BURTON DRIVES TOYOTA TO THE WIN AT HOMESTEAD
Nineteen-year-old rookie scores second career win in just his 18th career start
HOMESTEAD, Florida (June 13, 2020) – Harrison Burton drove his Toyota Supra to victory at the Hooters 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) event at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday afternoon. It is Burton’s second win of the season (Auto Club Speedway – February) and fourth win for Toyota this year in the NXS. Burton has now scored 10 consecutive top 10 finishes, a streak that began at Homestead-Miami Speedway last November.
Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS)
Race 9 of 33 – 250.5 miles, 167 laps
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, HARRISON BURTON
2nd, Austin Cindric*
3rd, Noah Gragson*
4th, Anthony Alfredo*
5th, Dale Earnhardt Jr.*
8th, BRANDON JONES
10th, RILEY HERBST
21st, COLIN GARRETT
22nd, STEFAN PARSONS
23rd, TIMMY HILL
30th, CHAD FINCHUM
36th, STEPHEN LEICHT
HARRISON BURTON, No. 20 DEX Imaging Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 1st
How exciting was that finish to get the victory?
“I’m so excited. That’s so awesome. I gave away the lead on the first restart in the same position and I didn’t really want to do that again. I knew the 9 (Noah Gragson) was going to drive in real deep and slide up so felt good about that. Proud of my guys, they worked on this thing so hard every run – made it better and better. What a day to get this Xfinity Supra to victory lane. They can keep on doubting this thing and we’re going to keep coming back.”
What do you think your Mom was doing on that last lap knowing how animated she can be?
“I don’t know, I don’t know what I was doing honestly. What a race. This track is so much fun. Really puts it in the driver’s hands, especially at the end there. I’m just ready to go again tomorrow to be honest with you, I want to get two.”
What happened the first three-quarters of the race and where did you come from at the end?
“We were really tight the first little bit of the race there. We got better and better as the race went and I felt really pretty good about our car at the end. Made some adjustments for the short run there and my crew chief, Ben Beshore and my whole team, the No, 20 team just nailed it. What an awesome, awesome race for us to come back from losing all those spots early and hitting the splitter early to winning now. I would have done a big smoky burnout, but we have to race this car tomorrow and I’m excited for that. It means we will hopefully be just as good.”
Take us through the last two laps.
“So much fun, for me especially. I gave him (Noah Gragson) the lead on the outside early and I think he chose the inside because of that. I knew I couldn’t give it to him again. This is such a tight series and everyone is so, so competitive that you kind of have to claw and dig every chance you get. This was one of those times where he kind of got loose and got under him and it was a good race, that’s for sure.”
What was the difference between you and Austin Cindric on the final lap?
“I don’t know. I was pretty excited once I got clear. I knew I just needed to slide through three and four and hope I could keep him (Austin Cindric) from getting a big run on him. It worked out really good. I’m out of breath, I did a lot of screaming and yelling and on top of that, it’s hot out today. What a race, I hope the fans at home enjoyed it. We miss you out here.”
Were you more aggressive on the final restart?
“It was crazy. Noah (Gragson) kind of beat me early in the race. We got on the splitter a little bit and he beat me on that first start and I wasn’t going to let him do it again. I kind of knew what our strength would be versus his weakness. It worked out. It was such a great race, I hope for the fans at home, it felt like a great race inside the race car for us. We battled and we were struggling early really bad, really tight. Then my crew chief, Ben Beshore made an amazing adjustment and got us to where we were really, really fast at the end on the short run. Just still need to go to work some. Noah was really, really fast on the long run and had that caution not come out, he probably would have come out of there with a win. We have some work to do tonight, but that’s what makes this team so good is we were nowhere to be found in the first stage so now that we have a whole night to go to work and kind of figure out where we need to be, should be a good thing for us hopefully.”
Do you feel like you’re starting to follow in your Dad’s winning footsteps?
“I hope so. He’s my biggest hero. I look up to my Dad so much, he’s just a great person first off and even if there were hard days in racing and I know how hard racing can get sometimes and I’ve had hard times in racing, he was always a great Dad for us. Always had our backs and put us first. We returned the favor by cheering him on during race weekends and that was so cool to kind of have that relationship where I wanted to be not necessarily just like my Dad just because he was my Dad, but I was so proud of him and every time he would come home and he would win and if I wasn’t there because I was in school or whatever it may be, I just remember that feeling of our whole family had succeeded and I hope that’s how they feel now. I miss my family. My Mom isn’t out here and she’s always here. My Dad’s not here and he’s always here. My sister was at my win earlier this year in Fontana. Sad that they’re not here for sure, but I know that they’re having a good time at home celebrating and hopefully I can go and see them soon and hopefully have another win too that we can celebrate.”
Is your Supra in good shape for tomorrow’s race?
