THOMPSON, Conn. - Harrison Burton continues to put a disappointing NASCAR K&N Pro Series East rookie season in the rearview mirror with a sensational sophomore campaign.
The 17-year-old from Huntersville, North Carolina, outdueled Todd Gilliland in a thrilling side-by-side battle for the lead and claimed the Busch North Throwback 100 at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
It was Burton’s third win in the last four races and fourth win of the year out of eight starts.
Just past halfway through the 2017 schedule, Burton has already opened up a 22-point lead over Gilliland in the championship race.
The series made its return to Thompson for the first time since 2009. The historic Connecticut oval was a staple of the early years of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, when it was primarily a New England-based series under the Busch North banner. Burton added his name to a list of series winners at Thompson that include NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Mike Stefanik, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers Martin Truex, Jr. and Trevor Bayne, and former Cup driver Ricky Craven.
Burton was presented the trophy in victory lane by Joey Kourafas, who won the series’ inaugural championship in 1987.
To get there, Burton had to fight his way past Gilliland. The two engaged in a door-to-door battle for several laps before Burton took the lead on lap 75 and pulled away. Burton finished .719 seconds ahead of Gilliland, who led a race-high 58 laps.
Ronnie Bassett Jr. came home third. Four-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby, making his first K&N Pro Series start, finished fourth, followed by Dillon Bassett in fifth.
Ryan Preece, Chase Purdy, Ruben Garcia, Jr., Jay Beasley, and Chase Cabre rounded out the top ten.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East stays in New England, as it heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the United Site Services 70 on Saturday, July 15.
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park – Thompson, CT
Busch North Throwback 100 – July 8, 2017
|1||3||12||Harrison Burton||Dex Imaging Toyota||100||47||4||Running|
|2||2||16||Todd Gilliland||NAPA Auto Parts Toyota||100||44||2||Running|
|3||6||04||Ronnie Bassett, Jr.||Bassett Gutters and More Chevrolet||100||41||Running|
|4||8||43||Doug Coby *||Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Toyota||100||40||Running|
|5||5||44||Dillon Bassett||Bassett Gutters and More Ford||100||39||Running|
|6||4||31||Ryan Preece||Whelen Engineering Chevrolet||100||38||Running|
|7||1||17||Chase Purdy *||Bama Buggies/Textron Off-Road Toyota||100||38||1||Running|
|8||10||3||Ruben Garcia Jr.||Max Siegel, Inc. Toyota||100||36||Running|
|9||14||42||Jay Beasley||CASTLE Toyota||100||35||Running|
|10||7||6||Chase Cabre *||Lincoln Electric Toyota||100||34||Running|
|11||9||4||Jared Irvan *||Boyer Drilling/Overstock Mercantile Toyota||100||33||Running|
|12||16||13||Hunter Baize||Reynolds Wrap Chevrolet||100||32||Running|
|13||15||71||Eddie MacDonald||Aubuchon Hardware/Grimm Const Chevrolet||100||31||Running|
|14||13||9||Enrique Baca *||Nextgen Motorsports Chevrolet||100||30||Running|
|15||20||32||Ray Parent *||www.AnytimeRealty.com Ford||99||29||Running|
|16||19||36||Stafford Smith||The Patriot Mtrsprts Group\Lights Out Chevrolet||98||28||Running|
|17||12||2||Collin Cabre||UTI/NTI Toyota||98||27||Running|
|18||18||38||John Wood||Stoney’s Rockin Country\Wahl Traction Chevrolet||96||26||Running|
|19||17||34||Andrew Engberson *||The Patriot Motorsports Group Ford||100||25||Accident|
|20||11||30||Tyler Dippel||D and A Concrete Ford||42||24||Engine|
Fastest Qualifier: Chase Purdy *, Time: 20.197 Seconds, Speed: 111.403 mph
Time of Race: 0 hrs., 45 mins, 14 secs Average Speed: 82.903 mph Margin of Victory: .719 Seconds
Caution Flags: Laps 10-13 (Weather – No FP); 32-35 (#2/#30 Turn 1&2 – FP #38); 43-48 (#30 Turn 2 – No FP); 52-56 (#34 Backstretch – FP #2). 4 for 19 laps.
Lap Leaders: Chase Purdy * 1-16, Todd Gilliland 17-74, Harrison Burton 75-100.
Total Laps Led: Todd Gilliland 58, Harrison Burton 26, Chase Purdy * 16. 2 changes involving 3 drivers.
Top 10 Driver Points: Harrison Burton 347, Todd Gilliland 325, Chase Purdy * 292, Ronnie Bassett, Jr. 290, Chase Cabre * 284, Ruben Garcia Jr. 284, Hunter Baize 283, Jay Beasley 270, Dillon Bassett 255, Collin Cabre 247
* Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender