Date: Nov. 15, 2019
Event: Gander Trucks Championship Race (Race 23 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series
Location: Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: Three Stages; 30 laps/30 laps/74 laps
Start/Finish: 13th/13th (Running, completed 134 of 134 laps)
Winner: Austin Hill of Hattori Racing Enterprises (Toyota)
Making his final start for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) before graduating to a full-time role in the NASCAR Xfinity Series next season, Harrison Burton started 13th and finished 13th in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Burton closes out his rookie season 12th in the championship standings after posting seven top-five and 11 top-10 finishes across the 23-race schedule.
Stage One Recap:
- After qualifying was washed out due to rain, Burton lined up 13th based on owner’s points.
- As Stage One went caution free from start to finish, the second-generation driver communicated that the Safelite Tundra was experiencing a “four-wheel slide” in the corners and would finish the stage in 14th.
Stage Two Recap:
- Crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. summoned his young driver to pit road for a four-tire and fuel stop with a trackbar adjustment in an effort to improve the handling.
- When Stage Two went green on lap 35, the No. 18 Toyota was scored in the 12th position.
- Burton continued to be unhappy with the handling of his Safelite Tundra, communicating that it was “chattering on exit.” When fluid on the track brought out the second caution of the event, a few trucks pitted, but the Safelite team stayed on track in an effort to be able to put on fresher tires for the start of the Final Stage.
- The rookie driver was scored in 10th for the ensuing restart, but fell back to 12th when Stage Two came to completion on lap 60.
Final Stage Recap:
- Hillman Jr. summoned his driver to pit road between stages for a four-tire and fuel stop with an assortment of adjustments hoping to bring the truck to life for the Final Stage.
- Burton would start the Final Stage scored in the 14th position. In the early portion of the stage he communicated that the Safelite Tundra was “loose on entry and tight center-off.”
- He was scored in the 13th position when he hit pit road for a scheduled green-flag stop on lap 95.
- When stops cycled through he was in the 11th position, but continued to battle the handling in the closing laps and would cross the stripe 13th.
Gander Trucks Championship Race Recap:
- Austin Hill collected his fourth NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series victory of 2019. Veteran Matt Crafton finished 1.569 seconds behind Hill in the runner-up position, but was able to pick up his third NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series championship. KBM driver Christian Eckes delivered the organization its seventh owner’s championship with his third-place finish. Ross Chastain and Brett Moffit rounded out the top-five finishers.
- The race featured three cautions for a total of 14 laps. There were 12 lead changes among six drivers.
How Burton’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- Christian Eckes, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished third
- Todd Gilliland, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished eighth
Gander Trucks Driver Standings:
Burton maintained the 12th spot in the Gander Trucks driver point standings.
The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series will open the 2020 season at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on Feb. 14. Live coverage of the NextEra Energy 250 begins at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1. Eckes will be behind the wheel of the No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Tundra.