The driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Supra is throwing it back to the 2012 season. Harrison Burton will head to Kansas Speedway on October 23 for a NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff race (3 p.m. ET, NBC), and he will showcase a special scheme paying tribute to his father, Jeff Burton.
Joe Gibbs Racing tweeted out renderings of the scheme on Tuesday, October 19. The image also included Jeff’s iconic Caterpillar scheme on the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. The tribute is not an exact one-to-one recreation based on the color differences, but Burton will have the same black and red stripes on the No. 20 Toyota.
In addition to running a special tribute scheme, Burton will feature the name of a cancer hero above the driver’s side door of the No. 20. The No. 20 team will honor Kerry Stewart, a stage 4 colon cancer survivor, as part of a partnership with the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation.
“I’m looking forward to Kansas this weekend and trying to rebound from Texas last week,” Burton said in a press release from JGR. “I’ve always enjoyed racing at Kansas and think we have a good shot at coming home with a good finish on Saturday. Morton Buildings is back on our Supra this week and we are running a scheme that is similar to my dad’s 2012 iconic Caterpillar paint scheme which is pretty cool. We also have a cancer hero’s name on our car this weekend through the Martin Truex Jr foundation, so it’s the perfect weekend to get our first checkered flag of the season!”
Jeff Burton Partnered With Caterpillar for Several Years
The driver-turned-NBC Sports analyst spent several years working with Caterpillar, starting with the 2009 season. The heavy equipment company became his primary sponsor on the No. 31 Chevrolet for 33 of the 36 races in 2009 and continued to work with him through the end of the 2013 season, his last as a full-time driver in the Cup Series.
The No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet had multiple looks during Jeff’s time behind the wheel. Some featured arcing stripes as opposed to those with sharp lines while others had pink door numbers. Each scheme stood out on the track as Burton fought for top-five finishes.
The design that Burton will recreate debuted in 2012 and continued into the 2013 season. The look marked a significant departure for both Jeff and Caterpillar, and it turned heads during race weekends. Now a white and black version will head to Kansas and fight for the win.
The Tribute Scheme Includes Another Connection to Jeff
The placement of the stripes is not the only connection to Jeff and his NASCAR career. The sponsor, Morton Buildings, has its own relationship with the former driver and his 100-acre property in North Carolina.
Back in 2014, Morton Buildings completed construction on a massive horse barn for Jeff and Kim Burton. This 40′ x 12′ x 140′ facility took up 5,600 square feet and featured numerous state-of-the-art upgrades, including the Morton’s Energy Performer insulation system to account for the fluctuating temperatures and a special irrigation system attached to all 14 horse stalls to control water flow.
Jeff said at the time that he wanted a building that would be attractive from the road. Kim added that the barn provided a quiet, comforting environment for the horses, which would only help these “creatures of habit.”
Years later, Morton Buildings will partner with Jeff’s son for a special tribute scheme at Kansas Speedway. This sponsorship is less “six degrees of Jeff Burton” and more of a business deal, but it adds an interesting wrinkle to the race weekend at Kansas Speedway.
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