By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
The closing laps of the Drydene 200 at Dover International Speedway saw Harrison Burton dueling his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Ty Gibbs for the final spot inside the top-five.
An early caution in the final Stage of the 200-mile race at Dover allowed the field to spread out in the closing laps. Burton found himself inside the top-five in the No. 20 Dex Imaging Toyota Supra. He battled with AJ Allmendinger, Noah Gragson, and Gibbs throughout the 56-lap green flag run.
Allmendinger broke away from the group to take fourth. A late pit stop for Gragson left Burton to battle Gibbs for the final position inside the top-five. The 20-year-old defended his position from the unsponsored No. 54 Toyota Supra around the high-banked 1.0-mile concrete track. On the final lap, Gibbs snuck by Burton to take fifth, leaving Burton sixth at the checkered flag.
“We were pretty solid,” Gibbs explained. “We kind of fired off a little free and we kind of chased free the whole race. I made mistakes. I’ll go back and look at those. People were running me hard, and you can’t really go anywhere when someone is on your door. It just a hard track for me.
“I feel like this is one of my harder ones, I’m learning as I go, and I’m kind of frustrated. I think I could have run a little better. We had a good day overall. I will take a top-five any day. We will keep on going.”
Burton started the race at the ‘Monster Mile’ in fifth due to the metric qualifying format. Two cautions in Stage 1 helped the Huntersville, N.C. native hold station and take the green-white checkered flag in fourth. The second Stage ended under caution, handing Burton a fifth-place run. Between the two Stages he earned an additional 13-points.
Gibbs meanwhile, started 14th on track. The caution-filled first Stage helped him climb to finish the Stage in seventh. The caution that ended Stage 2 left Gibbs in ninth.
The sixth-place finish is the seventh top-10 for Burton this season and the 34th of his NASCAR Xfinity Series career. It was also his 54th top-10 across NASCAR’s three National Series.
Burton is competing full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2021 while Gibbs is not. Gibbs is competing full-time in the ARCA Menards Series. Despite not running full-time in the Xfinity Series, Gibbs is 17th in the points standings. He is 35-points behind Rookie-of-the-Year Points leader Josh Berry.
The top-10 finish kept Burton third in the points standings. He is 123-points ahead of the playoff cutoff, held by his teammate Brandon Jones. Burton is 74-points behind leader and race winner Austin Cindric.
Feature Photo Credit: Photo by NKP / NKP Photo