Burton Battles to a Top-Five Finish at Texas

Harrison Burton battled his way from the 11th starting position to register a fifth-place finish in Friday night's SpeedyCash.com 400 at Texas Motor Speedway. Burton recorded his third top-five finish of 2019 despite having to overcome a pit road penalty for an uncontrolled tire near the halfway mark of the race and he also sustained minor damage to the left side of his Safelite AutoGlass Tundra in the Final Stage.
Stage One Recap:  
  • Burton started the 167-lap event from the 11th spot and ran just outside the top 10 for the majority of Stage One as he reported that his Toyota was "free on entry and tight in the center."
  • When the third caution of the night occurred on lap 28, a handful of teams elected to hit pit road, but crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. elected to stay out in an effort to earn some stage points. Burton restarted eighth for the restart with two laps to go in Stage One but got passed by a couple drivers with fresh tires and ended the stage scored in the 10th spot. 
Stage Two Recap:  
  • Hillman Jr. summoned his young driver to pit road for four fresh tires and fuel between stages. With several teams having already pitted, the No. 18 team was scored 20th when Stage Two went green on lap 46.
  • Burton catapulted from 20th to 13th in one lap and then made his way into the top 10 on lap 68. He was running 10th when his KBM teammate Todd Gilliland brought out the eight caution of the event on lap 69.
  • The race went back green with six laps remaining in the stage. When Tyler Ankrum went spinning towards pit road the next lap, several drivers slowed up thinking that the accident had brought out the caution, but the race remained green and Burton alertly stayed in the gas and wound up in the fourth position.
  • He was able to pick up one more spot before the completion of the stage and crossed the stripe third on lap 80. 
Final Stage Recap:  
  • Hillman Jr. ordered up a four-tire and fuel stop with an air pressure adjustment. A tire got away from the pit crew during the stop putting Burton in the 20th position at the tail end of the field for the start of the Final Stage.
  • Burton would run just outside the top 10 during the first half of the Final Stage. On lap 97, Burton sustained minor damage to the left side of his Safelite Tundra as part of a six-truck accident.
  • When pit road opened, the over-the-wall crew went to working clearing the tire from the fenders, but ultimately decided to put on fresh left-side tires.
  • Burton would restart from the 13th spot on lap 103, but by the time the next caution occurred on lap 108 had advanced to 10th.
  • A handful of teams elected to pit for the final set of fresh tires, but the No. 18 team remained on the track. The second-generation driver would restart from the sixth spot on lap 112.
  • Burton was running in the sixth position on lap 150 as the event's first long green-flag run ensued. Hillman Jr. was just about to summon Burton to pit road for the final time when the 13th and final caution of the night occurred on lap 154.
  • The Safelite Tundra hit pit road for fresh right-side tires and fuel and returned to the track scored in the fifth position for the restart with 10 laps remaining.
  • Burton advanced to the third position on the restart, but would ultimately end the event in the fifth spot. 


Speedway Digest Staff

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