Harrison Burton is making his mark in the NASCAR Xfinity Series early in the 2020 season
Three races into the year, there are three race winners in the series. Harrison Burton is the most recent winner at Auto Club Speedway. Noah Gragson won the season opener at Daytona. Then, Chase Briscoe won last weekend in Las Vegas. But only one sits at the top of the series point standings and that is 19-year-old Harrison Burton.
Burton, the driver of the No. 20 for Joe Gibbs Racing, is easily separating himself from the rest of the field. He is the only driver with three top-five finishes in three starts. To put this into perspective, there are four drivers with two top-fives. Briscoe is second and ten points behind the leader. Gragson is ninth, at 38 points from the lead. The other two drivers are Austin Cindric in third and Ryan Sieg in fourth, although neither of them has a victory yet.
The success Burton is seeing this year is refreshing after being winless in the NASCAR Truck Series with Kyle Busch Motorsports over the last four years. In 38 starts for the organization, Burton has 11 top-fives and 18 top-ten finishes with one pole award. In his first full-time season with KBM last year, Burton finished 12th in the series point standings. Along with an average start of 8.5 and an average finish of 12.0.
Putting all of this in focus, Burton’s average start this season is at 4.3 with an impressive average finish of 2.7. Plus, his early win qualifies him for the series playoffs this fall. His results thus far are setting up his rookie season as a blockbuster.
Harrison Burton is the son of former Cup Series driver Jeff Burton. Who is now an analyst on NBCSN for NASCAR. His uncle is Ward Burton, also a former Cup Series driver, and Daytona 500 winner. His uncle coincidentally also earned his first Xfinity Series victory in 1992 on February 29th – a ‘Leap Day.’ Jeb Burton is the first cousin of the youngest Burton. And he is competing part-time in the Xfinity Series in the No. 8 for JR Motorsports. Kim Burton, his mom is a perennial favorite of the camera in the closing laps of her husband (Jeff) and now her son (Harrison’s) races. Especially when contending for a win.
So, it makes sense that this second-generation driver’s racing journey comes with a great deal of support from his family.
Burton was in his first go-kart at the age of two and progressed to a quarter midget by the time he was four. At the age of 12, Burton was ready to start racing. His first late-model win came in 2014 with his first super late-model win coming the following year at New Smyrna Speedway. Along the way, Burton won the USAC quarter midget championship three times.
Turning his attention to the K&N Pro Series, Burton ran three races recording two top-ten runs. During this same time, Burton started racing in the ARCA Series. From 2016 to 2019 he had 17 starts posting three victories, ten top-five, and 15 top-ten finishes. His average start is 6.5 with an average finish of 5.4.
Racing the K&N Pro Series East full-time in 2016 and ’17 Burton won the championship in his second season. His average start that season is an amazing 3.9 with an average finish of 3.2.
Burton also ran a number of premiere late-model races from 2014 through 2019, including the All-American 400, Winchester 400, Snowball Derby, and the Eldora Dirt Derby. His best finishes came at Eldora posting a fifth-place finish in 2017 and a third-place finish in 2019. He also finished fourth in the 2017 Snowball Derby.
Burton’s talent and experience in driving late-models seem particularly suited to his early success in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series. So, for those wondering which drivers will rise to the top in this series, Burton is certainly making the case for himself right out of the gate this season.