By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
NASCAR Next Alumnus Harrison Burton will compete in his first full-time season with Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Until his 18th birthday a few weeks ago, the son of NASCAR on NBC Driver Analyst Jeff Burton, has been limited to starts at tracks 1.250-miles and smaller in length in the Truck Series.
Harrison Burton will take control of the No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Toyota Tundra, currently driven by Noah Gragson. Safelite AutoGlass will be sponsoring 19 races on the No. 18. It will be their fourth consecutive season sponsoring a truck, and second with KBM in 2019.
Burton has 14 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (currently) starts to date. He has four top-five and seven top-10 finishes, along with one pole position. Burton has a best career finish of third (twice), coming at Iowa Speedway and ISM Raceway this season.
Burton admitted that he has had to work hard to get to this point in his young career.
“I’ve worked really hard the last few seasons driving a limited schedule for KBM to prove that I’m capable of running full-time in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series in 2019 and I’m excited for the opportunity to do so with Safelite AutoGlass as my primary sponsor.
“By using all of the resources that I have available at KBM, with the support of Toyota and Toyota Racing Development, I know that I’ll continue to improve as a driver and I’m confident that I’m capable of competing for wins and being a legitimate contender for the Truck Series championship next year.”
In Burton’s young career, he won the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Championship at just 16 years old. In 33 total K&N Pro Series starts, Burton has five victories, 17 top-fives, 24 top-10s, and four pole positions.
Also, in 2017, he earned his first ARCA Racing Series victory at Toledo Speedway, as well as his first CARS Super Late Model Tour victory at Concord Speedway.
“Obviously, to get to this point in my career it has taken a lot of support from a lot of different people, so I can’t thank my parents enough as well as companies like DEX Imaging, Hunt Brothers Pizza, Morton Buildings, RUUD and FIELDS for being great partners,” Burton said.
While Burton has been competing part-time in NASCAR, ARCA, and Late Model competition, his education did not go unnoticed. Instead of competing for a second K&N Pro Series Championship, the Huntersville, NC native focused on high school while competing in big events, such as the Winchester 400. In his sporadic 2018 starts, Burton earned a victory at Pocono Raceway, the biggest track 17-year-olds can compete on in ARCA competition.
“Harrison has done a great job of balancing being a high school student, as well as a student of racing since making his first Truck Series start for KBM shortly after turning 16 a few years ago,” team owner Kyle Busch said. “The results of his hard work are starting to pay dividends and we’re confident that his first Truck Series win will be coming shortly and he’ll be able to be in the mix for the championship next year.”
Crew chief and further sponsorships announcements will be announced later.