Harrison Burton Overcomes Penalty To Win At Concord Speedwayby Hunter Thomas March 12, 2017
CONCORD, N.C. – Harrison Burton captured his first-career CARS Tour Super Late Model win on Saturday at Concord Speedway in the Circle Track Warehouse 200 after recovering from a pit road penalty.
After starting fourth on Saturday and entering the pits too early during the series’ first-ever live pit stop, Burton led the final 30 laps en route to the victory. Although a mistake was made early in the race, the 16-year old was thrilled to finally be in Victory Lane after winning a CARS Tour race. In the final laps, Burton held off defending Myrtle Beach 400 and Snowball Derby winner, Christian Eckes.
“Man, I’m just excited to be in Victory Lane,” Burton said. “It took us a while to get one in the CARS Tour, but man oh man, it’s good now that we got here.”
On Saturday, Steve Wallace became the first CARS Tour Super Late Model pole-sitter under the new knockout qualifying format. Once the green flag flew to start the race, Matt Craig, who started second, jumped out in front of the field and set sail.
The first caution of the afternoon came out on lap 32, when Tate Fogleman spun down the backstretch.
For the first time in series history, the CARS Tour saw live pit stops during the caution. Burton, son of former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver, Jeff Burton, entered the pits when it was closed. As a result, Burton was penalized, and he had to restart from the rear of the field.
“I made a mistake coming down pit road, obviously” Burton said. “I felt like my heart sunk to the bottom of my stomach there. Honestly, I almost thought that our race chances were over, but you have to stay calm, cool and composed in that scenario, and we ended up having two great pit stops in a row and picking up a lot of spots on those.”
On the restart, the field didn’t even make one lap before the second caution came out. This time, it was Lucas Jones spinning in Turns 3 and 4. Jones was able to recover for an impressive sixth-place finish.
The third caution of the afternoon came on out lap 35 for an accident involving Spencer Bayston in Turn 1. Once again, Craig led the way following the restart.
Craig was the only driver to lead a lap during the first half of the race, but Burton made a huge run to the front following the pit road penalty. By lap 65, Burton had passed Wallace for second, and five laps later, he passed Craig for the race lead.
“I was going pretty hard the whole race, really,” Burton said. “I wish I was saving them (tires), but you know I feel like we had a car that was good enough if I hadn’t made that mistake, we would’ve – If I wouldn’t have made that mistake, we would’ve been able to save a lot longer, but since I came back from the rear, I had to go pretty had from the beginning.”
Just 30 laps from the finish, the fourth and final caution flew, when Dan Speeney and Austin Thaxton spun through the dogleg on the backstretch. Burton took off on the restart and never looked back.
Finishing behind Burton and Eckes, was Cole Rouse in third. Matt Craig and Cole Timm rounded out the top-five. Completing the top-10 was Lucas Jones, Brandon Setzer, Zane Smith, Gus Dean and Tyler Ankrum.
Up next for the CARS Tour Super Late Models is the River City QDMA Duels at Dominion Raceway on Saturday, March 25. Live broadcast of the event will be on carstour.tv.
1.) #12 Harrison Burton
2.) #15 Christian Eckes
3.) #51r Cole Rouse
4.) #54 Matt Craig
5.) #57 Cole Timm
6.) #16 Lucas Jones
7.) #6 Brandon Setzer
8.) #77s Zane Smith
9.) #56 Gus Dean
10.) #58 Tyler Ankrum
11.) #57t Austin Theriault
12.) #34 Nolan Pope
13.) #37 Dan Speeney
14.) #15t Austin Thaxton
15.) #66 Steve Wallace
16.) #29 Spencer Davis
17.) #55 Spencer Bayston
18.) #8 Tate Fogleman
19.) #53 Jerry White