Veteran driver Jeff Burton will drive for Michael Waltrip Racing in 2014, the team announced Monday. Burton, a 21 time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winner will drive the team's third entry in 2014. The car will be numbered 66 and Burton will run his first scheduled race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March.
Burton will also test Michael Waltrip Racing's #55 Toyota at Charlotte in December subbing for Brian Vickers who is out due to blood clots. Co-owner Rob Kauffman commented on the situation.
“Michael Waltrip Racing has two teams and drivers racing for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship in 2014 and our third team will play a very important role in that pursuit,” said Kauffman. "We were extremely fortunate to have a driver as experienced and respected as Jeff Burton come available. 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 has run the last nine seasons for Richard Childress Racing and won four races for the organization in those nine seasons. He is coming off a season in which he finished 20th in the series point standings.
“I’ve heard all good things from the drivers who raced at MWR over the last couple of years and I certainly have seen how fast their cars have been,” said Burton. “These are great people who have dedicated themselves to become winners at the highest level. Michael 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.”
Burton has made 691 career starts driving for RCR, Roush Fenway Racing and Stavola Brothers Racing. The South Boston, Virginia native is known as one of the classiest drivers in the sport and will provide stability to the organization. Additional races on Burton's schedule will be announced at a later date.
The team also announced that two time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip will drive the #66 Toyota at the Daytona 500 in February. The number of this third team has changed from 56 most likely to get away from the negatives that came from the Martin Truex Jr and NAPA Auto Parts fallout in 2013.
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