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SoVaNow.com / February 03, 2014South Boston’s Jeb Burton, widely hailed as an up-and-coming driver in the NASCAR ranks, is scrambling for a ride this season in the wake of his race team’s decision to dramatically scale back due to sponsorship troubles.
Turner Scott Motorsports, which fielded Burton in his debut season on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, announced Friday that primary sponsor, Arrowhead, has defaulted on its payment to the team and will no longer be a sponsor.
As a result, TSM is dropping the No. 4 Chevrolet truck despite Burton’s fifth place finish in the NCWTS standings in 2013. As a rookie, the 21-year-old son of former Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton captured seven pole positions and a victory at Texas Motor Speedway.
The decision comes with NASCAR’s 2014 opening in Daytona just weeks away.
“Really hard time for my team and my family. My future is unclear right now, but we’re doing everything we can to be on the track in 2014,” Jeb Burton said in a Twitter post about the situation.
The loss of the primary sponsor will also mean a reduction of staff at the team’s Mooresville, N.C. facility, of up to 20 percent, according to a release from Turner Scott Motorsports.
“The breakout success of Jeb Burton and the entire No. 4 team in 2013 makes these decisions especially painful,” said team co-owner Harry Scott Jr. “However, we will do everything we can to put Jeb on the racetrack with our organization going forward.”
Added Jeb Burton in a statement issued by the team: “Obviously, these are tough circumstances for everyone involved, not just for me, but also for my teammates who are affected. I am working with Turner Scott Motorsports to identify any potential opportunities for me to get on the track this year.”
Turner Scott Motorsports expects to continue running two cars in the Nationwide series, one level below the NASCAR Sprint Cup, and a full-time truck for Ben Kennedy. Brandon Jones will drive a part-time truck entry.
“[Burton] is a great talent and has a great career ahead of him. Despite this setback, Turner Scott Motorsports remains strong overall and will compete for championships in both the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series,” said Scott in the team statement.
“We are extremely proud of the talent of our workforce here at TSM, and it is very difficult for us to lose anyone within our organization. We understand the way that this affects the lives of everyone involved, and we will do our best to assist in placement elsewhere in the sport,” said Scott.
Efforts by this newspaper to seek out officials with Arrowhead, based in South Boston, for comment about the situation this weekend were unsuccessful. Arrowhead, which markets e-cigarettes, is a subsidiary company of Cherokee Brands.
CommentsBad for Jeb since he was finally showing what he could do. Guess this proves that even glamour professions aren't recession-proof. Hope he has a backup plan.
- By powerhouse on 02 / 04 / 14
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