Harrison Burton, son of veteran Sprint Cup Series racer and NBC broadcaster Jeff Burton, will be making his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday. Burton will pilot the No. 18 Dex Imaging Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
The North Carolina native, who just recently turned 16-years old, is really looking forword to the opporntunity.
"I'm really excited about making my first Truck Series start at Martinsville," said Burton in a team release. This is a huge opportunity with a great team like Kyle Busch Motorsports. I've raced in a lot of big races during my young career and I will look to that experience to help me make this transition."
Kyle Busch Motorsports, a team owned by veteran racer and raigning Sprint Cup Series champion Kyle Busch, is no stranger to giving these type of opportunities to aspiring NASCAR drivers. Kyle Busch Motorsports helped Erik Jones get his feet wet in the series and is currently racing for a championship in the NASCAR XFINITY Series with Joe Gibbs Racing. Jones also ended 2015 off with a bang after scoring the Camping World Truck Series championship with the team. William Byron, a driver who is competing in his first ever full-time season, has been tearing the Camping World Truck Series apart. Byron has taken his No. 9 Liberty University Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota to six victories, 10 top five and 13 top 10 finishes and is seeded first in the Round of Six as the series goes to Martinsville.
Burton's father has been offering plenty of advice ahead of his debut. One of those things? Protecting the bottom of the track. "My Dad said that protecting the bottom is huge at Martinsville," added Burton in a team release. "We watched tape and it gets crazy there. So, he says you have to be cautious, but very assertive while protecting the bottom. He also told me that since this is my very first truck race and I am 16, I need to soak in this opportunity to learn and gain experience and the respect of the other drivers."
The 16-year old competed in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East for the first time in 2016. Burton captured one top five and five top 10 finishes in 2016. His best career finish in the series came with a fourth-place finish at Columbus.
Burton on his goals going into the race at Martinsville: "Obviously, everyone wants to go out and win, but I think if I can have a good qualifying result, have good restarts and keep the fenders on my DEX Imaging Tundra through the whole race, I can be in good position with 20 to go and then anything can happen. My focus is learning the truck, the track and the guys I am racing with and then applying that as the race comes to the finish."
Burton will be guided by crew chief Wes Ward. Ward says his goal is for Harrison is to run every lap of the race.
"I want to see Harrison run every lap, try to keep his nose clean and learn," said Ward. "Starting your first Truck Series race at Martinsville is pretty tough for anybody, but I think he's talented enough to get through it and we're excited about racing with him this weekend."
Burton will pilot KBM-036 chasis for Saturday's Texas Roadhouse 200 at Martinsville Speedway. The truck was last used at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May where Kyle Busch finished second.