Draiver Team Ready for Short-Track Action at Phoenix

This weekend’s Shriners Children’s 500 at Phoenix Raceway will offer Harrison Burton and the No. 21 Draiver team their first at-track experience with NASCAR’s new short-track aero package. The first three races of the 2024 season were held at different types of tracks, with Daytona and Atlanta offering superspeedway drafting, and Las Vegas Motor Speedway a more traditional intermediate-track race.

Phoenix’s one-mile oval is treated by race teams like a short track despite being longer than traditional shorter tracks such as the half-miles at Bristol and Martinsville.

Also new this week is the primary sponsor. The No. 21 Mustang Dark Horse will carry the colors and logos of Draiver, a technology-based company that connects independent drivers with companies needing to move vehicles.

“We’re excited to have a new sponsor on the car with Draiver this week,” said crew chief Jeremy Bullins.

“Our Mustang Dark Horse looks great in their colors, and we will get a longer practice this week to get the set-up dialed in.

“It’ll be interesting to see how the new short-track aero package affects the racing.

“Hopefully we can make the most of it.”

Burton told reporters that he too is anxious to try out the new package.

“The cars certainly might drive worse, which is going to be fun for us,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to be crazy different, but it’s definitely going to be a little bit less grip and more to manage.”

He predicts the change will be appreciated by drivers and fans alike.

“It should make the racing a little bit better, so I’m excited for that,” he said. “I’m excited to get out there and feel what it’s like.

“I know there’s been some testing done with that package, and from what I saw it looked like a good time to drive it so I’m excited.”

Burton also said he’s anxious to visit the Arizona track and its surroundings.

“I love Phoenix,” he said. “It’s a cool area, cool race track, cool fan base, so its always fun to go out there.”

Practice for Sunday’s 500-kilometer race is set for Friday from 3:05 p.m. to 3:55 p.m. local time (5:05-5:55 p.m. Eastern Time).

Qualifying is scheduled for Saturday at 12:10 p.m. local time (2:10 p.m. Eastern).

Sunday’s 312-lap race is expected to get the green flag just after 12:30 p.m. local time (3:30 p.m. Eastern) with TV coverage on FOX.

Stage breaks are planned for Laps 60 and 185.