December 2, 2013 — Cornelius, NC — Michael Waltrip Racing announced today it has contracted Jeff Burton to test and drive in a select number of races during the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Burton will drive the renumbered #66 Toyota Camry, formerly piloted by Martin Truex Jr., for his 2014 campaign.
Burton, a 21-time winner in the Sprint Cup Series begins testing for MWR Dec. 9 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The first scheduled NASCAR Sprint Cup race for Burton will be the March 9 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In the upcoming weeks, MWR will announce any other events added to Burton’s schedule.
MWR will field the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry with driver Clint Bowyer and the #55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry with driver Brian Vickers full-time in 2014 in addition to Burton’s part-time ride. Burton will test for Vickers until late January when Vickers returns from medical leave.
Team Co-Owner Rob Kauffman said Burton will help MWR both on and off the track. “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 said he relishes his new role at MWR.
“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 the South Boston Va. native who has made 691 starts.
“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.”
Michael Waltrip will drive the #66 in the Daytona 500 on Feb. 23 as he seeks his third victory in the sport’s most prestigious event.
PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Graythen/Getty Images