DOVER, Del. – Harrison Burton came to Dover International Speedway hoping to win the race and the championship on Friday and he did just that.
Burton passed Ruben Garcia, Jr. with 16 laps to go in the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation 125 presented by Carl Deputy & Son Builders and pulled away before a late race caution set up an overtime finish. On the restart, Burton was able to pull away and score the victory.
By virtue of his win, and Todd Gilliland’s misfortunes, Burton clinched the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship.
“What an honor to win at Dover and win a championship at Dover, it’s pretty freaking cool,” Burton said. “It’s what I dreamed to do as a kid, win races at tracks like this and win NASCAR championships. To come out and do that is pretty surreal. I’m pretty pumped up about it.”
Burton had a deficit heading into Dover after misfortunes at Langley Speedway. However, the 16-year-old refused to give up even when things looked insurmountable.
“This race kind of caps it all off for this team,” Burton remarked. “A bunch of guys who never quit and I’m glad I fit into that system where people that put everything we got into what we’re doing. Now that it’s all come to fruition and we got to bring home two trophies, it’s a big relief and we’re going to go have fun now.”
The victory at Dover International Speedway was Burton’s fifth win of the season. Burton is the first driver to win the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship and the season finale in the same season since Mike Stefanik wrapped up his 1998 title with a win at Connecticut’s Lime Rock Park. Burton is also the first driver to cap his championship season with a win at Dover.
At 16-years-old, Burton also becomes the youngest champion in series history. Prior to Friday, Joey Logano, at 17-years-old when he won the series championship in 2007.
Gilliland entered the race with an eight-point advantage over Burton and looked like he had the championship wrapped up until lap 56 when he blew a tire, sending him into the wall in turn two and ending his day.
“This one is really disappointing,” Gilliland said. “I felt like we had pretty good control of it going in here. We were just as fast as Burton in the race. Just having a tire go down like that is heartbreaking for sure. I’m really proud of everyone at Bill McAnally Racing. We’ve had the fastest cars here all year, just didn’t have the luck to go along with it.”
Eddie MacDonald finished second in the race while Tyler Dippel, Sheldon Creed and Jay Beasley rounded out the top-five.
RESULTS: NASCAR K&N Pro Series East; Dover Int’l Speedway; National Fallen Firefighters Foundation 125; September 29, 2017
- Harrison Burton
- Eddie MacDonald
- Tyler Dippel
- Sheldon Creed
- Jay Beasley
- Enrique Baca
- Riley Herbst
- Collin Cabre
- Ronnie Bassett Jr.
- Ruben Garcia Jr.
- Chase Cabre
- Trey Hutchens
- Todd Gilliland
- Dillon Bassett
- Chase Purdy
CREDIT: NASCAR Home Tracks