By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Joe Gibbs Racing announced Monday that current NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series rookie points leader Harrison Burton has signed an eight-race deal to run in the Xfinity Series this season, driving the No. 18 DEX Imaging Toyota Supra, beginning at Bristol Motor Speedway this Saturday.
Following Bristol, Burton will also run at Iowa Speedway (June 16), New Hampshire Motor Speedway (July 20), Richmond Raceway (Sept. 20), the Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Sept. 28), Dover International Speedway (Oct. 5), Kansas Speedway (Oct. 19), and Texas Motor Speedway (Nov. 2).
At just 19 years old, Burton has made a name for himself as the 2017 K&N Pro Series East champion, winning three ARCA races and already has a total of five top-fives and nine top-10s in just 20 Truck Series races.
Burton said he’s honored to run for JGR in Xfinity, especially with DEX continuing to support his career that goes back to his younger days as a teenager.
“I am very excited to have the opportunity to make my Xfinity Series debut with Joe Gibbs Racing,” said Burton. “Dex has been so supportive of me from the very beginning, and I’m honored that they will be on board with me as I start this new chapter. I am so pumped to be going to a team that has had so many accomplishments, and great drivers to look up to as I continue to grow in my racing career. I am really grateful for this opportunity.”
Executive Vice President of Xfinity Series and Development for JGR Steve DeSouza said having Burton run the eight races he’s allotted will not only help his career, but also thinks by working with crew chief Ben Beshore, the No. 18 team will continue to progress in their bid of winning their first Owner’s Championship since 2012.
“Harrison continues to impress at each level of his racing career,” said DeSouza. “Ben has the No. 18 team off to strong start this season and we believe Harrison will continue that momentum for us starting at Bristol.”
In six races, the No. 18 team has three wins, all with Kyle Busch, and ahead of Tyler Reddick’s No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Camaro by 24 points in the Owner’s Championship standings.