User ID
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Betting Tools

Burton will race part time in 2014

New customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Jeff Burton will become the sixth driver to make 1,000 NASCAR national series starts when he competes this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. He plans to add to his total next season, but isn't saying where.

''I feel that I know what I'm going to be doing, it's just you all don't,'' Burton said Friday.

The 46-year-old Burton has been one of NASCAR's most respected drivers during a career that's spanned three decades.

He will likely gear back next season after an eight-year run with Richard Childress Racing this year. Burton says he has some plans in place in place for next season and is still working out details for the rest of 2014.

''I will be involved in the sport,'' he said. ''There is a place for me. I want to be here. I feel like I can contribute, so I would be surprised if five years from now, I wasn't still involved in the sport.''

Burton has taken his time to sort out what he will do in 2014 and beyond. It will include some part-time racing, but beyond that he wouldn't elaborate.

''Some things have taken a little longer than I thought they would take and some of that is because of me,'' he said. ''Some of that is because I slowed some stuff down and wanted to really think about it, some of it is because some situations have popped up that weren't there a little bit ago. I feel very confident.''

Burton was one of NASCAR's elite drivers in the late 1990s, winning six races in 1999 and four more in 2000. He wasn't able to maintain that pace, though, particularly after moving to RCR in 2008.

Four of Burton's 21 Sprint Cup victories have come with RCR and he is winless since taking the checkers twice in 2008. He has missed the Chase each of the past three seasons and enters this weekend's race 19th in the season standings.

Still, Burton believes he still can be a competitive driver as he closes in on 50.

Race car drivers don't hit an expiration date like athletes in most of the other major sports. Mark Martin is still racing in the Sprint Cup Series at 54 and James Hylton just called it a career at 79 this year.

''To me, it's about what you are willing to give up to be in this sport,'' Burton said. ''I think what happens is the older you get, the more thing matter. Racing still means a lot to me, but for me to sit here today and say it means the same thing to me that it means when I had a daughter getting ready to go to college, a son that is racing, those things do play a role.''

With Burton likely cutting back and fellow elder statesman Martin and Bobby Labonte still yet to announce their plans, NASCAR could be reaching the end of an era that bridged four decades, starting with Martin's debut in 1981.

Labonte won the 2000 Sprint Cup championship and has 21 victories in the top series. Martin has 40 Sprint Cup victories and finished runner-up in the season championship five times, the last in 2009.

''If you look back at it, it was destined to come,'' driver Ryan Newman said. ''There's going to be some waves of that happening and I think those guys are definitely proud of their careers and the things they've accomplished. Someday, I'll probably be making the same announcement. I think at this point in the season is where it all becomes kind of vocal.''

Whatever the future holds for Burton, he's satisfied with where he's been.

''When I was 7 years old, I wanted to be a race car driver. I'm 46 and a race car driver. I've just really been blessed,'' he said. ''The cool thing is I've met so many people and experienced so many things that I never would have been able to do. To be able to compete for a living is a cool thing.''

And he gets to keep doing it, at least for a little while longer.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

NASCAR's Kyle Larson becomes a father
Ex-NASCAR racer pleads guilty in chase
Ecclestone trying to revive African GP
Kid Rock to perform at Daytona 500
Probe begins into 2012 Valencia F1
Wallace signs with Roush Fenway
Ganassi sets lineups for Rolex 24
Bernie Ecclestone back on F1 board
Kurt Busch says he told ex to leave
MORE HEADLINES Gold Membership
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
2014 VI College Bowl Betting Guide