Race Weekend Central

2006 NASCAR Driver Review: Ward Burton

Ward Burton

2006 Ride: No. 4 Morgan-McClure Motorsports Chevrolet
2006 Primary Sponsor: Lucas Oil
2006 Owner: Larry McClure
2006 Crew Chief: Chris Carrier
Stats: 3 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s, 53rd in points

High Point: After a two-year absence, Burton made his long-anticipated return to Nextel Cup competition in October at Martinsville. He started the race from the 35th position and had an eventful day, falling two laps behind the leader and spinning after contact with another driver. With the aid of quick pit work, skillful driving and the Lucky Dog pass, however, Burton would persevere, finishing on the lead lap in 26th place.

See also
Frontstretch Breakdown: 2006 Subway 500 at Martinsville

Low Point: With the team buried deep in the owner standings, Burton had to make every race on speed. He did an admirable job until the final race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where Burton failed to qualify for the first time in four attempts with the team.

Summary: This is a case where the driver is far better than the equipment he is driving. While Burton didn’t set the world on fire, he completed all but two laps in his three Nextel Cup starts and acheived an average finishing position of 26th place, about where he should be with a single-car team searching for sponsorship.

2007 Outlook: Larry McClure and Ward Burton have an agreement, but not a signed contract, to keep Burton behind the wheel of the No. 4 car in 2007. Sponsorship announcements are rumored to be pending for early December. Funding will ultimately determine how far this team will go, and the team will find it tough sledding having to qualify on speed; but the performances of ’06 have proven Ward can still drive, so don’t count them out.

2006 Frontstretch Grade: C-

About the author

The Frontstretch Staff is made up of a group of talented men and women spread out all over the United States and Canada. Residing in 15 states throughout the country, plus Ontario, and widely ranging in age, the staff showcases a wide variety of diverse opinions that will keep you coming back for more week in and week out.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Share via