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Jeb Burton picks up first LMSC win

South Boston News
Jeb Burton won his first late model stock race at Ace Speedway Friday, June 3. / June 06, 2011
Jeb Burton finally has an answer for THE question which challenges all previously winless young racers.

Burton collected his first career win in late model action at Ace Speedway Friday night. The Halifax County driver showed an aggressive streak with the race outcome on the line.

"It was good," Burton said. "I was excited."

Burton won a 75-lapper at Ace, which currently does not have NASCAR sponsorship. But political connections and money - along with the right breaks and doors opening up - almost certainly will prove to be the most important factors for the breakthrough ride Burton hopes to land.

The second generation driver drove to victory after only his third start at Ace, located in Altamahaw, N.C.

Burton has been coming close at Ace lately. In recent appearances, he had a right rear tire go down in his first race. Then, Burton blasted from 13th to third in 20 laps, before he was spun out.

This time, Burton battled Dustin Rumley, who then passed Burton late in the show. Then, on the final lap, there was more contact, as Burton settled the matter. "I got a run on him coming off two, and I ran down into three pretty hard. He backed his corner up to get a run off, and I got into him. I meant to get into him, but I didn't mean to spin him out. He spun out.

"I didn't want to win like that but I'll take it," Burton said.

Burton's winless skid in late model is finally over.

"The team needed it. We've struggled a little bit," Burton said, who collected a $1,400 payday. He likes racing at Ace on a regular basis. "There's some tough competition, Barry Beggarly, Rodney Cook, Jason York."

Burton credited diligent, dedicated work from the shop personnel, including crew chief Neil Perkins, to help him win.

And there are others. Burton said, "Jeremy Ratliff has been a big inspiration in my racing career. I listen a lot to what he tells me, and he was spotting me (Friday) night."

Joey Throckmorton also handles spotting duties for Burton when he's available.

Burton said this win is a major confidence booster. "I feel like the first one's going to be the hardest. I feel like now we can go back to Ace and really start to win a lot of races. I'm pretty pumped up, I'm ready to go back."

Burton, now a recent graduate of Halifax County High School, led the final top five at Ace, with York second and Cook third. Beggarly was fourth, with Robert Turner fifth. Rumley was eighth in the 20-car field.

He is focusing on Ace right now, with the goal to win as many races as possible. Burton asserted the competition at Ace is plenty daunting at the moment.

Burton also plans to run the Martinsville all-star show. He believes he can qualify in the top ten again and try to win that event.

Burton has Twin 50s next time out at Ace, so he hopes to build a real winning streak. York continues to lead the points, with Beggarly and Cook tied for second.

Burton continues to enjoy excellent sponsorship. He's now working with a new sponsor, Kevin Jones Racing, who has come on board. Jeb's father, former NASCAR Sprint Cup regular Ward, has a business connection with Greensboro's Kevin Jones, whose uncle is Jerry Jones, the owner of the NFL Dallas Cowboys.

Burton, of course, hopes to crack NASCAR's major leagues. For now, he hopes to run some ARCA or NASCAR K&N Pro Series east events and move forward from there.

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