The Norman Transcript

Sports

June 13, 2013

Elliotts, Burtons make it family affair

NORMAN — Jeb Burton and Chase Elliott could have saved a stamp.

Turned out, the best spot to send Father’s Day cards in auto racing these days is Victory Lane.

Burton, the 20-year-old son of 2002 Daytona 500 winner Ward, raced to his first NASCAR Truck Series victory Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway. Elliott, the 17-year-old son of 1988 Cup champion Bill, followed the next day with a win in the ARCA Racing Series at Pocono Raceway.

Like fathers, like sons.

Bill Elliott won five times at Pocono in the Cup series. He was all smiles as he joined Chase at the podium to celebrate the special win.

“I autographed a picture from the last time I was in Victory Lane here in ‘02 and Chase was about this big,” Elliott said, holding his hand about waist high. “Now, 10 years later, here he is in Victory Lane himself in an ARCA car. He did a great job.”

Elliott and Burton won shortly after they were selected for this season’s NASCAR Next program. NASCAR Next, formerly known as Next9, highlights drivers between the ages of 15 and 24 who might one day star at the Nationwide or Sprint Cup level.

When Burton took the checkered flag, his father, who was spotting him from high above the high-banked, 11⁄2-mile track, told his son to do the burnouts he had always wanted to do.

“This is the most special moment in motorsports I’ve ever experienced, and I know it is for my family, too,” Ward Burton said. “This is huge. I can’t begin to tell you the trials and travails and all the sacrifices we’ve all made. I didn’t have the financial resources to give Jeb the kind of motorsports experience background that a lot of these guys have. He’s just driving off of pure raw talent. He doesn’t have the experience.”

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