By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Correspondent
Kyle Busch Motorsports’ Harrison Burton avoided disaster to earn at top-five at Chicagoland Speedway.
The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series driver restarted on the outside early in the final stage of the Camping World 225. Burton’s No. 18 Safelite Toyota Tundra followed eventual race winner Brett Moffitt. He was side-by-side with stage-two winner Grant Enfinger when Stewart Friesen and Brandon Jones joined the fray.
Enfinger broke loose as the four entered turn one four-wide. His Ford F-150 tagged the left-rear of Burton’s Tundra. Both drivers regained control quickly. Enfinger was swept up in an accident several laps later.
Burton quietly ran up front for the remainder of the race. He took the checkered flag in fourth as one of just 10 trucks on the lead lap.
“We are working really hard,” Burton said. “All of the guys at KBM have been working their butts off, week in and week out. They are giving us really fast trucks. They are really fun to drive. I am just lucky to be in this position. We are fighting to get into the Playoffs. It is a lot of fun for a team to try and come back and get in the Playoffs. If we get in, they better watch out.”
The stage three incident was not the only time that Burton narrowly avoided disaster. At the start of stage two, contact between Matt Crafton, Austin Wayne Self, Friesen, and Moffitt nearly wiped out several trucks. Burton somehow emerged from the pack without a scratch. He finished the stage in fourth.
At the start of the race, Burton, who started eighth, appeared to miss a shift. He drifted backwards before stabilizing just outside the top-10. In a stroke of good luck, Burton didn’t damage the engine with the missed shift.
The fourth-place finish is the fifth top-five for Burton this season and the ninth of his Truck Series career.
Despite the top-five finish, Burton is still on the outside looking in for the playoffs. He is 13-points behind Ben Rhodes, who currently holds the cutoff with four races remaining in the regular season.