Harrison Burton continued his strong charge towards the end of the NASCAR Gander Truck Series regular season by registering his third top-five finish across his last four races. Burton started from the eighth position for his first career Gander Trucks start at Chicagoland Speedway and went on to finish Stage One in the sixth spot and then crossed the stripe fourth in both Stage Two and the Final Stage.
With 12 of 16 races complete in the Gander Trucks regular season, Burton currently sits sixth in the driver point standings, but finds himself in the eighth and final spot on the playoff grid. With Ross Chastain having a win and on the verge of moving into the top 20 in points and becoming playoff eligible per the NASCAR rule book, Burton would slide off the playoff grid to ninth. Not only did the No. 18 team have a strong run at Chicagoland, playoff contender Ben Rhodes had engine problems and finished 32nd. His complications allowed Burton to close to within 13 points of what would be the eighth and final playoff spot once Chastain works his way onto the grid.
Stage One Recap:
- Burton started the 150-lap event from the 8th spot, but after missing a shift on the initial start fell back to 10th. After an early caution, the second-generation driver restarted 10th on lap nine, but this time had a strong restart and moved up to eighth.
- On lap 23, he gained two more positions and remained in the sixth spot when the field crossed the stripe to complete Stage One on lap 35.
- Burton communicated that his Safelite Tundra "fired off tight, but started swinging loose," as his team prepared for the first pit stop of the night.
Stage Two Recap:
- Crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. summoned Burton to pit road for four fresh tires, with an air pressure adjustment aimed to improve the handling of the No. 18 Toyota, and a full load of fuel.
- The North Carolina native was scored in the seventh spot when Stage Two went green on lap 42. By the time the third caution of the night occurred on lap 44, Burton had advance two spots to the fifth position.
- Burton had another strong restart and moved up to third position on lap 48, where he remained for 15 laps, before sliding back one spot to finish the stage in the fourth position.
- He reported that the change on the first pit stop was a positive one and that he needed more of the same change.
Final Stage Recap:
- Hillman Jr. ordered up another air pressure adjustment during the next four-tire and fuel stop. A fast stop by the over-the-wall crew allowed Burton to exit pit road in the third position.
- Shortly after the Final Stage went green, the Safelite Tundra found itself in the middle lanes of a four-wide battle for the second spot and fell back to the fourth position, where it remained until a three-truck accident on lap 79 slowed the field for the fifth and final time.
- With the bottom lane not being the preferred lane on the restarts, Burton fell back two spots to sixth on the ensuing restart. Two laps later he was able to gain one position back and then with just over 30 laps remaining regained the fourth position.
- As the final pit stop of the night approached, he communicated to Hillman Jr. that the Safelite Tundra was "three out of 10 free."
- On lap 121, Hillman Jr. summoned his young driver to pit road for the final four-tire and fuel stop of the night under green-flag conditions.
- When pit stops cycled through with 24 laps remaining, the No. 18 team was scored in the fourth position and would maintain the spot when the field crossed the stripe to complete the Final Stage on lap 150.
- The fourth-place result was Burton's third top-five finish across the last four races and his fifth across 12 Gander Trucks starts in 2019.
- After two DNF's contributed to an average finish of 14.6 across the first five events of the Gander Trucks season, the talented teenager has recorded an average finish of 7.4 across the last seven races.