Monday, December 2, 2013

Jeff Burton lands a ride for the 2014 NASCAR season

   NASCAR veteran Jeff Burton has landed at least a part-time ride for the 2014 Sprint Cup Series season.

   Michael Waltrip Racing announced on Monday it has contracted Burton to test and drive in a select number of races during the 2014 season in the No. 66 Toyota. Burton, a 21-time winner in the Cup series, will participate in next week's NASCAR test at Charlotte Motor Speedway for MWR.

   In addition, Burton will also test in place of Brian Vickers in the No. 55 Toyota in January at Daytona. Vickers is on medical leave until the end of January. Burton's first race in the No. 66 is scheduled for March 9 at Las Vegas.

   In the upcoming weeks, MWR will announce any other events added to Burton’s schedule.

   Team co-owner Rob Kauffman said Burton will help MWR both on and off the track. 

   “Michael Waltrip Racing has two teams and drivers racing for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship in 2014 and our third team will play a very important role in that pursuit,” said Kauffman.

   “We were extremely fortunate to have a driver as experienced and respected as Jeff Burton come available. He will be able to have an immediate impact as we continue to strive for that last one percent that separates champions from contenders.”

   Burton said he relishes his new role.

   “I’ve heard all good things from the drivers who raced at MWR over the last couple of years and I certainly have seen how fast their cars have been,” he said. "These are great people who have dedicated themselves to become winners at the highest level. Michael and Rob are so committed to success and I wanted to be a part of that. I’m excited to do something new and will work hard to help the other two teams compete for wins and a championship.”

NASCAR Champion's Week set to get underway in Las Vegas

   NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week kicks off Tuesday for its fifth installment in Las Vegas.

   Four days of glitz and fan activities with the 13 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers is scheduled, culminating Friday with the feting of six-time champion Jimmie Johnson and his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team at the Wynn Las Vegas. 

   Coverage of the awards takes place Friday at 9 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 2 and streamed live on beginning at 8 p.m. ET. Radio coverage on MRN affiliates and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio is scheduled to begin at 8 ET. 

   Other events this week:

   Tuesday -- "NASCAR Live" with Eli Gold will host Johnson in an hour-long, audience-participation radio show from 7-8 p.m. ET at the Wynn Sports Book. The Motorsports Marketing Forum presented by SportsBusiness Daily/Global/Journal also kicks off for the first of two days, providing a comprehensive look at the business of the NASCAR industry.

   Wednesday -- The red carpet will be out for all 13 Chase drivers in the Fanfest presented by Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Beginning at 4:30 pm ET at the Fremont Street Experience, the drivers will engage in a game-show style face-off with a prize of two tickets to the Friday night awards banquet available for fans.

   Thursday -- One of the busiest days of the week in Vegas begins with the annual NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon. The awards ceremonies are followed by NASCAR Victory Lap at 6:30 pm ET when the top 10 Chase drivers will offer a taste of the race-day experience with burnouts and a rumbling drive down Las Vegas Boulevard. "NASCAR After the Lap" concludes the day at the Palms Hotel & Casino with an offbeat, unfiltered roundtable involving every Chase driver. Fans can watch NASCAR Victory Lap and NASCAR After the Lap live on

   Friday -- Johnson and the rest of the top 10 drivers in the final Sprint Cup Series standings will be honored, marking the official close of the 2013 season.