Saturday, February 01, 2014

Questions Abound At Turner Scott Motorsports

Jeb Burton is in limbo
It has not been a good week for Turner Scott Motorsports, with unexpected cutbacks in both their NASCAR Camping World Truck and Nationwide Series operations. 

Late last week, TSM confirmed that Arrowhead, the electronic cigarette brand that sponsored Jeb Burton’s No. 4 Truck Series Chevrolet last season, had “defaulted on payment to the team,” forcing them to cancel plans for a full-time championship assault in 2014. Burton enjoyed a tremendous rookie season, finishing fifth in the Truck Series title chase and claiming his first career series win in the WinStar World Casino 400k at Texas Motor Speedway in June. 

"The breakout success of Jeb Burton and the entire No. 4 team in 2013 makes these decisions especially painful,” said team co-owner Harry Scott Jr. Friday. “However, we will do everything we can to put Jeb on the racetrack with our organization going forward.”
Paludo will not return
Just days earlier, 2013 Truck Series regular Miguel Paludo announced via Twitter that he will not return for a second season with TSM, saying, “Unfortunately I'm not racing full time this season. I'll keep working to do some races. (We) had a great 2013 and it really sucks.” Paludo finished ninth in the Truck Series standings last seasons, with four Top-5 and 11 Top-10 finishes in 22 starts. His No. 32 Chevrolet carried sponsorship from AccuDoc Solutions – a statement production and mailing company owned by TSM co-owner Steve Turner -- and Duroline Brakes.
There is presently no word on the status of Nationwide Series driver Nelson Piquet, Jr., after the Brazilian earned five Top-5 finishes in 33 Nationwide Series starts last season with Turner Scott, en route to 12th place in the final championship standings. Multiple sources close to the situation say Piquet’s NASCAR career could be over, due to an inability to secure sponsorship for a sophomore season in the Nationwide ranks. 

While confirming that layoffs have begun to trim approximately 20% of TSM’s workforce, Scott said
his team “remains strong overall and will compete for championships in both the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.  

Piquet's future is unknown
Friday’s statement contained no mention of either Paludo or Piquet, and outlined a downsized schedule of racing for 2014. The team will field two full-time NNS teams for Ganassi Racing Sprint Cup rookie Kyle Larson and “a second driver to be named in the near future,” a full-time Truck Series Chevrolet for youngster Ben Kennedy and a part-time Truck team for Brandon Jones and “other drivers to be named later.” 

Sources say the team is seeking sponsorship to salvage at least a part-time schedule for Burton, while negotiating with a series veteran to share the second truck with Jones, 16-year old son of Rheem Heating, Cooling and Water Heating CEO JR Jones. That truck is expected to carry Rheem sponsorship in part of the 2014 schedule. 

Since acquiring the assets of the former Braun Racing, ppc Racing and Akins Motorsports operations, Turner Scott Motorsports has established itself as one of the most successful non-Sprint Cup operations in the sport. They captured the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship in 2012 with driver James Buescher, but Buescher left the team during the offseason to accept a Nationwide Series ride with RAB Racing.


  1. This is another example of the best sponsored talent being in the sport and not the best talent. Unfortunately, I think this will become the standard in NASCAR over the next 10 years.

  2. Anonymous9:17 PM

    Beginning to think that James sensed that something wasn't right.Could explain why he jumped ship.

  3. Anonymous7:20 AM

    series vet sound like the onion who always ran up front when in good stuff and with Hillman jr being there and winning 2 championships with todd would be automatic a connection. Todd alomost won poccono last season with this team in his 1st and only race with them till a late race yellow came out and he got ganged up on the restart and got spun and came back to 11th

  4. Anonymous9:50 AM

    This team has been steadily declining since Sorenson was in the 32 competing for championship.