After a strong run in the first half of Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, Harrison Burton and the No. 21 DEX Imaging Mustang were swept up in a Lap 95 “Big One” crash that relegated them to a 28th-place finish.
Burton started the regular season finale from third-place after a Cup-career-best qualifying effort. He held his spot for the first 15 laps then remained in the top 10 through the first 25 laps before dropping to 14th at the end of the first 35-lap Stage.
After a pit stop at the conclusion of the Stage, Burton restarted 17th and ran inside the top 20 for the most part until a round of green-flag pit stops near the end of the second Stage. Crew chief Brian Wilson elected to stay on the track while others pitted, a move that saw Burton cycle into the lead on Lap 84 before making his stop.
The strategy worked as Burton was able to maintain the top spot through Lap 87. He battled back to the lead onlap 89, then was running around the 10th place on the final lap of the Stage when drivers began wrecking ahead of him.
A total of 16 cars, including Burton’s Mustang, received damage in the crash, and he had to be pushed back to the pits after a red-flag period.
Rejoining the race in 29th place, two laps in arrears, Burton soldiered on through the final segment of the race. After a pit stop at Lap 160, Burton picked up two spots in an Overtime finish to take the checkered flag in 28th place, three laps behind.
Burton and the No. 21 team now turn their attention to the final 10 races of the season, beginning with next week’s Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.