NASCAR driver Jeb Burton, in partnership with Puryear Tank Lines, will pay homage to the iconic Lockheed P-38 Lightning “Pudgy” in this weekend’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Pocono. The tribute scheme, representing the heritage of Major Thomas McGuire Jr., will be featured on the Jordan Anderson Racing Bommarito Autosport car.
Major Thomas McGuire Jr., a Medal of Honor recipient and the second-highest-scoring ace of World War Two flew the Lockheed P-38 Lightning extensively in the Pacific theater. To honor his legacy, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, located nearby in Wrightstown, New Jersey, named after him, installed a P-38 with matching colors and markings as the “gate guardian.”
The Lockheed P-38 Lightning “Pudgy” tribute scheme on Jeb Burton’s car represents the five different aircraft flown by Major Thomas McGuire Jr., each bearing the name “Pudgy.” This is symbolized by the ‘V’ marking prominently displayed on the car. Major McGuire tragically lost his life in action on January 7th, 1945, while serving in the Philippines.
In a demonstration of unwavering support for the military community, Puryear Tank Lines, a long-standing partner of NASCAR and committed supporter of the men and women in the U.S. military, proudly sponsors Jeb Burton. Since its establishment in 1959, Puryear has fostered relationships with veteran-owned and operated businesses, exemplifying their dedication to those who have served.
Puryear Tank Lines, owned and operated by former drivers, specializes in bulk tank delivery and prioritizes the needs of their drivers. Their commitment to Safety, Growth, Reliability, and Customer Satisfaction aligns seamlessly with the values of NASCAR. Puryear Racing events offer exclusive access to drivers, highlighting their exceptional care for those in the racing community.
Accompanying the Lockheed P-38 Lightning “Pudgy” tribute scheme, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst will have Airmen present at the race. Additionally, a KC-46 Pegasus aircraft, with the callsign “Pudgy,” will grace the skies above the track, further honoring the legacy of Major McGuire.
Jordan Anderson Racing Bommarito Autosport, co-owned by Jordan Anderson and John Bommarito, represents the #27 and #31 Chevrolet Camaros in NASCAR Xfinity Series. Founded in 2017, the team is driven by a tight-knit group of employees, fans, and sponsors who value integrity and strive for excellence both on and off the track. With the unwavering support of their partners, the team aims to embrace the challenges they face and persist in their pursuit of success.
By combining their forces, Jeb Burton, Puryear Tank Lines, and Jordan Anderson Racing Bommarito Autosport aim to create a lasting tribute to the heroic achievements of Major Thomas McGuire Jr. and his Lockheed P-38 Lightning “Pudgy.” This collaboration embodies the spirit of honor, dedication, and perseverance that resonates with fans, sponsors, and the racing community at large.
Growing up as the son of NASCAR legend, Ward Burton, it was only natural that going fast was all Jeb Burton had ever known. In 2008, Burton began his professional racing career at the age of 16 in what was known as the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at South Boston Speedway. Close to his hometown of Halifax, Virginia, Burton continued to move up in competition at South Boston Speedway to drive in the Late Model Series, where he earned Rookie of the Year honors.
2012 marked the year that Burton moved into one of NASCAR’s premier series, as he made his first start in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The following year, he competed in his first full season and earned his first win at Texas Motor Speedway, as well as seven pole awards, five top-five and 11 top-10 finishes.
Burton recorded only two starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) before making his NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) debut in 2015 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He went on to make 33 NCS starts and 109 NXS starts between 2013 and 2022, with his first Xfinity win coming in the spring race at Talladega in 2021.
2023 will mark Burton’s third full season in the NXS, as he competes for a championship with Jordan Anderson Racing Bommarito Autosport.
Away from the race track, Burton enjoys hunting, fishing and the outdoors. His love for conservation and land management led to the creation of “Crossroads with the Burtons”, an outdoor series featured on the Sportsman Channel highlighting the life of the outdoorsman and NASCAR driver.