Sunday April 21st, 2019 10:20AM

Harrison Burton wins ARCA opener at Daytona

By Charles Krall
  Contact Editor

Prior to Saturday afternoon, Harrison Burton had never competed at Daytona International Speedway. Saturday night, he was the latest winner on the famed 2.5 mile super speedway.

Burton drove to victory in Saturday’s ARCA Menards Series Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona International Speedway, the series season opener for 2019.

“It means so much to come here and win at a track my dad won at before me,” Burton said. “I can’t thank my guys at Venturini Motorsports enough, they busted their butts on this car for the last month to get it so we can come here and compete to win.

“We had some debris on the grille over the last run and I think it actually helped. The temperatures went up but they weren’t too high. I got the jump on the restart and I knew Todd was on a run. We were up high next to the wall and I looked up and saw no one had a run. I knew that any time something bad could happen, and I was just waiting for it. It never did and then when I crossed the line I started screaming my head off.”

Burton held off Todd Gilliland in a one-lap overtime dash to the checkered flag.

“I could go wherever I wanted with this car,” Gilliland said. “No matter what line I was in, we could go to the front and help the whole line. It was a shame I couldn’t get up there and beat my Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate for the win, but we learned a lot for next week.”

Gilliland planned on riding at the back in the early stages of the race then charging to the front at the end. He was able to team up with Brandon McReynolds, but McReynolds was involved in a crash that sent the race into overtime. From there, it was a one lap dash to the finish, and Gilliland tried to outduel Burton, but couldn’t make it stick on the final lap around.

“There’s still a lot to be learned,” Gilliland said. “I think I learned a lot for next week. It would have been great to get up there and race Harrison tonight but I think what I learned will be a huge help when we get back here in the Truck next week.”

Grant Quinlan finished third.

“I don’t do a lot of superspeedway racing,” he said. “It’s a lot different than what I am used to. We hooked up with Todd (Gilliland) and went to the front late in the race. We had some debris on the grille and had to make a second pit stop but thankfully he was back there too and we could work our way up to the front together.”

Race polesitter Christian Eckes lined up second on the final restart and ended up fourth.

“I thought we had a little bit better car than Harrison did but that’s speedway racing,” Eckes said. “We just weren’t in the right line on the restart. As far as the points are concerned it was a good day. It would have been good to win here but we’re happy to get a good start on the championship.”

Burton led three times for 48 laps. There were five lead changes among three drivers.

The next race for the ARCA Menards Series is the ARCA Pensacola 200 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida, scheduled for Saturday, March 9.

ARCA Menards Series
Daytona International Speedway – Daytona Beach, FL
Lucas Oil 200 – February 9, 2019

1. Harrison Burton
2. Todd Gilliland
3. Grant Quinlan
4. Christian Eckes
5. Sean Corr
6. Natalie Decker
7. Codie Rohrbaugh
8. Travis Braden
9. Andy Seuss
10. Riley Herbst
11. Connor Hall
12. Tyler Dippel
13. Bobby Gerhart
14. Chuck Heirs
15. Leilani Munter
16. Jason White
17. Derrick Lancaster
18. Bret Holmes
19. Brad Smith
20. Dave Mader III
21. Joe Graf, Jr.
22. Con Nicolopolous
23. Tommy Vigh, Jr.
24. C.J. McLaughlin
25. Brandon McReynolds
26. Gus Dean
27. Thad Moffitt
28. J.J. Pack
29. Brenden Queen
30. Paul Williamson
31. Michael Self
32. Scott Melton
33. Eric Caudell
34. John Ferrier
35. Willie Mullins

  • Associated Categories: NASCAR News, Other Motorsports, SpeedWeeks
  • Associated Tags: motorsports, Auto Racing, Stock Car, Asphalt, ARCA Racing Series, daytona
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