In his eighth full-time season as a NASCAR Xfinity Series crew chief for JR Motorsports’ No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro team piloted by vt, Jason Burdett is within reach of a milestone start. By participating in this weekend’s Xfinity event at Daytona International Speedway, Burdett will call his 250th career event as a crew chief.
A native of Arkport, New York, Burdett, whose racing career commenced by working with several local teams near Watkins Glen, joined Robert Yates Racing in 1998, where he worked as a tire specialist for Dale Jarrett. Three years later, he transitioned to Hendrick Motorsports, where he was a part of the 2001 Cup Series championship-winning team piloted by four-time champion Jeff Gordon. Another six years later, he joined forces with Michael Waltrip Racing and served as Jarrett’s crew chief for 14 Cup events. Upon returning to Hendrick Motorsports in 2008, he spent the following three seasons serving as Gordon’s car chief before teaming up with Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 HMS team from 2011 to 2014.
In 2015, Burdett was named a full-time Xfinity Series crew chief for JR Motorsports’ No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro entry piloted by Regan Smith. Despite commencing the season with a 35th-place finish at Daytona, where Smith was involved in a late rollover accident, the duo earned 12 top-10 results through the first 20-scheduled events. Then at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in August, Burdett achieved his first victory as a NASCAR crew chief when Smith pulled a “bump-and-run” move on Alex Tagliani on the final lap to claim his first victory of the season. Another seven races later, Burdett and Smith went to Victory Lane for the second time of the year at Dover Motor Speedway in October. By then, Smith was in third place in the standings and trailing the points lead by 36 points. Despite finishing in the top-10 for the remaining five Xfinity events, Smith capped the 2015 season in fourth place in the final drivers’ standings and 22 points shy of the title. Overall, Burdett led Smith and the No. 7 JRM team to two victories, 11 top-five results, 26 top-10 results and an average-finishing result of 9.0 in his first season as an Xfinity crew chief.
The following season, Burdett remained as crew chief for JRM’s No. 7 entry that was being piloted by Justin Allgaier, who replaced Smith. Despite not recording a single victory throughout the season, the new duo utilized consistency on a strength of 21 top-10 results to qualify for the inaugural 2016 Xfinity Series Playoffs. Burdett and Allgaier went on to finish no lower than 14th throughout the Playoffs as they transferred all the way to the Championship Round at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November with an opportunity to contend for the 2016 Xfinity title. During the finale, however, Allgaier finished in sixth place on the track and in third place in the final standings. Despite falling short of the title, Burdett managed to lead the No. 7 team to two additional top-five results (13), an additional top-five result (27) and one spot higher (third) compared to the 2015 season.
Remaining as Allgaier’s crew chief for the 2017 Xfinity season, it only took the first four scheduled events of the season for Burdett and Allgaier to achieve their first victory of the season at Phoenix Raceway in March. By then, Allgaier snapped an 80-race winless drought dating back to August 2012 and a one-year winless drought for JRM’s No. 7 team. Six months later, the duo wheeled their way to their second victory of the season at Chicagoland Speedway as they earned a spot in the Xfinity Playoffs for a second consecutive season. Throughout the Playoffs, Burdett and Allgaier earned four top-10 results in six races as they managed to earn a spot in the Championship Round at Homestead for a second consecutive season. Prior to the finale, however, Burdett was suspended from the event and fined $10,000 for an L1 infraction stemming from an unattached brake cooling hose that was found on Allgaier’s car the week prior at Phoenix in November. With Burdett absent, veterans Billy Wilburn and Chad Knaus worked atop Allgaier’s No. 7 pit box at Homestead, where he went on to finish in 12th place on the track and in third place in the final standings for a second consecutive season.
Returning atop the pit box for the 2018 Xfinity Series season, Burdett and Allgaier rallied from sustaining two DNFs through the first 10-scheduled events by earning six top-10 results and claiming their first victory of the season at Dover in May. Following the Dover victory, however, Burdett was suspended for the following two Xfinity events and fined $25,000 after it was discovered that some rear suspension components on Allgaier’s race-winning car did not meet NASCAR specifications. Once Burdett returned as a crew chief at Michigan International Speedway in June, the duo went to Victory Lane during the following event at Iowa Speedway. They went on to win at Mid-Ohio, Road America and Indianapolis Motor Speedway between August and September. Once the regular-season stretch concluded at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in September, Burdett and Allgaier captured the 2018 Xfinity Series regular-season championship as they entered the 2018 Xfinity Playoffs as a title favorite. During the Playoffs, however, they managed to finish in the top five twice in six events. Coupled with two DNFs and three results outside of the top 20, Burdett and Allgaier failed to reach the Championship Round and compete for the title. Despite settling in seventh place in the final standings and being suspended for two events, the 2018 season produced a career-best season for Burdett, who achieved five victories, a pole, 17 top-five results and 24 top-10 results with Allgaier. In addition, he surpassed 100 Xfinity events as a crew chief.
Burdett and Allgaier commenced the 2019 Xfinity season on a strong note, where Allgaier finished in the runner-up spot behind teammate Michael Annett at Daytona. They went on to earn 17 additional top-10 results, including three runner-up results, to qualify for the Playoffs for a fourth consecutive season. After finishing no lower than sixth through the Playoff’s Round of 12 and 8, Burdett and Allgaier notched their first elusive victory of the season at Phoenix in November. The victory enabled the duo and the No. 7 JRM team to secure a spot in the Championship Round at Homestead, where they ended up in 14th place on the track and in fourth place in the final standings. Ironically, the 2019 season marked the third season where Burdett led the No. 7 team to an overall average-finishing result of 9.0, including the years 2015 and 2018.
Burdett and Allgaier recorded 10 results in the top 10 through the first 19-scheduled events of the 2020 season before notching their first victory of the year in the first of a Dover Motor Speedway doubleheader feature in August. A month later, they swept both Richmond Raceway events as part of a doubleheader feature as they went on to make the Playoffs for a fifth consecutive season. Despite finishing outside of the top 20 three times throughout the Playoff’s Round of 12 and 8, the duo made the Championship Round for the fourth time in five seasons. During the finale at Phoenix in November, Allgaier was in position to win his first championship during an overtime attempt before he was overtaken by Austin Cindric on the final lap. Unable to mount a final lap challenge on Cindric, Allgaier fell back to fifth place on the track as he and Burdett settled in a career-best second place in the final standings.
This past season, Burdett and Allgaier recorded two regular-season victories at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March and at Darlington Raceway in May as they made the Xfinity Playoffs for a sixth consecutive season. Despite finishing no lower than ninth throughout the Playoffs, they missed the top-four Championship finale cutline by a mere margin as they went on to finish in fifth place in the final standings. Together, the duo achieved two victories, 16 top-five results, 23 top-10 results and an average-finishing result of 9.6 throughout the 2021 season. In addition, Burdett surpassed 200 Xfinity events as a crew chief.
This season, Burdett and Allgaier have achieved three victories through the first 22-scheduled events: Darlington in May, Nashville Superspeedway in June and at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July. To go along with a pole, 10 top-five results, 15 top-10 results and an average-finishing result of 11.4, they are currently ranked in third place in the 2022 Xfinity Series regular-season standings and trail the points lead by 70 points.
Through 249 previous appearances as an Xfinity crew chief, Burdett has achieved 18 victories, three poles, 104 top-five results, 175 top-10 results and 4,049 laps led while working with two different competitors (Regan Smith and Justin Allgaier).
Burdett is scheduled to call his 250th Xfinity Series event as a crew chief at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, August 26, at 7:30 p.m. ET on USA Network.