NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Overview
The Beat on Burton:
- Despite the fact that he’ll be making just his 19th career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series start overall, 18-year-old Harrison Burton will make his sixth series start at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on Saturday. Burton made his Truck Series debut at the paper-clip shaped oval shortly after turning 16 in October of 2016, and has competed at the .526-mile track twice each of the last two seasons while competing in a limited schedule for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM). The second-generation driver, whose father Jeff was born and raised in Virginia, has finished inside the top 10 in each of his last three trips to Martinsville, including a fourth-place finish in the 2017 October race.
- With a fifth-place finish at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway in the Truck Series’ last stop, Burton advanced three spots to second in the NGOTS championship standings and currently sits six tallies behind points leader Grant Enfinger. The talented teenager leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings by 20 points over Sheldon Creed. In the NGOTS Loop Data statistics, the N.C. native ranks first among series regulars in both average starting position (3.0) and average running position (8.063)
- 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 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 7.6 in 12 starts with Hillman Jr. calling the shots since he joined KBM in October of 2017. Hillman Jr.’s drivers have posted eight top-five and 13 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 10.0 across 23 starts at Martinsville.
- Burton led a race-high 48 laps en route to the victory while making the first superspeedway start of his career in the ARCA Racing Series season opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The victory was Burton’s third career ARCA Racing Series victory across just 12 starts.
- Safelite AutoGlass, the nation’s largest provider of vehicle glass repair and replacement services, will adorn the hood of Burton’s No. 18 Tundra for 19 of the 23 events on the NGOTS schedule in 2019.
Harrison Burton, Driver Q&A
Does it feel kind of crazy that this will be your 19th career Truck Series start overall, but it’ll be your sixth at Martinsville?
“It’s weird, but it’s really cool to be making my sixth start at Martinsville. It makes me feel like a veteran when I roll into the racetrack – I have some confidence, I’ve been there before. There is a lot of tracks on the circuit that I’m learning on the fly and kind of getting there and some things surprise you and some things don’t, but at Martinsville I kind of know what I’m getting into and have a good idea and a good baseline of what to build off to make a successful weekend there.”
With your family roots being in Virginia, what would it mean to get your first Truck Series win at Martinsville?
“It would be so cool to win in Martinsville. There is so much tradition there — not only for NASCAR as a whole, but for my family. My dad has won there and my uncle (Ward Burton) has won there and my cousin Jeb (Burton) has raced there. Not only that, my whole family normally comes out. It’s kind of like a home race for me – it’s near our hometown of South Boston, Va. I’ll see my grandparents – which is something I can’t do very often, and my uncles and my aunts and all of that. Because I’m so busy, we don’t get a lot of family time on the road like that. So, it’s really cool when we can kill two birds with one stone and see family members at the racetrack.
Do you feel like your first Truck Series win is just around the corner?
“I do — I have a lot of confidence in myself and my time. We’ve been kind of building towards a win. We ran better than we finished at Atlanta – had a chance to win that race, really. If you look at Vegas, we didn’t have our best night but we still clawed out a really good finish and good points. That’s the biggest thing, we’ve been consistent and consistently good. Even at Daytona, we came out with a wreck but we had an up-and-down night and we’re finding ways to rebound, get better and make up for my lack of experience. I have a great team and great people helping me, so I think that first win is coming. We’re putting in the work to get there and we just have to execute and put that Safelite Toyota Tundra in victory lane.”
Harrison Burton Career Highlights
- Across 18 career NGOTS starts has collected one pole, 77 laps led, five top-five and nine top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 10.2.
- 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 Safelite AutoGlass Tundra:
KBM-34: The Safelite AutoGlass team will unload KBM-34 for Saturday’s NGOTS 250 at Martinsville Speedway. Owner-driver Kyle Busch was victorious with this Tundra at Martinsville in April of 2016 when he led a race-high 123 laps. Burton has raced this chassis three times at Martinsville, delivering a best result of fourth in October of 2017.
KBM Notes of Interest
- KBM drivers have collected six wins, four poles, 788 laps led, 20 top-five and 34 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 8.3 across 47 starts at Martinsville
- Noah Gragson picked up the organization’s most recent victory at the 0.526-mile oval in October of 2018. Denny Hamlin and Darrell Wallace Jr. each have collected two victories while Gragson and owner-driver Kyle Busch have one win
- KBM holds the NGOTS records for most career wins (70) 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.