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Ward Burton

Ward Burton
Birthdate October 25, 1961
Birthplace 22px-Flag of the United States.png South Boston, Virginia
Car Team Unemployed
Previous Year 2004
Prev Cup Pos 32nd
Best Cup Pos 9th - 1999 (NEXTEL Cup)
Wins 5
Top Tens 82
Poles 7
First Race 1994 Pontiac Exceitement 400 (Richmond)
First Win 1995 AC-Delco 400 (Rockingham)
Last Win 2002 New England 300 (Loudon)
Awards 2002 Daytona 500 Winner

Ward Burton (born October 25, 1961) is an American NASCAR auto racer. Although he has been unemployed since 2004, he is frequently one of the first names mentioned when a car becomes available.

Early career

Ward graduated from Hargrave Military Academy. He also attended Elon College for 2.5 years.

Ward is the older brother of NASCAR driver Jeff Burton. The brothers were strong competitors at their hometown track: South Boston Speedway (SoBo).

Busch career

Ward 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.

Ward's third season in 1992 brought his first win on February 29 at Rockingham, North Carolina 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.

Cup career

He moved up to Winston Cup in 1994. He ran 26 of 31 races in the #31 Hardees Chevy for Alan Dillard, Jr.

He returned to the #31 ride in 1995. He moved to the #22 Bill Davis Racing MBNA Pontiac after 21 races where he became more successful. The new combination scored a fourth place finish in their second race. Ward won the AC-Delco 400 at Rockingham in the third last race of the season.

The next several years would show slow improvement from 33rd to 16th in the final points standings.

Burton's crew working on his 2004 car

Caterpillar became the new primary sponsor for the car in 1999. 1999 began the peak of Burton's career. He finished ninth in the final points standings with 16 Top 10 finishes in 34 races.

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. This was his last win in a Pontiac, as BDR switched to Dodges the following season.

In 2001 he won the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Speedway and had 10 Top 10 finishes to finish 14th in the final points standings. The win was Dodge's second in its return to NASCAR (Dodge would go on to win 4 races- Sterling Marlin, who'd won previously at Michigan, won the fall race at Lowe's Motor Speedway and Bill Elliott won the season's third to last race at Homestead-Miami Speedway).

In 2002 he began the season by winning the prestigious Daytona 500. He also won the New England 300 at Loudon, New Hampshire. The rest of his season didn't go as well, and he finished 25th in the final points 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 car for owner Gene Haas. He finished the season 21st in the final points standings.

In 2004 Burton raced the #0 car to 3 Top 10 finishes. He was released from the team with two races left in the season. He hasn't raced in NASCAR since.

During his racing career, Burton worked with performance scientist and consultant Dr. Jacques Dallare, on physical and mental testing and to improve conditioning.


History

Year # Sponsor Make
1994-95 31 Hardees Chevrolet Lumina / Chevrolet Monte Carlo
1996-98 22 MBNA Pontiac
1999-2000 22 Caterpillar Pontiac
2001-2003 22 Caterpillar Dodge
2004 0 Netzero Chevy

Reference

  • The Unauthorized NASCAR Fan Guide 1998-99, by Bill Fleischman and Al Pearce (1999)

External links