Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

December 2, 2013

Burton hired as test driver for MWR

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Michael Waltrip Racing has hired Jeff Burton as a test driver, with the possibility of running a partial Sprint Cup schedule in 2014.

The team will field the No. 66 Toyota for Burton at Las Vegas in March. Additional races for Burton could be scheduled at a later date.

Co-owner Michael Waltrip is scheduled to drive the car in the season-opening Daytona 500.

MWR said Monday Burton will drive the No. 55 during testing the next two months as Brian Vickers continues treatment for blood clots.

MWR scaled down to two cars for 2014 when sponsor NAPA Auto Parts said it was leaving in the wake of a race manipulation scandal at Richmond in September. Martin Truex Jr. has left the team for Furniture Row Racing.

Owens joins Petty team

Richard Petty Motorsports has hired Trent Owens to crew chief Aric Almirola in 2014.

Owens is a longtime Nationwide Series crew chief and the nephew of Richard Petty. His hiring Monday for the No. 43 Ford is his first full-time crew chief job in the Sprint Cup Series.

Owens replaces Todd Parrott, who was fired in October when he failed a random NASCAR drug test.

Owens has won five Nationwide races with five different drivers. He spent last season as crew chief for Kyle Larson at Turner Motorsports.

 

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