The NASCAR Xfinity Series playoffs media day kicked off on Tuesday, Sept. 21, providing drivers to address the upcoming races on the schedule. Kaulig Racing’s Jeb Burton, however, faced questions about his 2022 plans and revealed that he is racing for his future.
Burton met with media members and explained that his father, Ward, has been putting in considerable time meeting with partners and discussing future opportunities. Burton acknowledged that the loss of a key sponsor is not ideal but further explained that he has an opportunity over the remaining schedule to prove that he is a contender in the Xfinity Series, just like he did with JR Motorsports in 2020 before landing a full-time ride with Kaulig Racing.
“I’ve been on the phone nonstop trying to figure it out,” Burton said about his contract situation during a closed media session on Tuesday, Sept. 21. “It’s definitely a unique situation. I’m not sure what my future holds right now, but we’re working hard on it every day. Right now, we’re focused on the playoffs. Need to go win some races — that’s not going to hurt anything — and try to win a championship.”
Burton added that the playoff schedule could feature “his last seven races” in the Xfinity Series. He does not know what his future holds, so he will only focus on achieving a different goal. Burton wants to go win some more trophies before the end of the season so he can reach Phoenix and the championship race.
Kaulig Racing Lost a Key Sponsor Ahead of the 2022 Season
One of Burton’s biggest sponsors for the 2021 season — his first full-time in Xfinity — has been Nutrien AG Solutions. The company sponsored Burton 11 times in the first 26 races, including a runner-up at Atlanta Motor Speedway. However, the relationship will come to an end after the 2021 season.
Jenna Fryer of the “Associated Press” reported on Sept. 17 that Nutrien AG will not expand with Kaulig Racing for the 2022 season. This decision will take away Burton’s primary sponsor and force the team to examine its options for the Xfinity Series lineup, especially with plans to add two Cup Series cars to the fold.
“It’s definitely been a difficult situation with everything that’s gone on with Nutrien AG Solutions,” Burton told media members. “I’ve enjoyed my time with them and felt like we’ve done a good job for them. Sometimes, in corporate America, things happen that are out of your control.
“We’re still going to have a relationship with Nutrien AG Solutions, I believe, and we’re working hard on that. [We’ll] see where that goes, but without them, I wouldn’t be in this position or with Kaulig Racing. I appreciate that.”
Burton Will Fight To Stack Points at Tracks Where He Has Past Success
The first round of the Xfinity Series playoffs will take place at two tracks where Burton has success in 2021 and another where he hasn’t competed. He placed 10th in the first race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and then won the rain-shortened race at Talladega Superspeedway on April 24.
While these first two races are sites of past success, Burton is actually looking ahead to some other dates on the schedule where he has contended. Specifically, he locked up a win at Texas Motor Speedway during his Truck Series career and performed well at a Virginia short track.
“Martinsville would be the other one that will probably set you up for Phoenix,” Burton said about the tracks he eagerly awaits visiting. “And that’s probably one of my best tracks. Some good tracks coming up for me. You know, at the road courses, I’ve ran really well during the races and got great stage points at all of the road courses. That’s a feather in our cap, and Kaulig Racing does a really good job on those race tracks.”