Harrison Burton is our guest on Fan4Racing NASCAR & Race Talk, Monday, April 24, 2017 at 8:40 pm ET. Call 929-477-1790 or tweet @Fan4RacingSite or @Sal_Sigala with any questions or comments during our LIVE broadcast.
Coming into the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, Zombie Auto 125 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, Harrison Burton had victory on his mind. Last year, he took the Bristol pole to start the race on the front row, only to experience engine issues that took him out of contention early in the race. Burton and his crew chief Mardy Lindley wanted a different result on Saturday, especially after again starting on pole and leading the field to the green flag at the 0.533-mile track.
After rain cancelled qualifying on Friday, Burton and his MDM Motorsports, DEX Imaging No. 12 started from the pole, leading all but two of the first 70 laps before it again started raining and thus ending the event early.
“Me and my crew chief were kind of talking like we wanted to run the whole race and win it that way,’’ Harrison Burton said. “We were confident enough to where we felt like our car was good enough that we could win the race. I felt like it would have been kind of cool to cross the line under dry conditions and do it that way. (But) I’ll take it. I was pretty happy when it started raining to be honest. I never wanted it to rain so bad in my life.’’
For the 16-year-old NASCAR Next driver, it is his 17th career start and his first K&N Pro Series East win. Burton now leads the series point standings, with Hunter Baize in second, Todd Gilliland in third, followed by Ronnie Bassett Jr and Ruben Garcia Jr in fourth and fifth.
“Winning at a place like Bristol is special,”said Burton. “It’s one of those racetracks that you want to win at no matter what series you’re racing. For the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, this is one of our big races and a race that we all have circled on the calendar. I felt like last year we had a shot at winning before we had a mechanical failure. This year, my guys at MDM Motorsports brought me an even better car. I just needed to do my job and close the deal. It’s nice to get that done.”
The start of the K&N East race was late by nearly two hours due to rain delays in the NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday afternoon. That and knowing more rain was still a possibility, set up a rather high-spirited start to the Zombie Auto 125 later in the day than expected.
“I was pretty aggressive to start,” Burton said. “After seeing a few guys blow tires, we wanted to conserve tires. Once we heard rain was in the area, we started running a little bit harder.”
Finishing second was Drive 4 Diversity driver and NASCAR Next veteran, Ruben Garcia Jr, followed by Spencer Davis in third, with Hunter Baize and Chad Finchum, last years winner, finishing fourth and fifth.
Collin Cabre finished sixth with Julia Landauer seventh, Todd Gilliland eighth, Zane Smith ninth and Eddie MacDonald rounding out the top-ten.
Fans can watch the NBC Sports Network broadcast of the Zombie Auto 125 on Thursday, April 27th at 11 pm ET.
Next up for the K&N East is the WhosYourDriver.org T-100 at South Boston Speedway on May 6th.