Harrison Burton and the No. 21 DEX Imaging Ford team are preparing for this weekend’s 400-miler at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif, the two-mile oval where Burton got his first major NASCAR victory in an Xfinity Series race in 2020.
Burton, then a rookie in NASCAR’s No. 2 series, started on the outside pole, led three times for a total of 40 laps, took the lead with 20 laps to go and held on to win the Production Alliance Group 300.
It was just his 12th start in that series. Trailing him across the finish line were Riley Herbst and this year’s Daytona 500 winner Austin Cindric.
Burton, while familiar with the track that sat idle last year due to the coronavirus, knows that competing at Auto Club Speedway in the elite Cup Series in a new car is a big step up from his previous race there.
“I’m super excited to get to Fontana and race on that old worn-out surface,” Burton said. “It’s an awesome race track full of character and lane choices. That really puts it in the drivers’ hands.
“The last time I was there I won my first Xfinity race. so that naturally makes it one of my favorites.”
He said there will be lots to learn once he hits the track in the DEX Imaging Mustang.
“One of the biggest challenges I expect is learning how this Next Gen car will handle slipping and sliding and which tools can the driver use to help get through those moments,” he said.
Practice for the Wise Power 400 is set for Saturday at 11 a.m. (2 p.m. Eastern Time), and that will be followed by qualifying at 11:35 (2:35 Eastern).
Sunday’s 200-lap race is scheduled to start just after 3:35 p.m. Eastern Time, with TV coverage on FOX.