Toledo, OH — The last time eighteen-year-old Harrison Burton (No. 20 DEX Imaging Toyota) was scheduled to compete in an ARCA Menards Series race, the season-opening Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona, he ended his night celebrating in victory lane. Following the tire tracks of his father Jeff, who won at Daytona in July 2000, Burton had won on the sport’s biggest stage just as he was to kick off his first full-time season driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.
Burton dominated at Daytona, leading the final 48 laps on his way to his third career series win.
It was a night that Burton won’t soon forget.
“It was really cool to win Daytona, it’s something everyone dreams of,” Burton said. “I used to pretend I would win there when I was in grade school with my friends, so to come out and win there was really amazing. I haven’t won as many more after that as I would have liked, hopefully we’ll changed that this week.”
Heading into the May 23 General Tire 150 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Burton looks to again join his father as a winner at the 1.5-mile quad-oval. The elder Burton won three times at Charlotte, including his final Cup Series victory in October 2008.
Although he’s just 18 years old, Burton has been traveling all across the country driving racecars since he was in middle school. Racing close to home two weekends in a row is almost like an extended vacation. Not only is Burton preparing to race in front of him home crowd, his friends, and family, he is also graduating from nearby Cannon School on Friday.
“It’s a big week for me,” Burton said. “Racing at home and graduating from high school the next day makes it a big weekend. It would be great to get a win on Thursday and graduate the next day. Not many guys get to race on Thursday and graduated on Friday, and to win would make it even better. It would work out really good.”
There’s also another reason Burton wants to perform well on Thursday night. Running just a partial schedule in the ARCA Menards Series, he’s out to win races just like every other driver in the field. He’s also out to gain as much experience and build his knowledge base as much as possible as he chases the Truck Series title.
It’s a great bridge between late models and trucks,” he said. “It exposes you to different tracks, aero, a similar grip level. The level of perfection you need to win on a big track is high. Every mistake you pay for greatly because the high speeds magnifies everything. The level of competition in ARCA is really high right now too. If you win, you have to beat a dozen really good drivers and teams. It’s not easy by any means.”
Practice for the General Tire 150 at Charlotte Motor Speedway is at 11:30 am ET, with General Tire Pole Qualifying scheduled for 5 pm ET. The 100-lap, 150-mile race is set to follow at 9 pm ET and will be televised live on FS1. Tickets are available by visiting the track website at CharlotteMotorSpeedway.com or by calling the ticket office at 800-455-3267. ARCA for Me members can access free live timing & scoring, live track updates, and live chat at ARCARacing.com. New users can register for free with a valid email address at ARCARacing.com/login.
ARCA Press Release
Photo Credit: ARCA