Event: Eldora Dirt Derby (Race 15 of 23), 150 Laps – 40/50/60; 75 Miles
Location: Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio (half-mile dirt-oval)
Date/Broadcast: Aug. 1, 2019 at 9 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
The Beat on Burton:
- As the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series regular season hits the homestretch, Harrison Burton and the Safelite AutoGlass team continue to fight for a spot in the playoffs. Burton enters Eldora riding the momentum of five top-five finishes across the last six Gander Trucks events, but with two regular season races remaining finds himself ninth on the eight-driver playoff grid. Entering Pocono, the talented teenager found himself 44 points behind Matt Crafton for the final playoff spot, but the combination of equaling a career-best third-place finish at the “Tricky Triangle” and playoff contender Stewart Friesen being involved in an early wreck, allowed the second-generation driver to leave Pocono 13 points behind Friesen and 29 points behind Crafton.
- Over the last six events, Burton has posted an average finish of 5.6 and has totaled 248 points, which ranks third most during that span behind Grant Enfinger (251) and Brett Moffitt (250).
- Burton rolled off 23rd and finished 15th in his lone start at Eldora in 2017.
- The 18-year-old driver has posted seven top-five and nine top-10 finishes while recording an average starting position of 7.3 and an average finish of 9.4 across 14 Gander Truck Series starts this season. Burton currently leads the Rookie of the Year standings by 92 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 23 starts working together since October of 2017, Hillman Jr. and Burton have posted an average starting position of 8.0 and an average finish of 8.3. Hillman Jr.’s drivers have posted 58 laps led, one top-five and two top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 13.8 across four starts at Eldora. His best result was a third-place finish with Chase Briscoe in the 2017 event.
- Safelite AutoGlass, the nation’s largest provider of vehicle glass repair and replacement services, will adorn the hood of Burton’s Tundra for 19 of the 23 events on the NGOTS schedule in 2019. Burton will visit the company’s headquarters, which are located 96 miles east of Eldora Speedway in Columbus, Ohio, Tuesday and Wednesday before Thursday’s event at the famed dirt track.
What are your expectations as you head to Eldora for the second time?
“Just to be smooth and have a good race. We are finding ourselves in a points battle all of the sudden now – where we thought we had to win a race to get in and now we can point our way in. Just have to be solid all night and not make any huge mistakes. This is a track that you can make up a lot of ground in points because there is going to be a lot calamity and chaos — we just have to find a way to be fast and not be a part of it. We just have to go out there and be aggressive and have a good time.”
Do you feel you can prepare better for this race now that you’ve raced there once?
“That’s hard to say, because I went there the first time and I felt like I was so prepared — I had driven all these dirt cars and felt like I was going to be able to run good. Then, I got there and it was completely different and it threw me through a loop for the first practice for sure because it was really tough to drive these trucks on the dirt for me. Now, I felt like I’ve prepared better for the truck by watching more film about it and doing a lot of iRacing and things like that, that are truck specific instead of just dirt specific. Trying to figure that out and be ready to go. I think that I’m as prepared as I can be and we’ll go there and kick some butt.”
Harrison Burton Career Highlights
- Across 29 career Gander Trucks starts has collected one pole, 86 laps led, 11 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 9.8.
- 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 Safelite AutoGlass Tundra:
KBM-12: The Safelite AutoGlass team will unload KBM-12 for Thursday night’s Eldora Dirt Derby at Eldora Speedway. It is the same Tundra that Logan Seavey led 53 laps with en route to an eighth-place finish at the famed dirt track last year. Burton also raced KBM-12 in the 2017 event, where he started 23rd and finished 15th. Before being converted to a dirt truck in recent years, Erik Jones piloted the Toyota to its lone victory at Iowa Speedway in Newton in 2014.
KBM-12 Performance Profile:
|Starts||Wins||Average Start||Average Finish||Laps Led|
KBM Notes of Interest
- KBM drivers have collected two wins, one pole, 302 laps led, five top-five and 10 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 11.4 across 17 starts at Eldora
- Darrell Wallace Jr. won the event in 2014 and Christopher Bell was victorious in 2015
- 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!