AUSTIN, Texas: Jeb Burton was set to embrace his best NASCAR Xfinity Series finish of the season in Saturday afternoon’s Pit Boss 250 at Circuit of the Americas – but a late-race penalty handed down by NASCAR not only perhaps ruined Burton’s best outing ever on a road course but the pass-thru penalty triggered a very angered driver.
Quietly Burton in his No. 27 Our Motorsports Chevrolet had methodically used pit strategy and a well-balanced race car to maneuver himself inside the top-10 during Stage 3 – but as the laps counted down to the finish – Burton, the son of former NASCAR Cup Series winner Ward Burton found himself hunting not only a top-five effort but a shot at a $100,000 cash bonus in the qualifying race for this year’s Dash 4 Cash.
While battling with fellow Xfinity Series regular Jeremy Clements and Cup invader Cole Custer inside the top-five, NASCAR said on Lap 41 Burton cut the 20-turn course short in the esses when all four of his tires went beyond the rumble strips all at the same time.
Without the benefit of a caution, Burton was forced to give up his top-five track position and serve his controversial penalty on Lap 43. The penalty left just three laps for the Halifax, Va. native to fight and soldier on to a disappointing 23rd place finish after starting 20th.
After the race and taking a moment to collect his thoughts, Burton said his team possessed in-car camera footage that would exonerate them from their alleged violation.
“We should have finished third and got it taken away from us for no reason,” Burton told CATCHFENCE.com after the race. “I ran that line all day and we have an in-car camera to show it. Proud of my Our Motorsports guys – just hate they took the finish from us for no reason.”
What would have been his six straight top-20 finish of the year and likely first top-five of the 2022 Xfinity Series season left the former Xfinity Series winner his worst effort of the 2022 season and dropped him one position in the Xfinity standings from 15th to 16th ahead of the Apr. 2 Xfinity Series race at Richmond (Va.) Raceway.
Note: Jeb Burton drives one of three entries in the Xfinity Series for Cape Cod’s Chris and Mary Our who call Harwich, MA home.
(Photo Credit: Dylan Buell | Getty Images)