NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Overview
Event: Vankor 350 (Race 5 of 23), 147 Laps – 35/35/77; 220.5 Miles
The Beat on Burton:
- Harrison Burton and the Hunt Brothers Pizza Racing team head to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth for Friday’s Vankor 350. It will be Burton’s second trip to the 1.5-mile quad oval. He qualified eighth and finished sixth in the first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series mile-and-a-half start of his career last November. In two NGOTS starts on mile-and-a-half tracks in 2019, the second-generation racer boasts an average starting position of 2.5 and average finish of 6.5.
- With his 11th-place finish at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in the Truck Series’ last stop, Burton fell three spots to fifth in the NGOTS championship standings, but still only finds himself nine tallies behind points leader Stewart Friesen. The talented teenager leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings by 31 points over Sheldon Creed. Burton has earned the Sunoco Rookie of the Race Award in each of the last three events on the schedule.
- Veteran crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. and the No. 51 team that worked with Burton for his eight-race schedule in 2018 have moved over to guide the 18-year-old’s rookie campaign in the No. 18 Tundra this year. Hillman Jr. is a two-time champion crew chief in the Truck Series. He guided Todd Bodine to Toyota’s first-ever National Series title in 2006 and the duo won the championship again in 2010. Burton has produced one pole, five top-five and nine top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 8.3 in 13 starts with Hillman Jr. calling the shots since he joined KBM in October of 2017.
- Hillman Jr.’s drivers have posted six wins, 10 top-five and 12 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 10.4 across 23 starts at Texas. His first five wins in the Lone Star State came with Bodine at the wheel, but his most recent win came in June of 2013 with Jeb Burton, Harrison’s cousin, driving.
- Hunt Brothers Pizza will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 18 Tundra Friday night. With more than 7,500 locations in 28 states, Hunt Brothers® Pizza is the nation’s largest brand of made-to-order pizza in the convenience store industry. Hunt Brothers Pizza offers original and thin crust pizzas available as a grab-and-go Hunk perfect for today’s on-the-go lifestyle or as a customizable whole pizza that is an exceptional value with All Toppings No Extra Charge®. Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, Hunt Brothers Pizza is family owned and operated with more than 25 years of experience serving great pizza to convenience store shoppers through its store partners.
- Safelite AutoGlass, the nation’s largest provider of vehicle glass repair and replacement services, will adorn the hood of Burton’s Tundra for 19 of the 23 events on the NGOTS schedule in 2019. They will be back onboard the No. 18 Toyota when the Truck Series resumes action at Dover (Del.) International Speedway on May 3.
Harrison Burton, Driver Q&A
“I’m really comfortable on mile-and-a-halves now that I have more and more experience every time I go to them. Even after a short track race, I still feel more confident going into my next mile-and-a-half than I did my last. I feel like I’m learning and growing a lot as a race car driver and getting better as I go along in the season. So, I’m really confident going into Texas and hopefully we can come out with a big finish.”
“After growing up on short tracks, the whole mindset around passing people has changed. Short tracks you can kind of get in there and bump them out of the way, follow them into the corner and that kind of stuff. Then you go to a mile-and-a-half and it’s go where they’re not – that’s the best way to get around people. Now, you go to Texas where it is a one-groove race track and it’s really, really hard to get any air on the nose of your truck — that’s an art to pass at Texas and really a lot of mile-and-a-halves. It’s definitely a learning process, but I’m getting better and better. You have a lot of tools at mile-and-halves that you don’t have at short tracks — like side drafting and getting people aero loose and stuff like that you can kind of do to work around them at the late stages of a race.”
What is your topping of choice for your Hunt Brothers Pizza?
“Hunt Brothers Pizza is coming onboard this weekend for Texas — that’s super exciting to have them on our No. 18 Tundra. One of the best things about having Hunt Brothers on our truck is all the pizza that we get. I’m a classic pepperoni kind of guy — just cheese and pepperoni. That Hunt Brothers Pizza crust is good to go — I’m ready.”
Harrison Burton Career Highlights
- Across 19 career NGOTS starts has collected one pole, 77 laps led, five top-five and nine top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 10.3.
- Has three career ARCA Racing Series victories across 12 starts, including the 2019 season opener at Daytona.
- Captured the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East title after registering a series-high five wins, two poles, 142 laps led, 12 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes and an average finish of 3.3 across the series’ 14 events.
- Has numerous Super Late Model victories including the 2018 Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway in Kinston, Ala., and the 2017 ARCA/CRA SpeedFest at Crisp Motorsports Park in Cordele, Ga.
- Son of former Monster Energy Cup Series driver and current NBC Sports Analyst Jeff Burton.
Harrison Burton’s No. 18 Hunt Brothers Pizza Tundra:
KBM-56: The Hunt Brothers Pizza Racing team will unload KBM-56 for Friday’s Vankor 350 at Texas. The Tundra was brand new at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway, when Burton qualified second and finished inside the top three in each of the first two stages before he got shuffled back on a late restart and finished eighth.
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KBM Notes of Interest
- KBM drivers have collected five wins, two poles, 716 laps led, 12 top-five and 27 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 10.6 across 41 starts in the Lone Star State.
- Owner-driver Kyle Busch has collected two of his team’s wins (2010 & 2014), Erik Jones earned the victory in November 2015, William Byron took the checkered flag in June of 2016 and Christopher Bell went to Victory Lane in June of 2017.
- KBM holds the NGOTS records for most career wins (71) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). In addition to collecting a series-record six Owner’s Championships, the organization has produced two championship-winning drivers; Erik Jones (2015) and Christopher Bell (2017).
- The No. 18, the number which was on the first Tundra that went to victory lane for KBM in 2010, has 21 career victories.