Harrison Burton’s car started on the wrong foot as the driver failed two NASCAR inspections before Sunday’s Cup race.
The 21-year-old Burton, driving the Wood Brothers Racing No. 21 Ford, failed twice before Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuickTrip 500. Car chief Cody Sauls got ejected from the garage. Burton went on to start from the back of the field.
Meanwhile, another top racer suffered one failed inspection. Keselowski’s No. 6 RFK Racing Ford was then caught with unapproved adjustments before the start. That issue sent the 38-year-old driver/owner to the back of the field with Burton.
Chase Briscoe, who won last week at Phoenix Raceway, took the poll. Briscoe drives the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford. Burton finished 29th after an excellent 16th-place finish at Las Vegas.
Both men recovered from their bad positions to get in the Top 30 after 90 laps. Harrison Burton’s car avoided a crash at one point, and a few fans took to Twitter, saying it was the first time the young driver stayed out of one this season.
Sunday’s race is the first on the reconfigured 1.54-mile layout. The track has a steeper banking (24 degrees to 28 degrees) and a superspeedway rule configuration.
Harrison Burton’s Car Was To Start 31st Before Failed NASCAR Inspections
Social media speculated what Burton’s issue could be. When asked, longtime Fox Sports racing reporter Bob Pockrass said when a car chief gets ejected, the issue “typically is a body issue.”
Jeff Burton’s kid is racing in his first full season in the Cup Series. The team announced he would take over for Matt DiBenedetto back in July. Harrison Burton’s season didn’t start well at Daytona. The driver led three laps at NASCAR’s “Super Bowl of Racing” before getting caught in a multi-car accident on lap 63. He finished 39th on the day.
And if Sunday doesn’t work out for the young racer, he can look for a better outing in July. The series comes back to Atlanta Motor Speedway with the Quaker State 400 on July 10.
Harrison Burton’s Car Among Top Rookie Rides At Atlanta
NASCAR.com interviewed the North Carolina native before the race.
The article lumped the young driver in with Team Penske’s Austin Cindric and Front Row Motorsports’ Todd Gilliland as rookies to watch this season.
With Cindric winning this year, Burton has to play catch up. He admits that “there’s room there to (win), but you’re just going to have to have a spectacular day.”
Burton told NASCAR.com he knows he wasn’t off to a good start with his crashes and bad finishes. But the rookie said he feels like it “wasn’t something that is not fixable.”
Burton knows he’s still got good support from Wood Brothers.
“If they still believe in me, then I still believe in myself,” Burton told NASCAR.com. “Those are some of the legends in our sport, and they know what they’re talking about.”