Burton Bids for First Truck Series Win but Settles for Eighth-Place Finish

Burton Bids for First Truck Series Win but Settles for Eighth-Place Finish NK Photography Photo
Harrison Burton ran inside the top three for the majority of Saturday's Ultimate Tailgating 200 and was lined up on the front row alongside his owner and teammate Kyle Busch when the field took the green flag with five laps remaining. Unfortunately for Burton, the outside lane lacked grip and he didn't get up to speed as fast as the inside line and lost several positions. Busch would go on to pick up a NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series' record 52nd win, while Burton would be forced to settle for an undeserving eighth-place finish.
 
Stage One Recap: 
  • After Saturday morning's qualifying session was washed out, Burton earned the second-place starting position based off the No. 18 team's placement in the 2018 Owners' point standings.
  • The Safelite Tundra fired off strong and Burton was able to lead the first lap before settling back into the second position. He would remain in the second spot for the entire first stage but communicated that his Toyota was "a touch too tight." 
Stage Two Recap: 
  • When pit road opened, crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. summoned the Safelite Tundra to pit road for four fresh tires, with an air pressure adjustment, and a full tank of fuel.
  • Burton returned to the tack scored in the fifth position when Stage Two went green on lap 46. After getting put three-wide shortly after the field crossed the stripe, the 18-year-old driver subsided to the eighth position. Burton had gained one spot back when the field was slowed for the third time on lap 53 for debris on the track.
  • The Safelite Tundra restarted sixth on lap 57 and then slowly maneuvered its way back towards the front of the field. Burton would cross the stripe third to end Stage Two on lap 80. 
Final Stage Recap: 
  • Burton once again communicated that his No. 18 Toyota was "a little tight," before hitting pit road for four fresh tires, with an air pressure adjustment, and a full tank of fuel. He would start the Final Stage from the third position.
  • The Safelite Tundra was in the third position when the field was slowed for the fourth time for a one-truck spin on lap 112. Hillman Jr. used the caution to put the final four fresh Goodyear tires on Burton's truck.
  • The second-generation driver restarted third when the race went back green with 13 laps remaining. A strong restart propelled the talented teenager into the second position just before a five-truck pile up red-flagged the field with 11 laps remaining.
  • Once the carnage was cleared and the trucks started rolling again, the mist that had been in the air throughout the race intensified and the field was brought down pit road.
  • After a 17-minute weather delay, the field rolled back on the track to finish the race under green-flag conditions. Burton, who was on the outside of the front row, was unable to get up to speed as fast as the inside lane and instead of racing his boss for the win, would have to settle for an eighth-place finish. 

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Steven B. Wilson

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