“I believe so. There was a little contact there late in the race. Just going as hard as everyone could. I think we’re all set and ready to go. There’s obviously always kind of stuff that’s hiding below the body panels and things like that, but I feel like our team did a good job of giving me a car where I could be fast and not necessarily hit the wall getting loose or anything like that. I was happy with keeping it clean the whole race and then had to get a little aggressive at the end and had some contact, but I believe we should be good to go for tomorrow.”
What point are you trying to prove to the ‘doubters’ you keep mentioning?
“I had a tough year last year and struggled and myself included thought I should have won races and came up short. Because of that, I had a lot of people that doubted me coming to Joe Gibbs Racing and doubted that I would win races or run well or anything like that. That was fuel for me this off-season to work really hard. Fuel for my team – I keyed up over the radio, I said, ‘That’s not bad for a bunch of people that’s not supposed to win a race.’ That rings true to this day. Even though we’re winning, we’re still hungry, we’re still wanting to be the best team. There’s guys out there that are fast every weekend and we have to get a little quicker, but it’s definitely fun to go out there and steal a win like that. Makes you feel good going into the next race, that’s for sure.”
What does this say for the entire No. 20 team and momentum for tomorrow?
“Should be up there. We weren’t fast enough, don’t get me wrong. We were not good enough on the long run there to run with the 9 (Noah Gragson) or the 8 (Dale Earnhardt Jr.), but I felt like even the 19 (Brandon Jones) was better than us late there. We are working hard and I know that my team is hungry to do this again, but instead of having to steal a win, we’re going to want to go and dominate tomorrow. The 9 is fast and the 22 (Austin Cindric) and the 19 and the 8 were all fast today and hopefully we can be another leg up on them and ride this confidence into tomorrow.”
Did you expect to be as strong as you were on the final restart?
“We had a decent launch and I was kind of bummed because I spun my tires a little bit late and had to short-shift to third to try to stop that wheel spin and lost a little bit of ground. It ended up working out perfect. I was able to be close enough to Noah (Gragson) to where I could drive in on him and kind of make him slip up and apply that pressure to where he felt like he had to drive in really deep. That worked out really good for us. Such a slick race track. The line of over-slipping those front tires is so, so small. That last restart was crazy. I can’t really remember everything that happened, everything is so reactionary. Really thankful for my spotter Rick Carelli, he was all over it and helped me get clear. It was craziness. I hope the fans at hope enjoyed it as much as I did.”
What is the biggest thing you need to work on for tomorrow’s race?
“I think the biggest thing is our speed about a quarter of the way through the corner. Other guys would be able to drive in and use less brake and they would be able to wrap the top better, get to the gas a little sooner. We need to find a way to rotate better, but not lose rear grip. That last change before the last restart, I would kind of overstep that line to where we were a little too loose. Our last change I thought was really good for the short run. It will be interesting to see where we fire-off for tomorrow and how well we can run on a long run there and hopefully we can dominate.”
BRANDON JONES, No. 19 Menards/Fisher Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 8th
You were in the top 10 all race. Talk about your run here today at Homestead.
“I think these guys brought something that was really strong to the track today. The ender – the heartbreaker was the speeding at the end when you didn’t need to. It’s so hard to tell yourself to not push it, because that is your job. You want to optimize everything, but there probably wasn’t much to gain there at the end doing it. We learned a bunch. I think we learned a lot about running the top line. You saw the big three last year were really good at that, and they kind of pulled away from the field. We got better at it for this race for sure. It’s cool to see a Toyota get into victory lane. He was pretty strong all day, and I think, at times, we were as good if not better than the 20 (Harrison Burton). So that was pretty encouraging to see after the race.”
You get to do this again tomorrow. Talk about how excited you are to get back behind a car that you know what it will do.
“We wanted to take this car again tomorrow. It makes it so much easier when your trying to make the car better. There’s no learning curve with that. So that’s going to help out a bunch. I 100% know what to expect going into it tomorrow. I’m going to sit down tonight and go back and look at the race and try to pick out a few things that they were saying on the radio at times and see if I can’t better that for tomorrow. Same conditions; it will be about the same temperature. More rubber, probably. We are going to have the truck race on it tonight. If it doesn’t rain, we will see about that.”
RILEY HERBST, No. 18 Monster Energy Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 10th
Very solid race today for you Riley. Talk about your top 10 run.
“It was okay. It was difficult being our first time here – never having any laps on this racetrack. I think we were the only person in the field to never have run a lap around this place, so that was difficult. It took me a few stages to get used to it. The third stage I finally got up to it and we just didn’t have the track position. Tomorrow will be better.”
Now that you have 250 miles in, how excited are you to get back in the seat tomorrow?
“Well it’s kind of – we are on level playing field now. Everybody else has been here, and now I’ve been here, so it’s kind of cool in that aspect.”
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