MWR hires Jeff Burton as test driver

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Michael Waltrip Racing has hired Jeff Burton as a test driver, with the possibility of running a partial Sprint Cup schedule in 2014.

The team will field the No. 66 Toyota for Burton at Las Vegas in March. Additional races for Burton could be scheduled at a later date.

Co-owner Michael Waltrip is scheduled to drive the car in the season-opening Daytona 500.

MWR said Monday that Burton will drive the No. 55 during testing the next two months as Brian Vickers continues treatment for blood clots.

MWR scaled down to two cars for 2014 when sponsor NAPA Auto Parts said it was leaving in the wake of a race manipulation scandal at Richmond in September. Martin Truex Jr. has left the team for Furniture Row Racing.

On Tuesday it was announced that Burton is NBC Sports Group's first hire for its 2015 NASCAR coverage.

NBCUniversal has the exclusive rights to the final 20 Sprint Cup Series races and final 19 Nationwide Series events beginning in 2015, and select NASCAR Regional & Touring Series events and other live content also beginning in 2015. The network last covered NASCAR between 2001 and 2006.

"This is an exciting new challenge and I am thrilled to be joining the NBC Sports family," Burton said Tuesday. "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."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.