Last-Lap Spin While Going for the Win Takes Safelite Tundra from Third to 18th
Date: Oct. 26, 2019
Event: NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 (Race 21 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series
Location: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (.526-mile oval)
Format: Three Stages; 50 laps/50 laps/100 laps
Start/Finish: 3rd/18th (Running, completed 201 of 201 laps)
Winner: Todd Gilliland of Kyle Busch Motorsports (Toyota)
As he has done several times across 36 career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series starts, Harrison Burton had a strong run and was in line to compete for a win in the closing laps. Burton lined up third for NASCAR overtime and took the white flag in the same spot. As the field went into Tune One, Ross Chastain put the bumper to Burton’s Kyle Busch Motorsports’ teammate Todd Gilliland trying to take the lead and the top-two trucks washed up the track slightly.
Seeing a chance to collect his first Gander Trucks victory, Burton saw a window and dove to the inside of Chastain and as Chastain came down the track the two made contact. The Safelite Tundra spun around off the exit of Turn Two and would end the day with a disappointing 18th-place finish.
Stage One Recap:
- Burton earned the third starting position in Saturday morning’s qualifying session.
- By the time the first caution of the event flew on lap 17, Burton had slid back to the fifth position and would end up sixth when Stage One came to completion at lap 50.
Stage Two Recap:
- Under yellow between stages, Burton communicated to crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. that the Safelite Tundra lacked drive off. Sticking to his strategy planned before the race, the veteran crew chief elected to keep his young driver on track.
- The top-five teams also elected to stay out, putting Burton sixth when Stage Two went green on lap 61. The No. 18 Toyota was scored in the fifth position when the third caution of the race occurred on lap 79.
- Being in the fuel window to make it the rest of the event, Hillman Jr. summoned his driver to pit road for four fresh tires and a full load of fuel.
- Burton was scored in the 15th position for the ensuing restart on lap 87 and was only able to gain one position over the final 13 laps of Stage Two.
Final Stage Recap:
- The Safelite Tundra stayed on track between stages and restarted 11th when the Final Stage went green on lap 110.
- Burton was able to gain two spots before the next caution occurred on lap 115. Shortly after going back green, the field went four-wide and Grant Enfinger ended up spinning down into Burton’s right-side number as part of a 10-truck accident on lap 124.
- As the field was red flagged, friends and family in the stands were able to send pictures of the damage to Hillman Jr., who assessed that the minor damage didn’t need any attention and Burton remained on the track when the red flag was lifted.
- The No. 18 Toyota was scored in the fourth spot when the field went back green on lap 130. When the ninth caution of the event occurred on lap 150, Burton remained in the fourth spot.
- Burton advanced one spot to third during the next green-flag stretch before the 10th caution occurred on lap 162.
- On the restart Burton was able to work his way into the second position and set his sights on Chastain. He was able to pull side-by-side with him but was unable to complete the pass before another caution occurred with 20 laps remaining.
- The field went back green with 10 laps to go. Burton was in the outside lane, which isn’t the preferred lane. He lost a spot to KBM teammate Todd Gilliland and then remained third when a caution with five to go set up NASCAR overtime.
- Burton appeared to be in a strong spot to compete for his first Gander Trucks victory, but spun after making contact with Chastain giving it his all to bring home the win and would end the day in the 18th position.
Harrison Burton, driver of the No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:
How close were you to being able to win today?
“We’ve been close before, but not that close. We’ve been fighting hard all year and trying to get better and I feel like we finally hit it today and just didn’t capitalize. It was a crazy Martinsville race and it didn’t come out how I wanted it to, but learned a lot and got better. We’ll go to Phoenix – we almost won there last year – and be ready to go.”
NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 Recap:
- KBM driver Todd Gilliland picked up his first career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series victory and the 75th for the organization. Chastain finished .0879 seconds behind Gilliland in the runner-up spot. Johnny Sauter, Grant Enfinger and Timmy Hill rounded out the top-five finishers.
- The race featured 12 cautions for a total of 80 laps. There were 24 lead changes among 15 drivers.
How Burton’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- Todd Gilliland, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished first
- Christian Eckes, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished 17th
Gander Trucks Driver Standings:
Burton fell one spot to 12th in the Gander Trucks driver point standings.
Burton will be back behind the wheel of the No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Tundra when the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series resumes action Nov. 8 at ISM Raceway in Avondale, Ari. Live coverage of the Lucas Oil 150 begins Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET on FS1.