In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Burton put on a show for all spectators when he quickly climbed his way into the top five and gave seasoned NASCAR veterans a run for their money. The 21-year old thought his night was over when his Arrowhead Chevrolet made contact with the wall with only ten laps to go, but that didn’t stop him from giving it his all. Restarting just outside the top-20, Burton battled back to a third-place finish after multiple green/white/checkered attempts and ended his rookie season with a top-five spot in the NCWTS Driver Point Standings.
In his first visit to the 1.5-mile track, Burton spent Thursday afternoon studying the layout, getting tips from his Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) teammates and watching race footage from previous years. When track activity began on Friday, Burton used the day’s only practice session to get more acquainted and master his line. The young driver’s determination paid off when he jumped to the top of the speed charts after running 50 practice laps. In his qualifying effort, however, Burton drove his Chevy Silverado a bit too hard and placed the No. 4 truck in the 15th position for the start of the Ford EcoBoost 200.
The No. 4 Arrowhead truck didn’t stay out of the top 10 for long. Within the first 20 laps, Burton had climbed his way into the seventh position and said his truck felt “awesome.” Throughout the race, Burton ran consistent lap times, many of which were the same as the leaders, and the TSM team performed impressive pit stops,which helped Burton break into the top five by the halfway mark. In the second half of the race, the rookie driver found himself in several tough battles for the lead with NASCAR veterans Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon. Having settled into the second position with less than ten laps remaining, crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. told Burton, “It’s time. Go get ’em!” When a determined Burton made an effort to take the lead, however, his No. 4 Arrowhead truck made contact with the wall, sending out a caution and allowing the TSM team to repair minimal damage and provide four new Goodyear tires.
Restarting outside of the top 20, Burton fought his way back into the top 10 before another caution arose, followed by another. In the final attempt at a green/white/checkered finish, Burton put on a show as he charged to gain even more track position, crossing the finish line in the third position.
“That felt good,” said an excited Burton. “That was one of the most fun races I’ve ever been in. It felt so good to be competitive and fight for the lead. My team gave me an awesome truck to work with tonight and I couldn’t let our season end on a mediocre note. I’ve got the hardest working group of guys out there and I couldn’t be more grateful for everything they’ve done for me, as well as my sponsor, Arrowhead. We’ve exceeded every goal I set for our team at the beginning of the year. I can’t wait to get back in this truck next year with more experience and compete for that championship. I think we’re already ready for Daytona after tonight.”
In an impressive rookie season, Burton added one win, five top fives and ten top 10s to his racing resume. In his 22 starts, Burton led a total of 289 laps and received seven Keystone Light pole awards, sharing the NASCAR record with Austin Dillon. Having remained in the top five in point standings throughout the year, the young driver finishes the 2013 season in fifth place in the NCWTS Driver Point Standings.
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