Cover photo by Rachel Schuoler / Kickin’ the Tires
By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
Harrison Burton recovered from a late-race spin to score a top-10 finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
In the final 30 laps of the Alsco Uniforms 300, Burton battled Michael Annett and Austin Cindric for a position inside the top-five. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver moved up the track on the frontstretch, using his No. 20 Dex Imaging Toyota Supra to block Cindric’s No. 22 Carquest Auto Parts Ford Mustang. The Team Penske driver bumped Burton and kept pushing. The Huntersville, N.C. native spun on corner entrance, causing a caution.
“Not really, I don’t know (what happened between Cindric and I),” Burton explained. “I made a block that I thought I had plenty of time on and apparently not. I would like to see it. It happened so fast, and I don’t really know.
“Just really disappointing because we had so many issues and fought through them and got to where I thought we were a third-place car at the end. Then just had an unfortunate deal there. I’ll look at it and see, I’m not real sure what happened. I do know that I’m proud of our team for working really hard and getting better as the race went on.”
On the restart, Burton lined up 19th on the running order. Within two laps, the caution waved yet again. Burton narrowly avoided an incident that swept up his teammate, Ty Dillon, and Brett Moffitt. On the ensuing restart, the 20-year-old lined up inside the top-15.
Over the final 13 laps, Burton maneuvered his way into the top-10. He made quick work of fellow Toyota Racing driver Santino Ferrucci, as well as Justin Allgaier, Brandon Brown, and NASCAR Cup Series driver Tyler Reddick. When the checkered flag waved, the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series Rookie-of-the-Year crossed the line in ninth.
Burton didn’t finish inside the top-10 in the first Stage. A blown motor last weekend resulted in a 22nd starting spot due to metric qualifying for the second-year Xfinity driver. Burton crossed the line in eighth to finish Stage 2, netting an additional three points.
The ninth-place finish is third top-10 for Burton this season. It also marks his 30th career top-10 finish in the Xfinity Series.
Despite the top-10 finish, Burton slipped from seventh to eighth in the points standings. He is 71-points behind leader Cindric and 46 ahead of the cutoff, held by Noah Gragson.