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Ward Burton

Full Name:
John Edward "Ward" Burton III
25th October 1961 (Age 59)
Danville, Virginia
Most recent race (in database):

The older of the Burton brothers raced in NASCAR’s top division for 13 years and counted the 2002 Daytona 500 among his five victories. Ward Burton competed at the local South Boston Speedway and other short tracks before racing in the Busch Series from 1990 – finishing sixth in his fourth and final full season in that second-tier championship.

Winston Cup graduation

He graduated to the Winston Cup in 1994 driving Dillard Motorsport’s Hardee’s Chevrolet. The highlight was pole position at Charlotte and he led the opening 29 laps before crashing in Turn 2. He switched to Davis Racing’s MBNA America Pontiac Grand Prix mid-1995 and ended the year by winning the AC Delco 400 at Rockingham’s North Carolina Motor Speedway.

The next three seasons saw Burton qualify on pole position on four occasions but results were hard to come by. The 1998 UAW-GM Quality 500 at Charlotte bucked that trend however as Burton finished second behind Mark Martin. He had a new sponsor for 1999 and it proved to be his best season in the championship. His Caterpillar Pontiac finished in the top five on six occasions (including three more second places) to end the year ninth in the points.

He returned to Victory Lane in the 2000 Mall.com 400 at Darlington before his team switched to Dodge Intrepids for the following season. He was a Darlington winner again that year when he beat Jeff Gordon in the autumn Mountain Dew Southern 500.

Victory at Daytona

The 2002 season began with Ward Burton’s greatest triumph when he took the lead of the Daytona 500 with just five laps to go. He held on that day to give Dodge its first success in the race since 1974 and won again in New Hampshire. That was Burton’s final NASCAR victory and he left Davis Racing in late-2003. The 2004 campaign in Gene Haas’s Chevrolet Monte Carlo proved disappointing and Burton was without a regular ride for a couple of seasons.

He returned in 2007 in Morgan-McClure Motorsport’s Chevy but failed to qualify as often as he raced and it has proved to be his last season to date. Although not officially retired from racing, he runs the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation today and is committed to conservation in his home state of Virginia.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
2007 Nextel Cup 47th 939
2006 Nextel Cup 53rd 252
2004 Nextel Cup 32nd 2929
2003 Winston Cup 21st 3550
2002 Winston Cup
Bill Davis Racing
2 0 2 2 25th 3362
2001 Winston Cup
Bill Davis Racing
1 0 1 1 14th 3846
2000 Winston Cup
Bill Davis Racing
1 0 1 1 10th 4152
1999 Winston Cup 9th 4062
1998 Winston Cup 16th 3352
1997 Winston Cup 24th 2987
1996 Winston Cup 33rd 2411
1995 Winston Cup
Bill Davis Racing
1 0 1 1 22nd 2926
1994 Winston Cup 35th 1971
1993 Winston Cup 91st 40