Michael Waltrip Racing has announced that Sprint Cup veteran Jeff Burton will test and drive a select number of races for its third, part-time program in the 2014 season. Several media reports toward the tail end of this past year had Burton linked to such a role with MWR.
Burton, who finished his tenure with Richard Childress Racing at last month’s season finale at Homestead, will begin testing the No. 66 MWR Toyota next Monday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and his first race is slated for March 9, 2014 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“We were extremely fortunate to have a driver as experienced and respected as Jeff Burton come available,” said team co-owner Rob Kauffman in a statement. “He will be able to have an immediate impact as we continue to strive for that last one percent that separates champions from contenders.”
Burton will test until late January 2014 for MWR full-time driver Brian Vickers, who continues to recover from a blood clot in his leg that knocked him out of competition back in October.
“These are great people who have dedicated themselves to become winners at the highest level,” Burton said of his new team at MWR. “[Team co-owner] Michael [Waltrip] and Rob are so committed to success and I wanted to be a part of that.
“I’m excited to do something new and will work hard to help the other two teams compete for wins and a championship.”
Additional 2014 events for Burton, who recently surpassed 1,000 career NASCAR national series starts and has won 21 Cup races, will be announced “in the coming weeks” according to MWR.
Shortly after the announcement, Vickers expressed his happiness over Burton’s decision to join his squad on Twitter: