Harrison Burton and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team head into Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway with confidence in their superspeedway program and encouraged by a strong mid-race surge at Texas last Sunday.

Burton was fast in the qualifying races in the season opener at Daytona, Talladega’s sister track. He qualified fifth for his Duel and finished fifth, only to be collected in a multi-car crash on the fifth lap of the Daytona 500. Then at Atlanta, a high-banked intermediate track that races like a superspeedway, he scored a season-best 11th-place finish.

At Texas, Burton finished seventh in the second Stage, earning four Stage points, but was involved in a late-race crash that cost him several finishing positions.

“It was nice to put some Stage points on the board last week, and that’ll be a big priority for us this week at Talladega,” said crew chief Jeremy Bullins. “Obviously, the Daytona 500 was a huge disappointment, getting wrecked before the race barely got underway, but we felt confident going into the race.

“Running well at Atlanta in basically a superspeedway race also has us looking forward to this week.”

Bullins said there will be important decisions to be made from atop the pit box, but the veteran crew chief expects to be up for the challenge.

“Fuel mileage will be the topic I’m sure, but I feel like we have a great car for this race,” he said. “We are looking forward to another opportunity to get some positive momentum going.”

Per NASCAR rules for superspeedways, there will be no pre-race practice. Qualifying is set for Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Central Time (10:30 Eastern Time) with TV coverage on FOX Sports 1.

Sunday’s 500-mile, 188-lap race is scheduled to start just after 2 p.m. (3 P.M. Eastern), with TV coverage on FOX.

Stage breaks are planned for Laps 60 and 120.

WBR PR