News & Multimedia

Brickyard Pioneers: Where are They Now? Ward Burton

Note: This is the fourth of a series about drivers who competed in the early years of the Crown Royal Presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard who no longer compete regularly in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

The inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994 was new to everybody, but it was “double new” to Ward Burton.

“It was just a huge honor to be at that facility,” Burton said. “’94 was my rookie year and to be involved with NASCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a real honor just to be a part of it.

“The biggest thing was that it was just a fabulous track to race on. When you went around the racetrack in a Pace Car and saw the number of fans …” His voice drifted off.

In all, Burton has started 12 of the 18 Brickyard 400s to date, with best finishes of a pair of sixths. He started on the front row in 2004, but 2002 Daytona 500 winner Burton has had his helmet off most of this season.

“I never officially retired,” he said. “I’m working on my son Jeb’s career. He’s 19, and I’m working feverishly to get him some support. I ran the truck at Daytona and finished eighth. Then he ran the next five races. He’s as good as anybody I’ve seen. He’d never been to a 1 ½-mile track before, went to Charlotte and finished eighth. For me, I could get my head back in the game real quick.”

One of those opportunities came up around the Indianapolis 500.

“I had a gentleman call me about it, and I was excited about doing it,” he said. “It turned out with my schedule to test it and all that it didn’t work. You have a lot of practice going on between Charlotte and Indy, and to give them both your best would be hard.”

From his home in Halifax, Va., Burton stays busy outside racing.

“I have a few businesses,” he said, “and the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation, which is 2,000 acres of the south side of Virginia. I shovel by hand, drive the tractor and use the chain saw when I need to. We have an endangered salamander, black bear and quail management. It’s a good model for conservation.

“We have a contract with the Army at Fort Pickett’s Army Training Facility to provide assistance to land owners to make easements around their 48,000 acres. On our acreage, we have shooting, fishing and archery competition.”

                                                          ***
Super Weekend tickets: Tickets are on sale now for the Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard on July 26-29 at IMS.

All ticket orders can be made at www.imstix.com and through the IMS Ticket Office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday. For more information, call the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area.

Children 12 and under will receive free general admission when accompanied by an adult with a Kroger Super Weekend ticket or general admission ticket.

Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Brickyard Pioneers: Where are They Now? Ward Burton
 
Brickyard Pioneers: Where are They Now? Ward Burton
The inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994 was new to everybody, but it was “double new” to Ward Burton.
Read More
Related Media
Jimmie Johnson
 
Johnson Clinches Seventh NASCAR Championship at Homestead
Jimmie Johnson earned the new nickname "Seven-Time" after winning the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which also earned him the 2016 Sprint Cup Series championship -- the seventh of his career. This came after a rough start to the day when Johnson was forced to start from the rear after unapproved adjustments to his car before the race.
Read More
Tony Stewart
 
Relive Tony Stewart's Victories at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Going into his final race this weekend at Homestead, Tony Stewart owns 49 NASCAR Sprint Cup wins. Among the most cherished to the Columbus, Indiana, native are – of course -- his two Brickyard 400 wins, in 2005 and 2007.
Read More
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
 
IMS End-of-Season Sale Set for Nov. 19
Fans can take advantage of the lowest prices of the season on their favorite Race Day apparel, souvenirs, diecasts and more on from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Media Center inside the famed oval. Discounted merchandise from the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, 100th Running of the Indy 500, Brickyard 400, Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational and the Red Bull Air Race will be included, with much more.
Read More
Veterans Day
 
Special Veterans Day Note from IMS President Doug Boles
Happy Veterans Day to all Veterans. On behalf of IMS fans everywhere, thank you for your service.
Read More
Jimmie Johnson
 
Johnson Scores Ninth Martinsville Win, Advances to Championship 4
Winless at the .526-mile short track since the spring race of 2013, Jimmie Johnson ended his “drought” on Sunday with a victory in the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 and earned a berth in the Championship 4 race, set for Nov. 20 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 711
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
50,000 spectators have been out to see #IMSLights at the Brickyard - Are you next?? https://t.co/6T7q9dxaea https://t.co/b80DD9zxPF
about 3 hours ago