By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
They say there’s a first time for everything, and for the first time, Harrison Burton has earned a top-five finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. One year ago, this weekend, Burton made his debut at Martinsville Speedway, and now he has scored his career-best finish, fourth, at ‘The Paperclip.’ Today’s race also marked the first time that he competed in the same race as his cousin, Jeb Burton, in their career.
Harrison Burton slowly climbed his way up through the field in the Texas Roadhouse 200 presented by Alpha Energy Solutions. He often found himself beating and banging with Stewart Friesen, Johnny Sauter, and his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammates Todd Gilliland and Noah Gragson. Gragson would go on to win the race. Despite constantly trading paint, Burton kept his No. 51 DEX Imaging Toyota Tundra pointed in the right direction and out of trouble.
The race also marked Burton’s first race against his older cousin, Jeb Burton. Jeb Burton drove the No. 20 State Water Heaters / Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation Chevrolet Silverado inside the top-15 for much of the race. However, a rear gear problem ended the elder Burton’s race with 26 laps to go, giving Harrison Burton the upper hand in their first race together.
The fourth-place finish is the first top-five and top-10 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Harrison Burton. A few weeks ago, he won the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Championship, which he competed in full-time. Martinsville also marked the final Truck Series race of the 2017 season for Burton.
Now the 17-year-old will have time to prepare for the 2018 racing season as he will still be unable to compete full-time in any of NASCAR’s National Series next year.