Ward Burton

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Ward Burton
Ward Burton 1997.jpg
Burton in 1997
Born (1961-10-25) October 25, 1961 (age 52)
South Boston, Virginia, U.S.
Achievements 2002 Daytona 500 Winner
2001 Southern 500 Winner
Led Busch Series in poles in 1993
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
375 race(s) run over 13 year(s)
Best champ.
9th (1999)
First race 1994 Pontiac Excitement 400 (Richmond)
Last race 2007 Subway 500 (Martinsville)
First win 1995 AC Delco 400 (Rockingham)
Last win 2002 New England 300 (Loudon)
Wins Top tens Poles
5 82 7
NASCAR Nationwide Series career
161 race(s) run over 10 year(s)
Best champ.
6th (1993)
First race 1990 Pontiac 200 (Richmond)
Last race 2007 Carfax 250 (Michigan)
First win 1992 Goodwrench 200 (Rockingham)
Last win 1993 Slick 50 300 (Atlanta)
Wins Top tens Poles
4 50 7
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
1 race(s) run over 1 year(s)
Best champ.
59th (2012)
First race 2012 NextEra Energy Resources 250 (Daytona)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 1 0
Statistics current as of April 17, 2013.

John Edward Burton III, better known as Ward Burton (born October 25, 1961 in South Boston, Virginia) is an American stock car racing driver. He is on staff at Turner Scott Motorsports as a driver coach for the team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Burton has five career wins in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, including the 2002 Daytona 500. He is the older brother of fellow NASCAR driver Jeff Burton and the father of Jeb Burton. In addition to his racing, he currently operates the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation, a conservation and sportsmans' organization.

Busch career[edit]

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 10 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 10 Top-10 finishes, ending up in 6th place in the final points standings.

In 1995, Burton 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.

Burton did not start another Busch Series race until 1999 when he ran 5 more races for Bill Davis with sponsorship from Siemens. He accumulated 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, Burton 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 Burton would drive the No. 27 Kleenex Ford Fusion in the 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 late in the season.

Cup career[edit]

1997 MBNA racecar
Burton's crew working on his 2004 car
Ward Burton's #4 car in 2007


Burton moved up to the Winston Cup Series (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 started in the top fifteen of the Daytona 500. For the entire race he drove up towards the lead but during a red flag period was in second place. However Burton took the lead of the field during the red flag when the dominant driver who was on his way to victory, Sterling Marlin climbed out of his car to try to fix the fender of his car during the red flag, drawing a penalty as repairs are prohibited under red flag conditions under NASCAR rules. With Marlin sent to the back of the field for a restart, Burton inherited the lead and took the victory.[1]

He also won the New England 300 at Loudon, New Hampshire, but due to numerous mechanical failures, he fell to 25th in the standings. Another highlight of the year was a wreck at Bristol where Burton threw his brakepads at Dale Earnhardt, Jr. for wrecking him in turn 3 late in the race.

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 Pontiac 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 as a free agent. 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, posting a best place finish of 14. 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.

Following his release Burton did not officially retire; however, it was not until 2012 that he returned to NASCAR, signing with Hillman Racing to run in the season-opening Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona International Speedway, as well as selected races later in the year as a teammate to his son Jeb.[2]

Burton joined Turner Scott Motorsports as a driver coach for the team starting in 2013, where he assists with driver development for the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series teams.

Virginia Board of Game and Inland Fisheries[edit]

Burton (left) in 2007

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

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.

Further achievements in conservation[edit]

  • 2008 - The Governor's Environmental Excellence Award
  • Honorary co-leader of the Virginia Natural History Museum in Martinsville fundraising efforts
  • Partner with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to create awareness for the need to protect and create additional wetlands in America.
  • Involved with the 4-H clubs in Alabama and Virginia through PSAs and assisting 4-H clubs to conduct wildlife enhancement programs on Foundation land.

Personal life[edit]

Burton and his wife, Tabitha, have three children -- John Edward IV (Jeb), Sarah, and Ashton. He owns several hundred acres of hunting land in rural Virginia close to his hometown.

Motorsports career results[edit]


Daytona 500 Results[edit]

Year Manufacturer Start Finish Team
1994 Chevrolet DNQ Dillard
1995 Chevrolet 21 15 Dillard
1996 Pontiac 13 26 Davis
1997 Pontiac 17 8 Davis
1998 Pontiac 9 25 Davis
1999 Pontiac 18 24 Davis
2000 Pontiac 6 8 Davis
2001 Dodge 10 35 Davis
2002 Dodge 19 1 Davis
2003 Dodge 17 38 Davis
2004 Chevrolet 19 17 Haas/CNC

Camping World Truck Series[edit]


  1. ^ "Marlin's tale confirms weird ending of Great American Race". CNN-Sports Illustrated. February 17, 2002. Retrieved 2013-03-20. 
  2. ^ Fellin, Billy (January 26, 2012). "Ward Burton returns to race at Daytona". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Richmond, Virginia. Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  • The Unauthorized NASCAR Fan Guide 1998-99, by Bill Fleischman and Al Pearce (1999)
  • wardburton.com

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Michael Waltrip
Daytona 500 Winner
Succeeded by
Michael Waltrip
Preceded by
Bobby Labonte
Southern 500 Winner
Succeeded by
Jeff Gordon