Event: Gander RV 150 (Race 14 of 23), 60 Laps – 15/15/30; 150 Miles
Location: Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. (2.5-mile tri-oval)
Date/Broadcast: July 27, 2019 at 1 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
The Beat on Burton:
- Morton Buildings, the industry leader in post-frame construction, will adorn the hood of the No. 18 Tundra for the second time this season as Harrison Burton heads to Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., for the Gander RV 150. Saturday’s 60-lap event will mark Burton’s first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series start at the 2.5-mile tri-oval, but he boasts an impressive average finish of 3.7 across three ARCA Racing Series starts, including a victory in his first-ever start at the “Tricky Triangle” last June.
- As the Gander Trucks regular season hits the homestretch, Burton continues to fight for a spot in the playoffs. The talented teenager enters Pocono riding the momentum of four top-five finishes across the last five events, but with three regular season races remaining finds himself ninth on the eight-driver playoff grid. The second-generation driver either needs to win one of the final three regular season races, or if no one outside the playoff grid wins, overcome the 40-point lead Matt Crafton currently holds on him for the eighth and final playoff spot.
- Across 13 Gander Truck Series starts this season, Burton has posted six top-five and eight top-10 finishes while recording an average starting position of 7.4 and an average finish of 9.8. The 18-year-old driver currently leads the Rookie of the Year standings by 61 points over Sheldon Creed.
- Burton’s crew chief, Mike Hillman Jr., is a two-time champion atop the pit box in the Gander Truck Series. He guided Todd Bodine to Toyota’s first-ever National Series title in 2006 and the duo won the championship again in 2010. Across 22 starts working together since October of 2017, Hillman Jr. and Burton have posted an average starting position of 8.1 and an average finish of 8.6.
- Hillman Jr.’s drivers have posted one win, one pole, 66 laps led, one top-five and two top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 11.0 across seven starts at Pocono. KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch captured the pole and led a race-high 43 laps with Hillman Jr. calling the shots in last year’s event. It marked the organization’s fourth consecutive victory at the Tricky Triangle. Busch also won the 2015 event, while William Byron was victorious in 2016 and Christopher Bell visited victory lane in 2017.
Do you feel like you are in a must-win situation over the final three regular-season races?
“Yes and no. It’ll be interesting to see — you never know what can happen. It we win, like I’ve said a lot of times, it makes everything a lot more simple — you’re guaranteed into the playoffs. That’ll be exciting if we can make that happen and get a win. We’re going into Pocono with the mentality that we are here to kick everyone’s butt and hopefully come out with a win.”
Does having strong runs in three ARCA starts at Pocono give you confidence heading into your first Gander Trucks race there?
“For sure — I’ve always run pretty well at Pocono and I like that race track a lot — it matches my style well. I’ve never run a truck there before and never had any laps in a truck there before, but it’ll be nice going somewhere that I have laps at — knowing that I know the race track and I just have to figure out the truck.”
What is the trickiest part about the “Tricky Triangle”?
“It’s hard to say — I’d say Turn Three is really tough because it is a long, sweeping corner and you have a long straightaway to go down if you mess up Turn Three it is going to bite you in the butt in a big way. I think Turn Three is really, really important, but there is always the Tunnel Turn that causes a lot of mayhem. Hopefully, we can get through clean and come out in front of everyone else.”
Harrison Burton Career Highlights
- Across 28 career Gander Trucks starts has collected one pole,80 laps led, 10 top-five and 15 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 10.0.
- Has one top-five and two top-10 finishes in three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts for Joe Gibbs Racing this season.
- Has three career ARCA Racing Series victories across 16 starts, including the 2019 season opener at Daytona.
- Captured the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East title after registering a series-high five wins
- Has numerous Super Late Model victories including the 2018 Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway in Kinston, Ala., and the 2017 ARCA/CRA SpeedFest at Crisp Motorsports Park in Cordele, Ga.
- Son of former Monster Energy Cup Series driver and current NBC Sports Analyst Jeff Burton.
Harrison Burton’s No. 18 Morton Buildings Tundra:KBM-56:
The Morton Buildings team will unload KBM-56 for Saturday’s Gander RV 150. Burton has raced this chassis three times this season, with a best result of eighth at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga. in February. The No. 18 team raced the Tundra most recently at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway in Madison, Ill., where they had a top-five run going before being relegated to a 16th-place finish after a late-race accident.
KBM-56 Performance Profile:
|Starts||Wins||Average Start||Average Finish||Laps Led|
KBM Notes of Interest
- KBM drivers have collected four wins, two poles, 217 laps led, nine top-five and 16 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 7.6 across 20 starts at Pocono.
- Owner-driver Kyle Busch collected his organization’s fourth consecutive victory at the “Tricky Triangle” last year when he started from the pole and led 43 of 60 laps. Busch also won the event in 2015, while William Byron was victorious in 2016 and Christopher Bell visited victory lane in 2017.
- KBM holds the NGOTS records for most career wins (74) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). In addition to collecting a series-record six Owner’s Championships, the organization has produced two championship-winning drivers; Erik Jones (2015) and Christopher Bell (2017).
- The No. 18, the number which was on the first Tundra that went to victory lane for KBM in 2010, has 21 career victories.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!