Date: May 10, 2019
Event: Digital Ally 250 (Race 7 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series
Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (1.5-mile tri-oval)
Format: Three Stages; 40 laps/40 laps/87 laps
Start/Finish: 3rd/10th (Running, completed 167 of 167 laps)
Winner: Ross Chastain of Niece Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Harrison Burton battled an ill-handling Safelite AutoGlass Tundra throughout the Digital Ally 250 at Kansas Speedway, but in the end was able to earn a 10th-place finish. After qualifying third for the 167-lap event, Burton went a lap down at one point during a long-green flag run in the Final Stage of the race, but after fighting to remain in the Lucky Dog position got back on the lead lap when a late caution occurred and when the checkered flag had waved had worked his way to his second consecutive and fourth top-10 finish of 2019.
Stage One Recap:
- Burton started the 200-lap event from the third spot and on the initial start of the race made a bold three-wide maneuver into Turn 1 an effort to take the lead. The 18-year-old driver’s momentum got stalled while trying to execute the pass and he fell back to the sixth position, where he ran for the majority of the stage.
- As the young driver communicated that his Safelite AutoGlass Tundra was “too tight,” he fell back to the ninth position to complete Stage One.
Stage Two Recap:
- Burton communicated to crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. that his Safelite Tundra was “chattering the tires” before hitting pit road for four fresh tires and fuel with a trackbar adjustment if an effort to improve the handling.
- The Safelite Tundra lined up 10th when Stage Two went green on lap 47 and remained there until a one-truck accident brought out the third caution of the event on lap 54.
- The talented teenager communicated to Hillman Jr. that his Toyota was still tight. He fell back one position to 11th at the completion Stage Two.
Final Stage Recap:
- Hillman Jr. ordered up a four-tire and fuel stop with major adjustments to try and improve the handling of the Safelite Tundra. Burton returned to the track scored in the ninth position when the Final Stage went green on lap 87.
- The handling continued to plague Burton as he fell back to the 13th position before having to make a green-flag pit stop for four tires and fuel on lap 127.
- When pit stops cycled through, the No. 18 team found themselves scored in the 11th spot but had fallen a lap down to the leader.
- Burton fought hard to stay in the lucky dog position and was rewarded when a two-truck accident slowed the field for the fifth time with 27 laps remaining.
- The No. 18 team had already used their final set of sticker tires, but when pit road opened Burton came to the attention of his over-the-wall crew who made both trackbar and wedge adjustments in a final attempt to improve the handling of his Toyota.
- The second-generation driver restarted 10th when the field went back green on lap 143. He fell back one spot before the final caution of the night slowed the field with 18 laps remaining.
- Burton reported that he still was “lacking overall grip,” during the caution period. With one truck in front of him in the running order hitting pit road, he moved up to 10th for the restart on lap 151 and was able to hold that position when the field crossed the stripe to complete the race on lap 167.
Harrison Burton, driver of the No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:
How was the race tonight?
“It was not fun. We’re just used to running better than that and we were honestly just terrible tonight. I don’t know why. Just no overall grip. In first practice, I felt really, really good about it and then in second practice it all went away and that was really, really weird. Just could never get it back from that. We tuned on it a ton and it went either way, from tight to loose, but it was just a lack of overall grip. I could have done better on my part, could have had better restarts to take advantage of opportunities and get track position. We just struggled tonight all around as a team. We’ll be back at Charlotte and hopefully get a win.”
Digital Ally 250 Recap:
- Ross Chastain collected the first win of his Gander Trucks career. Ben Rhodes finished 0.483 seconds behind Chastain in the runner-up spot. Burton’s KBM teammate Todd Gilliland came home third, Matt Crafton was fourth and another of Burton’s teammates, Brandon Jones, rounded out the top-five finishers.
- The race featured six cautions for a total of 29 laps. There were 22 lead changes among nine drivers.
How Burton’s KBM Teammates Fared:
Todd Gilliland, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished third
Brandon Jones, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished fifth
Riley Herbst, driver of the No. 46 Toyota, finished ninth
Gander Trucks Championship Standings:
Burton fell one position to eighth in the Gander Trucks championship standings. After seven races he finds himself 65 tallies behind points leader Grant Enfinger.
Burton will be back behind the wheel of the No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Tundra when the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series resumes action May 17 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Live coverage of the N.C. Education Lottery 200 begins Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET on FS1.