Hometown: Huntersville, North Carolina
Current Level: Super Late Models/NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
Last Year’s Pick: 4th
Entering 2017, Harrison Burton lacked a few key pieces to the puzzle of being a first overall draft pick in the Short Track Draft presented by PFC Brakes on Speed51.com. He didn’t have a marquee win. He didn’t have a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win. Burton crossed off the marquee win quickly by winning CRA SpeedFest in January. Then he went and won the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing Super Late Model championship at New Smyrna Speedway (FL) in February. For some, that was enough to draft him first overall. Then he won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Bristol Motor Speedway (TN) this past weekend. Many thought that would be enough to put him over the top.
However, it was not. Harrison Burton has been named the second overall draft pick in the 2017 Short Track Draft.
The 16-year-old driver received 14 first-place votes, 42 top-five votes and 53 top-10 votes, the same as number-one pick Todd Gilliland. Burton’s quality votes totaled out to 94-percent, meaning that 94-percent of the votes that he received were either first-place or top-five votes.
“It’s pretty cool jumping up two spots,” said Burton. “I obviously wanted to be number one but there’s some really stiff competition of course, so it’s really cool to be where I am. Hopefully next year we can be number one.”
The fortunate thing for Burton is that he’s just 16 years old. He cannot run a full NASCAR Camping World Truck Series or NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule until he turns 18. As of now he can just run at road courses and tracks that are one-mile in length or less. That means that he will keep his rookie eligibility in NASCAR’s top three series for a few more years, which will keep him eligible for the Short Track Draft for a few more years as well.
There’s no doubting that Burton is a top prospect. He has the talent, and he’s finally starting to show that. He has the looks. He has a famous NASCAR last name, which will only help him out. He also has a terrific personality. He is funny, intelligent, and best of all he’s genuine.
Burton is a driver your can build a team around. He’ll bring in the sponsors with his personality and skill. He’s the perfect face of an organization, and getting to draft a face like that is rare. It’s like when the Green Bay Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers. While Rodgers didn’t go as high as Burton was selected (Rodgers was the 24th pick in the 2005 draft), he was selected to eventually become the face of a franchise. When Burton makes it to the top levels of NASCAR, he will be the face of his organization.
Will Burton eventually be a first overall pick? Not this year, but it’s almost a guarantee for the future.
On Thursday evening, Speed51.com announced the number-one pick in this year's Short Track Draft presented by PFC Brakes.
Picks #3-10 will be revealed one by one each hour beginning at 10 a.m. ET on Friday. Selections 11-25 will be announced at 6 p.m. Friday.
After a weekend to digest the first 25 picks, the remaining picks (26-51) will be revealed Monday night at 5 p.m. ET.