Date: May 17, 2019
Event: N.C. Education Lottery 200 (Race 8 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series
Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile quad-oval)
Format: Three Stages; 30 laps/30 laps/74 laps
Start/Finish: 4th/11th (Running, completed 134 of 134 laps)
Winner: Kyle Busch of Kyle Busch Motorsports (Toyota)
After experiencing handling issues early in Friday night’s N.C. Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Harrison Burton and the No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass team appeared to have battled their way to another top-10 finish until an untimely debris caution slowed the field with seven laps remaining. Burton, who was making his first Gander Trucks start at the 1.5-mile quad-oval located just 10 miles from where he resides, was scored in the seventh position for the restart with three laps remaining, but over the closing laps lost several spots to teams that had put a set of scuffed tires on during the preceding caution and crossed the stripe in the 11th position.
Stage One Recap:
- Burton started the 134-lap event from the fourth spot, but quickly found himself caught three-wide in the middle and had fallen back to the eight position by the completion of lap one.
- The young driver communicated that his Safelite AutoGlass Tundra was “too loose,” as he ran in the eighth spot for the majority of Stage One.
- A one-truck accident slowed the field with seven laps remaining in the stage. Crew Chief Mike Hillman Jr. summoned his driver to pit road for four fresh tires, a full load of fuel and a trackbar adjustment in an effort to improve the handling.
- The second-generation driver took the lap-28 restart from the eighth spot, but lost one position over the final two laps.
Stage Two Recap:
- With two drivers in the top five hitting pit road between stages, the Safelite Tundra lined up seventh when Stage Two went green on lap 37. Burton once again lost a couple of spots on the restart and settled into the ninth position.
- With 10 laps remaining in the stage he regained the eighth spot, but communicated to Hillman Jr. that his Toyota had “swung to the tight side.”
- Burton remained in the eighth spot when Stage Two came to a close on lap 60.
Final Stage Recap:
- Hillman Jr. ordered up a four-tire and fuel stop with another adjustment towards improving the handling of the Safelite Tundra. Burton returned to the track scored in the sixth position when the Final Stage went green on lap 68.
- Burton once again found himself three-wide and had fallen back to the 11th position when the fourth caution of the night occurred on lap 73.
- The Safelite Tundra had a strong restart and had advanced up to the seventh position when the fifth caution occurred on lap 79. Hillman Jr. ordered up a four-tire and fuel stop.
- Six trucks elected not to pit and one truck took fuel only, leaving Burton scored in the 13th position for the restart with 45 laps remaining.
- With 40 laps remaining the Safelite Tundra had settled into the 12th position. As a long green-flag run ensued, Burton began posting lap times as fast as the top-five trucks. After a multi-lap battle with Ross Chastain, he was able to move back into the top 10 with 20 laps remaining.
- Burton was able to pick up one more spot with 12 laps remaining and then gained another position when Brett Moffitt had a tire issue right in front of him and brought out the seventh and final caution of the event.
- The No. 18 team was scored in the seventh position for the restart with three laps remaining, but over the closing laps lost several spots to teams that had put a set of scuffed tires on during the preceding caution and crossed the stripe in the 11th position.
Harrison Burton, driver of the No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:
How did your race go tonight?
“Felt like the Safelite AutoGlass Toyota Tundra was coming to us at the end of the race – we were passing some trucks running the very top of (turns) 3 and 4 and the bottom of 1 and 2. It’s really hard to pass here and then struggled on restarts, so just disappointed after tonight. I felt like I didn’t do my job, didn’t do my part, but it’s going to motivate us to win races in the future and it’ll make those when we win sweeter. Frustrated, but motivated, and hopefully come out of here with a little bit of fire under us and we’ll go win some races.”
N.C. Education Lottery 200 Recap:
- Burton’s owner Kyle Busch made it a perfect five for five in the Gander Trucks this season with his series-leading 56th career victory. Brennan Poole finished 1.115 seconds behind Busch in the runner-up spot. Stewart Friesen came home third, Ben Rhodes was fourth and Matt Crafton rounded out the top-five finishers.
- The race featured seven cautions for a total of 31 laps. There were 19 lead changes among nine drivers.
How Burton’s KBM Teammates Fared:
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished first
Todd Gilliland, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished seventh
Gander Trucks Championship Standings:
Burton fell one position to ninth in the Gander Trucks championship standings. After eight races he finds himself 79 tallies behind points leader Grant Enfinger.
Burton will be back behind the wheel of the No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Tundra when the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series resumes action June 7 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Live coverage of the SpeedyCash.com 400 begins Friday at 9 p.m. ET on FS1.