Yes, Bloom Fans, the Official Festival Souvenir Store and Ticket Outlet are open and running smoothly; the Departmental organizational meetings are winding up for the year; everything is ready and in place; and, it is time for Festival Organizers to begin releasing the line-up of 2019 Festival Celebrities. It is, therefore, with a great deal of enthusiasm that Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® President, Barry Carper, announces that 21-time winner, 254-time Top Ten Finisher, Virginia-born-and-bred NASCAR star, Jeff “The Mayor” Burton, will appear at the 2019 Partlow Insurance Sports Breakfast, presented by Grange Insurance, on Saturday, May 4th.
Jeff Burton’s Official Bio states: “Jeff is much more than a respected competitor and proven winner in the pages of the NASCAR history books. He is a fiercely competitive team player who always gives his best, and expects those around him to do the same. He is especially well-known for his business intellect and his leadership. He is regarded as a trusted advocate for the sport, and he has worked closely with NASCAR on numerous safety issues, including the creation of safer seats, track walls, cockpits, helmets, uniforms and HANS devices. Often sought out for his perspectives on various issues affecting NASCAR, Burton has been dubbed “The Mayor” by fans, competitors and media. Currently serving as an analyst for NBC Sports Group’s NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series racing coverage, he can be found in the broadcast booth working alongside race announcer Rick Allen and fellow analyst Steve Letarte. In addition, Burton regularly contributes to “NASCAR America”as an in-studio analyst, and to NBC Sports Group’s “Burton’s Garage”located near many of the sports race teams in Concord, North Carolina. He is a strong supporter of charitable organizations including the Duke Children’s Hospital, and serves on the Board of the Armed Forces Foundation. He is the younger brother of NASCAR driver, Ward Burton. He is an active, dedicated father and husband. Daughter Paige (23) and wife Kim are both competitive equestrians, and son Harrison (18) is following in his father’s footsteps, competing in the NASCAR ARCA Menards Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.”
Wikipedia synopsizes his career as follows: “Jeffrey Tyler Burton (born June 29, 1967), nicknamed “The Mayor,” is an American former professional stock car racing driver and current racing commentator. He scored 21 career victories in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, including two Coca-Cola 600s in 1999 and 2001 and the 1999 Southern 500.” [It should be noted that Jeff Burton scored an additional 27 wins and 153 Top-Ten Finishes in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.] “He currently serves as a color commentator for NBC Sports, having joined them upon their return to coverage of NASCAR. His son Harrison Burton currently competes in the ARCA Menards Series and part-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. His brother, Ward Burton, and his nephew, Jeb Burton, have also competed in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.”
Jeff Burton will be one of the Featured Guests at the 2019 Partlow Insurance Sports Breakfast, presented by Grange Insurance. Festival Organizers want to note once more that the Sports Breakfast has moved from its most recent home at the Winchester Moose Lodge to the James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center on the campus of Shenandoah University, for the express purpose of allowing more tickets to be sold. The event has already sold an amount of tickets equal to the total capacity at its former location. As Featured Guests continue to be named, this number is expected to soar. No final decision has been made at this time regarding the number of tickets that will be made available; but, interested purchasers should not wait too long to buy.