Shortly after they both received “NASCAR Next ” status, Jeb Burton and Chase Elliott have shown why they earned it.
20-year-old Jeb, son of the 2002 Daytona 500 champion Ward Burton and nephew of current Sprint Cup driver Jeff Burton, earned his first victory in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series last night at Texas Motor Speedway after holding off Ty Dillon by less than two-tenths of a second. Then earlier this afternoon at Pocono Raceway, 17-year-old Chase – son of former Cup champion Bill Elliott – became the youngest winner in the history of the ARCA series by charging from 33rd starting position to victory in a 200-mile race.
Both Jeb (pictured) and Ward, who was in attendance for his son’s big win, were thankful for the former to have an opportunity after his 2012 campaign was curtailed due to a lack of sponsorship.
“I watched this race on the couch last year, and I knew I could run with them guys — I just didn’t have the money to do it,” Jeb told NASCAR.com. Added Ward: “As a father, I was stressed, to say it mildly, that I couldn’t provide the opportunity for my son.”
But it’s all appeared to have worked out well enough, and Ward was indeed one proud papa last night at Texas.
“Shoot man, this is the most special moment in motorsports I’ve ever experienced,” he said.
As for Chase, who tested at Pocono on Wednesday, his first career ARCA win also added to the Elliott legacy at the track. His father, Bill, collected five Cup victories at “The Tricky Triangle” during his career, the last of which came in 2002 while driving for Ray Evernham.
“It was just a little over 10 years ago I was standing in victory lane with Dad,” Chase said according to The Sporting News’ Bob Pockrass. “I have some pictures, and I think that is really cool…I knew it would mean a lot if we could do it.”
Before today, Shelby Howard had been ARCA’s youngest-ever winner, taking the checkered flag in 2003 at Kansas Speedway at 17 years, 11 months old. Chase is 17 years, six months old.