Harrison Burton Wins Dover, Earns K&N Pro East Crown

Harrison Burton kisses the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Championship trophy after winning Friday’s series finale and the 2017 series title at Dover International Speedway. Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

Harrison Burton came to Dover International Speedway hoping to win the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East finale and walk away with the 2017 championship.

He did just that.

The Huntersville, North Carolina, native passed Ruben Garcia, Jr. with just 16 laps to go in the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation 125 and pulled away before a late race caution set up an overtime finish. On the restart, Burton was able to pull away again and score the victory.

By virtue of his win, and mid-race misfortunes of the other title contender, Todd Gilliland, Burton clinched his first NASCAR championship. The NASCAR Next driver became the youngest champion in series history. He broke the record set by current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Joey Logano, who won the 2007 K&N Pro Series East championship at 17 years, 3 months, 28 days.

“What an honor to win both the race and 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.”

It was the fifth win of the season for Burton, who entered the last race trailing Gilliland by eight points.

“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.”

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.

Burton’s dad, Jeff, won the Cup race at Dover in 2006.

Gilliland qualified fourth and looked strong early until lap 56 when he blew a tire, sending him into the wall in turn 2 and ending his day.

“This one is really disappointing,” said Gilliland, who is also leading the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship standings with three races to go. “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.”

Gilliland finished 13th, giving Burton a final margin of eight points (593-585). Ronnie Bassett, Jr. finished third in points, followed by Sunoco Rookie of the Year Chase Purdy and Garcia.

Eddie MacDonald finished second in the race, with Tyler Dippel in third, Sheldon Creed in fourth and Jay Beasley in fifth.

Enrique Baca, Riley Herbst, Collin Cabre, Bassett and Garcia rounded out the top ten.

Burton will be honored for his championship season at the NASCAR awards in Charlotte this December.

NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
Dover International Speedway – Dover, DE
National Fallen Firefighters Foundation 125 – Sept. 29, 2017

Fin Str Car Driver Team Laps Points B/Points Status
1 3 12 Harrison Burton Dex Imaging Toyota 128 47 4 Running
2 12 71 Eddie MacDonald Grimm Construction Chevrolet 128 42 Running
3 5 30 Tyler Dippel TyCar Ford 128 41 Running
4 7 40 Sheldon Creed * United Rentals Toyota 128 41 1 Running
5 8 42 Jay Beasley Max Siegel, Inc. Toyota 128 39 Running
6 15 25 Enrique Baca * Nextgen Motorsports Chevrolet 128 38 Running
7 13 41 Riley Herbst Terrible Herbst Toyota 128 37 Running
8 1 2 Collin Cabre UTI/NTI Toyota 127 37 1 DNF
9 6 04 Ronnie Bassett, Jr. Bassett Gutters and More Chevrolet 127 35 Running
10 2 6 Ruben Garcia Jr. Sunoco Racing Fuel Toyota 119 36 2 Accident
11 9 4 Chase Cabre * Honda Generators Toyota 118 33 Accident
12 11 14 Trey Hutchens Hutchens Motorsports Chevrolet 75 32 Mechanical
13 4 16 Todd Gilliland NAPA Auto Parts/NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota 56 31 Accident
14 10 44 Dillon Bassett Bassett Gutters and More Chevrolet 40 30 Accident
15 14 17 Chase Purdy * Bama Buggies/Textron Off-Road Toyota 12 29 Accident

 

RACE STATISTICS

Fastest Qualifier:   Collin Cabre, Time: 23.206 Seconds, Speed: 155.132 mph

Time of Race:    1 hrs., 22 mins, 36 secs,  Average Speed: 92.978 mph

Caution Flags:  Laps 12-16 (#17 Turn 4 – No FP); 40-44 (#44 Turn 1 – No FP); 56-59 (#16 Turn 1 – FP #25); 89-94 (#4 Frontstretch – FP #71); 100-106 (Debris – Frontstretch – FP #04); 124-125 (#4 Turn – FP #42).  6 for 29 laps.

Lap Leaders:   Collin Cabre 1-17, Ruben Garcia Jr. 18, Collin Cabre 19-33, Ruben Garcia Jr. 34-81, Sheldon Creed * 82-88, Ruben Garcia Jr. 89-110, Harrison Burton 111-128.

Total Laps Led:   Ruben Garcia Jr. 71, Collin Cabre 32, Harrison Burton 18, Sheldon Creed * 7.  6 changes involving 4 drivers.

Top 10 Driver Points:   Harrison Burton 593, Todd Gilliland 585, Ronnie Bassett, Jr. 518, Chase Purdy * 515, Ruben Garcia Jr. 501, Chase Cabre * 485, Jay Beasley 482, Dillon Bassett 450, Collin Cabre 444, Tyler Dippel 420

 

* Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender

 

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