Jeff Burton, nicknamed 'The Mayor', is a former American stock car racing driver who recorded more than one thousand starts in all three NASCAR national series between 1988 and 2014, scoring 21 wins in the Cup Series and 27 wins in the Busch Series.
At Daytona 500, he was a pole-sitter once (in 2006) but his best result in the race was second place at 2000 Daytona 500. After becoming the 1994 Rookie of the Year, his season-best finish in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series was third place in 2000.
Jeffrey Tyler Burton was born on June 29, 1967, in South Boston, Virginia. He debuted in NASCAR Busch Series in 1988, driving the #64 Chevrolet/Oldsmobile owned by his father John Burton. After starting in five races in 1988, Burton expanded his participation to full season in 1989, driving the #12 Burton Motorsports Pontiac. He finished 13th in the points.
In 1990, Burton was driving the #12 Buick for Sam Ard. The first win in a career came in September at Martinsville Speedway. At the end of the season, Burton was 15th in the points. In the 1991 Busch Series season, Burton spent most of the season in the #99 J&J Racing Chevrolet, scoring one win and finishing 12thin the points.
In 1992, Burton joined FILMAR Racing to drive the #8 Oldsmobile. He reached the Victory Lane one time, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, to finish ninth in the points. It remained his career-best result in the Busch Series.
For the 1993 Busch Series season, FILMAR Racing and Burton replaced Oldsmobile with Ford. Burton was the race winner once, finishing 14th in the points at the end of the season.
Burton debuted in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in July 1993, driving the #0 Ford for FILMAR Racing at New Hampshire Speedway. He crashed out after 86 laps.
In 1994, Burton switched full-time to the Winston Cup Series, joining Stavola Brothers Racing to drive the #8 Raybestos-sponsored Ford. Burton's season-best result was the fourth place at Pocono. At the end of the season, finishing as the best among ten rookies. One of his rookie rivals was his brother Ward Burton. Jeff stayed one more season with Stavola Brothers, with fifth place at North Carolina Speedway as his best result.
In 1996, Burton left the Stavola Brothers to join Roush Racing. He was driving the #99 Exide Batteries-sponsored Ford. The first win for Roush Racing and his maiden Cup Series victory came in 1997 at Texas Motor Speedway. He added two more wins to the end of the season, finishing fourth in the points.
Two wins and eighteen top 5 finishes in 1998 put Burton on the fifth place in the final standings. In 1999, he was fifth in the points again, although he won six races during a season. He won two major races, the Coca-Cola 600 and Southern 500.
Jeff Burton reached a peak of his career in 2000, still driving the #99 Ford for Roush Racing. He finished second at Daytona 500, behind Dale Jarret. The first win came two rounds later at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Scoring four wins until the end of the season, Burton finished third in the Winston Cup Series standings, 289 points behind champion Bobby Labonte and just 24 points behind second-placed Dale Earnhardt.
Burton spent three more full seasons with Roush Racing, winning two times in 2001 and scoring no wins in 2002 and 2003. His sponsor CITGO PdVSA left the team at the end of 2003, so Burton started the 2004 season without a primary sponsor.
In the mid-season 2004, after eight and a half years with Roush Racing, Burton left the team. He signed a three-year contract with Richard Childress Racing. Until the end of the season, he was driving the #30 Chevrolet.
In 2005, he moved to the #31 Cingular Wireless-sponsored Chevrolet. In 2005, Burton's first full year with RCR, he had six Top 10s to finish 18th in the points.
The first victory in the #31 Chevrolet came at Dover 400 in 2006. That year, he won four pole positions, including his only pole at Daytona 500. At the end of the season, he was seventh in the points. One race victory and 8th-place finish were the results of the 2007 Nextel Cup Series season.
In 2008, Burton was the winner two times, at Bristol and Charlotte. The victory at Charlotte's Bank of America 500 was his last Cup Series win in a career. At the end of the season, he was sixth in the points, what was his best result with RCR.
Following the successful 2008 season, Burton spent five more years with Richard Childress Racing. He scored no wins between 2009 and 2013, collecting seventeen Top 5 finishes. In the penultimate race of the 2013 season, the AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, Burton celebrated his 1,000th NASCAR start in a career, as the sixth driver in NASCAR history to do so.
In September 2013, Richard Childress Racing announced that Burton would not be returning in 2014. It was actually the end of Burton's career, as he recorded only four more starts in 2014, two for Identity Ventures Racing and two for Stewart-Haas Racing. His last race was the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol in August 2014, where he replaced Tony Stewart.
Following his retirement from racing, Jeff Burton became a race analyst for NBC Sports, staying in the motorsport after more than 25 years of racing. Few more Burtons were involved or still are involved in racing. Jeff's older brother Ward (born 1961) retired at the end of 2007. The next generation of racers are Jeff's son Harrison and Ward's son Jeb.
Photos: Official Jeff Burton FB,