Burton and his Cup Series peers took the green flag on a wet track riding on rain tires after showers delayed the start of the race for nearly two hours.
Burton, who qualified 30th for Sunday’s 90-lap run on the 2.45-mile Watkins Glen International track, spun in the opening laps, pitted for tires and fuel on Lap 11.
After the track dried and teams switched to standard tires, he ended the second Stage in 25th place.
As teams employed various pit strategies, Burton moved up to 18th place in the opening laps of the race’s third segment before making a scheduled green-flag stop at Lap 53.
Returning to the track outside the top 30, he worked his way up to 28th place.
Burton and the No. 21 team now head to Daytona International Speedway for Saturday night’s Coke Zero Sugar 400, the 26th and final race of the Cup Series regular season.