Ward Burton

Ward Burton

Infobox NASCAR driver
Name = John Edward Burton III
Birthdate = birth date and age|1961|10|25 | Birthplace = South Boston, Virginia
Awards = 2002 Daytona 500 Winner
Cup_Car_Team = Not Currently Employed
Previous_Year = 2007
Prev_Cup_Pos = 47th | Best_Cup_Pos = 9th - 1999
Cup_Wins = 5
Cup_Top_Tens = 82
Cup_Poles = 7
First_Cup_Race = 1994 Pontiac Excitement 400 (Richmond)
First_Cup_Win = 1995 AC Delco 400 (Rockingham)
Last_Cup_Win = 2002 New England 300 (Loudon)
Last_Cup_Race = 2007 Subway 500 (Martinsville)
Busch_Car_Team = Not Currently Employed
Previous_Year = 2007
Prev_Busch_Pos = 40th | Best_Busch_Pos = 6th - 1993
Nationwide_Wins = 4
Nationwide_Top_Tens = 50
Nationwide_Poles = 7
First_Nationwide_Race = 1990 Pontiac 200 (Richmond)
First_Busch_Win = 1992 Goodwrench 200 (Rockingham)
Last_Busch_Win = 1993 Slick 50 300 (Atlanta)
Last_Busch_Race = 2007 Carfax 250 (Michigan)
Updated_On = January 29, 2008

John Edward Burton III (born October 25, 1961) is an American NASCAR auto racer, who has a total of five career Sprint Cup wins. He last drove the #4 State Water Heaters Chevrolet Impala SS for Morgan-McClure Motorsports in 2007. He is the older brother of fellow NASCAR driver Jeff Burton, whom he first competed against at their local short track, South Boston Speedway.

Busch career

Burton began his NASCAR Busch Series career in the 1990 season and competed full-time for four seasons. In his first season he had 23 starts with three Top-10 finishes, ending the season in 21st place. His results improved steadily over the next three years. For his second season, he had 29 starts with two Top-5 finishes and ten Top-10 finishes, completing the season in 18th place.

Burton's third season in 1992 brought his first win on February 29 at Rockingham in the number 27 Gwaltney car owned by Alan Dillard. He completed the season in 8th place overall with one win, three Top-5 finishes and 10 Top-10 finishes. His final full-time season in 1993 brought three more wins, nine Top-5 and ten Top-10 finishes, ending up in 6th place in the final points standings.

In 1995, Ward started driving for Buz McCall in the #95 Caterpillar, Inc. Chevrolet after John Tanner was released. He drove for Bill Davis Racing in 1996 for eight starts in the #22 MBNA Pontiac.

Ward did not start another Busch Series race until 1999 when he ran 5 more races for Bill Davis with sponsorship from Siemens. He acculumulated 3 top-5 and 5 top-10 finishes including a 2nd place finish at Dover International Speedway. He also ran one race for Innovative Motorsports and their #47 Chevrolet.

In 2000, Ward ran 5 more races for Davis with sponsorship from Polaris Industries and 1 race with Innovative Motorsports. He then ran 2 races in 2001 for Tommy Baldwin Jr.'s new team with Pillsbury sponsorship.

On January 2, 2007 Brewco Motorsports Inc. announced Ward Burton would drive the No. 27 Kleenex Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2007. Burton was to drive 20 races for Brewco Motorsports and Kleenex, beginning with the Orbitz 300 at Daytona International Speedway. He was released later in the season.

Cup career

Burton moved up to Winston Cup (now Sprint Cup) in 1994. He ran 26 of 31 races in the #31 Hardee's Chevy for Alan Dillard, Jr., winning his first career pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway and finishing thirty-fifth in standings. He returned to the #31 ride in 1995 but was released midway through the season. He moved to the #22 Bill Davis Racing MBNA Pontiac after 21 races where he won the AC-Delco 400 at Rockingham.

Caterpillar became the new primary sponsor for the car in 1999, where he picked up a ninth-place points finish. In 2000 he won the Mall.com 400 at Darlington Speedway and had 17 Top 10 finishes to finish 10th in the final points standings. Davis Racing switched to Dodge in 2001, when he won the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway and had 10 Top 10 finishes to finish 14th in the final points standings. In 2002 he began the season by winning the prestigious Daytona 500. He also won the New England 300 at Loudon, New Hampshire, but he fell to 25th in the standings. 2003 was a season of poorer finishes. He only had 4 Top 10 finishes, and he left Bill Davis Racing with five races left in the season to begin driving the #0 NetZero Chevy for Haas CNC Racing. He finished the season 21st in the final points standings.

In 2004 Burton raced Haas CNC Racing's NetZero HiSpeed #0 car to 3 Top 10 finishes, but was released from the team with two races left in the season. He spent the next two seasons unemployed. He returned to the SPRINT Cup series late in the 2006 season, driving the #4 Lucas Oil Chevrolet for Morgan-McClure Motorsports. His first race was the Subway 500 on October 22, 2006 at Martinsville Speedway. He started in 35th place and finished 26th, the last car on the lead lap. In his next driving opportunity, on November 5, 2006 at Texas Motor Speedway, he started in 37th place and finished 25th. On December 12, 2006 Ward signed with Morgan-McClure Motorsports to drive the #4 car full-time in 2007. In 2007, Ward's performance was lackluster, with not a single top ten finish recorded. On November 12, 2007, he was released from Morgan-Mcclure Motorsports so that the team could "evaluate performance". Morgan-McClure closed up shop shortly afterward. It is rumoured that he will not return to Sprint Cup racing.

Virginia Board of Game and Inland Fisheries

On November 1, 2005 then Virginia Governor Mark R. Warner appointed Burton to the Virginia Board of Game and Inland Fisheries.

As a resident of Halifax County, VA, Ward assumed the seat on the board for Virginia's 5th Congressional District that was formerly held by C. Wilson McNeely, IV, who resigned after six years of service.

Burton, an avid sportsman and conservationist, is the founder and president of The Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation, and he has been a spokesperson for Virginia's 34 state parks since 2003.

References

*"The Unauthorized NASCAR Fan Guide 1998-99", by Bill Fleischman and Al Pearce (1999)
* [http://www.wardburton.com/news/fisheries.htm wardburton.com] Today, the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation is partnering with Virginia Tech.

External links

* [http://www.wardburton.com/ Official web site]
* [http://www.racing-reference.info/driver?id=burtowa01 Drivers statistics at racing-reference.info]
* [http://www.taterracing.com/wardstats.htm Ward Burton statistics at TaterRacing.com]
* [http://www.twbwf.org/ The Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation]
* [http://support.nature.org/site/PageServer?pagename=wardburton_ed6 Ward Burton's thoughts on Earth Day 2006]
* [http://www.stateracing.com/ State Water Heaters Racing]


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