NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Overview
The Beat on Burton:
- Harrison Burton will make his final NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series start as high school student Friday night, fittingly in the N.C. Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS). The 18-year-old senior will spend Wednesday and Thursday taking his final exams at Cannon School, located six miles from CMS in Concord, N.C., before hitting the track for Gander Trucks practice Friday morning. Burton will graduate from Cannon School on May 24.
- Burton, a second-generation driver who resides in Huntersville, N.C., will be making his first start in any series at his hometown NASCAR track. He did however take part in the ARCA Racing Series open test at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 7, where he was able to make 75 laps around the 1.5-mile quad-oval in preparation for the ARCA event on May 23.
- In addition to taking final exams and preparing for Friday night’s race, Burton will visit the Boys & Girls Club of Cabarrus County Wednesday afternoon. Burton’s primary sponsor, Safelite AutoGlass, will be hosting a cookout for children who attend the location and will also be making a monetary donation to the club as part of the event. One of Burton’s No. 18 Tundras will be on display at the event and Toyota and CMS have donated grandstand tickets to Friday night’s race so that the children and their families can come out and support Burton in the 134-lap event.
- Burton battled to a 10th-place finish in the Gander Trucks race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City last Friday. 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. When the checkered flag had waved, the No. 18 team had earned its second consecutive and fourth top-10 finish of 2019.
- With seven of 16 races completed in the Gander Trucks regular season, Burton sits eighth in the championship standings. The talented teenager has earned the Sunoco Rookie of the Race award in five of the seven events this season and currently leads the Rookie of the Year standings by 35 points over Sheldon Creed.
- 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, six top-five and 11 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of. 9.1 in 16 starts with Hillman Jr. calling the shots since he joined KBM in October of 2017. Hillman Jr.’s drivers have posted four top-five and four top-10 finishes across 12 starts at Charlotte. KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch earned a runner-up finish with Hillman Jr. atop the pit box in last year’s event.
- 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.
Harrison Burton, Driver Q&A
How tough has it been for you trying to balance finishing high school and being a professional driver at the same time?
“It’s been crazy – I feel like my focus has been in two different places a lot. I’ve been running around doing meetings over the phone. In the middle of class, I’ll get up and go do a meeting and then run back in and catch up on the notes that I missed. There is a lot of stuff that I’ve learned from that – multi tasking. I’m excited to go out and race in Charlotte and then next week go out and graduate. It’s going to be pretty cool to do all of those things and learn from the experience.”
“It’s going to be crazy for me to race on the big track at Charlotte — I remember being a little kid and everyone coming out to see my dad race. A bunch of our friends and our whole family would come out to Charlotte to watch him race and it was always fun because while he was racing, I could hang out with my grandparents and stuff like that. Now, all of those people are coming to watch me race — which is really crazy. I’m excited for it — I’m ready for the opportunity and hopefully we can put on a good show for them.”
Harrison Burton Career Highlights
- Across 22 career Gander Trucks starts has collected one pole, 78 laps led, six top-five and 11 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 10.9.
- Has three career ARCA Racing Series victories across 13 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 Safelite AutoGlass Tundra:
KBM-54 Performance Profile:
KBM-54: The Safelite AutoGlass team will unload KBM-54 for Friday’s N.C. Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte. Owner-driver Kyle Busch was victorious with this Tundra at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway last July. Burton has piloted this chassis twice, most recently earning a fifth-place finish with it at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway in March.
KBM Notes of Interest
- KBM drivers have collected five wins, three poles, 537 laps led, 11 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 9.1 across 24 starts at Charlotte.
- Owner-driver Kyle Busch has collected all five of his organization’s wins (2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2017).
- KBM holds the Gander Trucks records for most career wins (72) 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.