Michael Waltrip Racing, NBC hire Jeff Burton

By Alex Jordan,

Jeff Burton will drive part-time for Michael Waltrip Racing in 2014 the team announced on Monday.

In addition to running a partial schedule, Burton will also test for the team. He is scheduled to participate in the NASCAR test at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Dec. 9 as well as Preseason testing at Daytona in January. Burton will drive for MWR’s third team, the number 66 car, and be teammates to MWR’s full-time teams of Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers. On Tuesday, Burton said that he would probably run between six to fourteen races, according to NASCAR.com. His deal with MWR is a one-year deal.

"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," Burton said. "These are great people who have dedicated themselves to become winners at the highest level. Michael and Rob [Kauffman] are so committed to success and I wanted to be a part of that."

Burton, who won 21 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, announced earlier this year that he wouldn’t be returning to Richard Childress Racing, even though he had one year left on his contract. Ryan Newman will replace Burton at RCR.

MWR wasn’t the only one to hire Burton this week. On Tuesday, NBC hired Burton to be one of its analysts when it returns to NASCAR in 2015. NBC previously covered NASCAR from 2001 to 2006. NBC Sports executive producer Sam Flood said that Burton will contribute to NASCAR programming on NBC Sports Network in addition to his MWR duties in 2014, according to the Associated Press.

"Jeff Burton was always the first person we would seek out when there was breaking news or an issue that needed to be covered throughout our previous contract with NASCAR, so he was the first person we called for this role," Flood said. "His insights, keen observations and many trophies have earned the respect of everyone involved with the sport. He will be an outstanding analyst, and has everyone here looking even more forward to getting started."

In 2015 Burton will be committed to NBC.

"This is an exciting new challenge and I am thrilled to be joining the NBC Sports family,” Burton said about his NBC job. "I will prepare for each race as if I were driving in it, and I look forward to sharing my experience, views and insights with all the dedicated and passionate NASCAR fans."

In July, NBC got exclusive rights to the final 20 Sprint Cup Series races, the final 19 Nationwide Series races, select NASCAR Regional and Touring Series events, and other live content starting in 2015 and going through 2024. On Wednesday NBC announced that Rick Allen, who calls the NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series races on Fox Sports 1, will be their play-by-play announcer.
Burton, who is known as “The Mayor” in the garage, should do well in his tv role.

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