NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Overview
Event: Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 (Race 13 of 23), 150 Laps – 35/35/80; 225 Miles
Date/Broadcast: July 11, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
The Beat on Burton:
- As the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series regular season hits the homestretch, Harrison Burton will get buckled in his No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Tundra Thursday night at Kentucky Speedway and continue his fight for a spot in the Gander Trucks Playoffs. Burton enters Kentucky riding the momentum of three top-five finishes across the last four events. Thursday night’s event at the 1.5-mile tri-oval will be the second-generation driver’s first Gander Trucks start at Kentucky, but that talented teenager has compiled an average finish of 7.6 on the previous five mile-and-half tracks that he’s tackled for the first time in NASCAR’s third division this season, including a fourth-place finish in the series’ last stop at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.
- With four regular season races remaining, Burton currently sits sixth in the driver point standings, but finds himself in the eighth and final spot on the playoff grid. With Ross Chastain having a win and being on the verge of moving into the top 20 in points, which would make him playoff eligible per the NASCAR rule book, Burton would slide off the playoff grid to ninth. Burton’s fourth-place finish and additional 10 stage points at Chicagoland Speedway combined with Ben Rhodes’ engine troubles, allowed him to close the gap for the eighth and final playoff spot, once Chastain works his way onto the grid, on Rhodes by 40 points. Heading into Thursday night’s 225-mile event, the North Carolina native finds himself 13 markers behind Rhodes.
- Across 12 Gander Truck Series starts this season, Burton has posted five top-five and seven top-10 finishes while recording an average starting position of 7.5 and an average finish of 10.4. The 18-year-old driver currently leads the Rookie of the Year standings by 50 points over Sheldon Creed.
- Burton’s crew chief, Mike Hillman Jr., is a two-time champion atop the pit box in the Gander 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. Across 21 starts working together since October of 2017, Hillman Jr. and Burton have posted an average starting position of 8.2 and an average finish of 8.8.
- Hillman Jr.’s drivers have posted one win (Todd Bodine, 2010), 72 laps led, four top-five and seven top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 11.3 across 13 starts at Kentucky Speedway.
- 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 has your first full-time season in the Gander Truck Series gone?
“This season has been a lot of fun — a lot of ups and downs. It’s a lot of hard competition every week, which is a lot of fun for drivers, we have to go really hard every weekend. It’s nice to be coming off of an off weekend — I feel like we will regroup really well as a team and we’ll be rolling into Kentucky with hopefully a lot of speed and going for the win.”
How much do you pay attention to where you are on the playoff grid?
“You definitely have to pay attention to it. I know that we had a good points day back at Chicago and we gained a lot of points back on the final transfer spot. What makes that deal a whole lot easier is if we come out and win at Kentucky — then you don’t have to worry about it. That’s the plan as of now, win and you’re in, so we just have to win.”
Harrison Burton Career Highlights
- Across 27 career Gander Trucks starts has collected one pole, 80 laps led, nine top-five and 14 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 10.3
- Has one top-five and two top-10 finishes in two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts for Joe Gibbs Racing this season
- Has three career ARCA Racing Series victories across 16 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
- 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-50: The Safelite AutoGlass team will unload KBM-50 for Thursday’s Buckle Up in Your Truck 225. The Tundra will race for the first time in 2019. It made four appearances in 2018, including a win with Kyle Busch in its debut at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway last March. Brandon Jones started sixth and finished fourth with KBM-50 in last year’s event at Kentucky.
KBM Notes of Interest
- KBM drivers have collected four wins, three poles, 735 laps led, 13 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 9.0 across 25 starts at Kentucky
- Christopher Bell scored the organization’s most recent win at Kentucky in 2017, William Byron was victorious in 2016 and Kyle Busch visited victory lane in 2011 and 2014
- KBM holds the NGOTS records for most career wins (74) 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.