Burton to join NBC Sports Network

jutter@charlotteobserver.comDecember 3, 2013 

NASCAR Texas Auto Racing

Jeff Burton reaches for fans during introductions for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Ralph Lauer)

RALPH LAUER — AP

NASCAR veteran Jeff Burton will get a jump start on his next career as he finishes up his current one.

On Tuesday, NBC Sports announced Burton will join its broadcast team as an analyst when the network becomes one of NASCAR’s TV partners in the 2015 season.

Burton, however, will begin work right away and contribute to NASCAR programming which will debut on NBC Sports Network in 2014. He will also run a partial schedule for Michael Waltrip Racing in the Sprint Cup Series and do testing for the organization.

“This is an exciting new challenge and I am thrilled to be joining the NBC Sports family,” Burton said in a statement. “I will prepare for each race as if I were driving in it, and I look forward to sharing my experience, views and insights with all the dedicated and passionate NASCAR fans.”

Burton is the first entry to fill what is expected to be a three-person booth for NASCAR broadcasts on NBC.

Rick Allen, who currently does play-by-play on Fox Sports 1 for NASCAR Truck series broadcasts, will be officially named this week to the same role for NBC, multiple sources confirmed.

In addition, NBC Sports is looking at a current Cup series crew chief to fulfill its third spot in the booth, sources said.

Sam Flood, executive producer of NBC Sports and NBCSN, said Burton was “the first person we called for this role.”

“His insights, keen observations and many trophies have earned the respect of everyone involved with the sport,” Flood said. “He will be an outstanding analyst, and has everyone here looking even more forward to getting started.”

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