Joe Gibbs Racing’s Harrison Burton is just the second Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender to finish inside the top 10 through the first seven races of the season, joining Carl Edwards – who in 2005 while driving for Roush Fenway Racing also accomplished the feat. Edwards holds the NASCAR Xfinity Series rookie record for the most consecutive top-10 finishes to start their rookie season with nine (2005).
Overall, Burton, driver of the No. 20 Toyota, is the 10th different driver to finish in the top 10 in the opening seven races of the season. Elliott Sadler is the most recent driver to do this in 2018. Sam Ard continues to hold the record for the most consecutive top-10 finishes to start a season with 23 in 1984.
As for average finish, in the history of the Xfinity Series, only five drivers have produced an average finish under 5.0 in the first seven races of a season and Burton is the only Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender to accomplish the feat.
This weekend will be Burton’s series track debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and though Burton is off to a record pace, adding a little extra pressure this weekend is the fact the No. 20 JGR team won this race at Atlanta last season with driver Christopher Bell. Bell dominated the event, leading 142 of the 163 laps (87%). Burton is currently sitting in third place in the series standings, 26 points back from leader Chase Briscoe.
On the bright side, Burton isn’t a complete stranger to Atlanta Motor Speedway, he made his NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series debut at the 1.54-mile facility for Kyle Busch Motorsports last season – starting second and finishing in the top 10 (eighth).
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!