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
Scott Dixon wins the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship
 
Monday Racing Roundup: What A Finish! Dixon Wins Race, Title On Tiebreak
Juan Pablo Montoya entered the 85-lap GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma with a 34-point cushion on second-place Graham Rahal and 47-point lead on Scott Dixon. But it was Dixon, who started ninth in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, who departed Wine Country with the title. Dixon won for the second consecutive year at Sonoma Raceway, and claimed the title on a tiebreaker with three race wins to Montoya's two wins.
Read More
Matt Kenseth
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Kenseth Maintains JGR Hot Streak at Michigan
The Coors Light polesitter for Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Kenseth quickly exhibited his mastery of the high-drag aerodynamic package, leading 146 of 200 laps in winning for the third time this season, the third time at Michigan and the 34th time in his career.
Read More
Graham Rahal
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Rahal Thrills Ohio Fans, Inches Closer to Montoya
Rahal's surge in the second half of the Verizon IndyCar Series season continued with his second win in five weeks. Rahal, who started 13th in the 90-lap race in the No. 15 Steak 'n Shake Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, closed to nine points of Verizon IndyCar Series championship front-runner Juan Pablo Montoya with two races left in the season. There are 10 entries mathematically eligible for the title.
Read More
Kyle Busch
 
Reorder 2016 Tickets Now to Get Special Deals for Crown Royal Presents the "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 at the Brickyard
As a special thank you to the world’s greatest race fans, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is offering special pricing for selected days to those who reorder their 2016 Crown Royal Presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard tickets by Monday, Aug. 10.
Read More
Sherwin-Williams
 
Sherwin-Williams Joins IMS, INDYCAR as Official Partner in Multi-Year Agreement
Sherwin-Williams, an industry leader in paint and coatings, will serve as the Official Paint and Finishing Partner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, INDYCAR, the Verizon IndyCar Series, Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard as part of a multi-year partnership agreement.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 646
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
RT @IndyCar: Congrats to @scottdixon9, @CGRindycar and @TeamChevy on an incredible year! #INDYCAR http://t.co/WuycH06ose
about 9 hours ago