As people get older, many of them will use any excuse possible to eat cake.  Jeff Burton is pretty buff, but I suspect he and Richard Childress might find reason to eat some cake this weekend.

Burton will make his 850th career start this weekend when he runs the Nationwide race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. He told reporters the milestone came up on him quickly.

“It’s hard to imagine I’ll be making my 850th NASCAR start,” Burton said. “I’m not one to count how many starts I have made, but I can certainly say that I have a lot more starts in my future. Competing in NASCAR’s top levels of racing is something I have dreamed of since I was 5 years old. Thirty-seven years later, I still have a passion for what I do, and I look forward to capturing more trophies and, hopefully, a championship along the way.”

Keep in mind, Burton is only 42 and made his debut just 11 years ago. He has 541 Cup starts, and he’s raced more than 300 times on the Busch/Nationwide circuit. Not to mention his efforts with this construction gear at Michigan speedway.

In all seriousness, Burton could be on the verge of history. Using my journalism fedora, I uncovered only three drivers with 1,000 career starts. Richard Petty isn’t driving anytime soon. Mark Martin only runs the Sprint Cup, and we know he talks retirement every other day. Michael Waltrip is also looking at a reduced schedule. Overall, Burton has 48 wins, 17 poles, 372 top-10 finishes and a partridge in a pear tree. He’s great with sponsors. There’s no reason to think Burton will stop running both circuits full-time. As a result, he could be four or five years away from becoming the Ironman of NASCAR. Now that’s a reason to have some cake.  

RCR’s Jeff Burton to make 850th career NASCAR start this weekend
(Scene Daily)