of NBC analyst Jeff Burton, will make his second career start in the NASCAR Nationwide Series on Saturday, May 24, at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Burton will compete in the History 300, driving the No. 98 Kendall-Jackson AVANT Wines Ford.

“We’re thrilled to have both Jeb Burton and Kendall-Jackson AVANT with us for the first time,” said team co-owner Fred Biagi. “Jeb has impressed at every level he’s raced, and we’re excited to put that talent behind the wheel of our Ford Mustang. And with a name like Kendall-Jackson on the car, that car is going to turn some heads.”

Added Burton, “I think the racing in the Nationwide Series is really good right now, and I’m excited to be a part of it. I’m also looking forward to working with Kendall-Jackson, bringing a new sponsor into the sport and having a good run for them.”

Burton made his first NNS start last fall at Kentucky Speedway, started 13th and finished an impressive eighth for Turner Scott Motorsports.

Even more impressive, he has taken to the Truck series like a duck to water. As a rookie last season, he won a race, earned an amazing seven poles (nearly one-third of the races) and had 11 top-10 finishes in 22 starts, ultimately finishing an outstanding fifth in the final season standings.

Thus far this season, Burton has two top-10s in three starts and ranks seventh in the standings.

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NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
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Drag racing is a Force family tradition. So, too, is not keeping a Force family member down.

Just 12 days after the most serious wreck of her six-year drag racing career, Brittany Force and John Force Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that the defending 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion has been medically cleared and will indeed race in this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.

“I flew into Phoenix early this (Thursday) morning and headed straight out to the race track to meet up with my team,” Force said. “I suited up and got belted back into my car that I ran all last season.

“It honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was. I’m looking forward to getting back in my car tomorrow (Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying) and getting back in the swing of things with my guys.”

The 31-year-old Force, one of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, suffered a concussion and bruising after the hard crash she was involved in on February 11 in the first round of eliminations of the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Shortly after leaving the starting line in a race vs. Terry Haddock, Force’s dragster crossed from the right to left lanes, impacted the retaining wall with a very hard lateral crash, bounced off, spun, went on its side and briefly caught fire after crossing the finish line wheels-up.

While she is still recovering from the bruising, Force feels strong enough to get back behind the wheel. Getting back in the race car could be the best medicine of all, since she has three runner-up finishes in Phoenix, including back-to-back second-place showings in both the 2016 and 2017 national events.

The three-day event kicks off Friday with qualifying rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. ET, the same times as Saturday’s qualifying. Final eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.