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Mar 28, 2014 - 05:43 AM
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Sponsor Returns For Burton's Thorsport Martinsville Debut
Posted by: newsla on Mar 28, 2014 - 05:38 AM
NASCAR News
Sponsor Returns For Burton's Thorsport Martinsville Debut


Bolstered by ThorSport Racing teammates that finished one-two a year ago , local favorite Jeb Burton hopes to score a breakthrough win in his No. 13 VAMP/VaporBrands International, Inc. Toyota Tundra Saturday in the Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway.

 

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In the 2013 Kroger 250 ThorSport scored its third career one-two finish as Johnny Sauter -- who tied NASCAR national series history by winning the first two events last season -- finished first ahead of 2013 drivers' champion Matt Crafton.

Burton, who made his ThorSport debut last month at Daytona, won his first career pole last March at Martinsville in his seventh career start and finished a Martinsville career-best third -- a result he matched in October at his home track.

Burton made his Truck Series debut at Martinsville in March 2012 and qualified seventh before finishing 13th. His 28th career start came in his ThorSport debut, at Daytona and he steered his way through some typical Daytona on-track melees to finish seventh.

"Having VaporBrands and its VAMP e-cig colors back on our Tundra at Martinsville is a big deal for me and ThorSport because of the way our organization runs there and the incredible fan support I have at my home track," said Burton, a native of nearby Halifax, Va. "We're looking forward to getting our short-track Tundra out there and showing everyone what we can do with it."

Because two of the drivers that finished in front of him are not registered for points in the NCWTS, Burton heads to Martinsville fifth in the championship. That's three positions behind Sauter, who was third at Daytona and five spots in front of Crafton, who finished 13th.

"I'm coming to Martinsville with a new team and a new crew and we have to get our notebooks on the same page, if you will," Burton said recently. "But ThorSport as an organization has a great track record here, and that counts for a lot, too.

"Johnny and Matt were one-two last year and I finished third, so I think I can lean on their expertise here and with my experience, going back to the Late Model Stock Car days, I hope I can help lift up the whole organization a little bit because this is short-track racing, and that's what I was brought up on."

ThorSport is still trying to locate additional sponsorship for Burton to enable his team to potentially run the full, 22-race schedule. Burton finished fifth in the 2013 championship, the highest-placed rookie contender, but was second in the Truck Series' Rookie of the Year race.

"Mr. and Mrs. Thorson (Duke and Rhonda, team owners) have given me a great opportunity and I appreciate everything they've done for me and my family,:" Burton said. "We're doing everything we can to find additional sponsorhip and the most important thing is for us to keep running good.

"Dennis (Connor, three-time NCWTS champion crew chief) and the guys have been working hard on our Tundras and I have no doubt the piece we unload at Martinsville will be a good one. It's huge for me to come to my home track fifth in points, with a brand-new race team -- that's like a win already."

Burton, who as a rookie won the Truck Series' season-long Keystone Light Pole Award by winning seven poles, also won his first truck race, in his 12th career start, at Texas Motor Speedway last June.

"We feel like we can make this VAMP / VaporBrands Tundra competitive pretty quickly," Burton said. "We're looking forward to this new (group) qualifying format and more than anything, I just can't wait for the green flag."

After opening inspection on Thursday afternoon, Martinsville's Truck weekend's on-track activity opens with extra practice time on Friday. The trucks hit the track from 9 - 11:45 a.m. ET and for final practice from 3 - 4:25 p.m. The latter session will be televised live on FOX Sports 1.

Burton is scheduled to represent ThorSport at a public driver autograph session outside the Martinsville ticket office from 5-6 p.m. Friday.

The Truck Series' inaugural -- since Daytona's qualifying session was rained-out --
multi-segment, elimination-style group Keystone Light Pole Qualifying session to set the 36-truck starting lineup is Saturday at 11:10 a.m., again with live coverage on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 11.

Saturday's 250-lap, 131.5-mile main event will be telecast live on FOX Sports 1 at 2:30 p.m. ET. The live broadcast on MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio begins with pre-race coverage at 2. Live timing & scoring for the weekend's events will be at www.nascar.com.

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